It’s the time to begin making changes to start off 2021 fresh. Every New Year brings forth new beginnings, and, perhaps, this is why so many make resolutions in celebration. When the clock strikes midnight on January 1, another new chapter begins.
No one could have predicted the pandemonium of 2020; the pandemic changed daily habits, but it also left some Americans financially destitute and mourning loved ones who succumbed to the coronavirus.
Celebrate the end of a year of strife with a New Year’s resolution that welcomes 2021…and the hope the new year brings. These New Year’s resolutions 2021 can help embrace a new chapter in life.
1. Adopt Healthy Habits
Healthier doesn’t necessarily mean thinner. Many Americans make resolutions that focus on eating better or exercising more.
The resolution could be focused on eating more fruits and vegetables, opting for leaner cuts of meat or maybe omitting soda and caffeinated beverages. Want to cut out sugar? Resolve to do it this year.
Some resolve to begin a new exercise regimen, others want to tone up. Maybe the resolution is focused on walking a certain number of steps each day. For individuals with certain medical conditions or other health concerns, talk to a doctor before embarking on a fitness or exercise program.
What conditions are on the ‘ask the doctor’ list? The Mayo Clinic lists diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2), kidney disease, high blood pressure, those undergoing cancer treatment and individuals who recently completed treatment for cancer, arthritis, and heart disease.
Always make sure the exercises or choices in your resolution are safe. If you are unsure…ask…even if you’re healthy!
2. Embrace Mindfulness
Mindfulness is being present in the here and now. Some use meditation to become mindful. Others simply breathe deeply and think about the little things that they appreciate.
With all the uncertainty in 2020, it might be hard to sit, relax and live in the present moment. Worries creep in. For families who are suffering financially, it may be really difficult to stop thinking about tomorrow or next week.
For 2021, though, a resolution to appreciate the moment might help keep the present in perspective.
3. Take Care of Mental Health
Health includes our physical and mental health. Both are important. Resolve to take care of mental health now and in 2021. There are so many resources available to those struggling with depression, anxiety or stress. Reach out to a doctor or call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline at 1-800-662-HELP to find resources. While the helpline doesn’t offer counseling, it can direct those in need of assistance to those who can help. However, the Crisis Text Line can offer free counseling to those in crisis. Text CONNECT to 741741.
Make your mental health a priority now and in the future. Never delay asking for help or reaching out. There is always someone who can and will listen.
4. Get Financially Savvy…and Start a Budget
Are finances in disarray? Maybe a job loss has meant less income. Or maybe working from home and health mandates means that expenses have been reduced. Financial situations can vary, but a budget helps keep everything in order.
Get financially organized in 2021 by reviewing your expenses and income. Analyze where all the money is going and make changes to improve your financial picture. This may mean cutting frivolous expenses or perhaps starting a savings account to prepare for emergency expenses.
5. Decrease Your Carbon Footprint
Make changes to lower your carbon footprint this year. Conducting a home energy audit can help find energy drains in your home that could be bumping up those utility bills. Go through each room in the home and inspect outlets for unused gadgets/appliances, check under sinks for any leaks or drips, and adjust the thermostat on the HVAC to an energy-saving temperature (68 degrees in winter, 78 in summer). You also should check the hot water heater; that temperature should be set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to maximize energy savings.
Want to simplify the audit? Download HomeSelfe, snap photos of all your rooms and the app will show all the ways to save.
6. Be Kind
No one can really be kind 24/7. We all have moments of stress, frustration, anger or sadness. However, we can resolve to try to make an effort to be more kind. This isn’t hard. Pay a stranger a compliment. Tell the checker at the grocery store to have a nice day. Donate to charity. Buy food to donate to local food banks. Do something kind—no matter how small—each day.
7. Get More Zzzzs
Make 2021 the year of the bedtime, especially if you’re not clocking the recommended seven to nine hours each night. A good night’s sleep can make us feel energized and ready to start the day. Create a bedtime routine to prep the body for sleep, and try to avoid staring at the screen before bed. The blue light from screens can interfere with the body’s circadian rhythm.
A New Year means new beginnings. Take the time this year to think ahead and set goals for the future. No matter what you resolve this year, understand that 2021 is a new chapter for change and positivity.