It’s official: 2020 was the weirdest year ever. Or at least in recent memory. If you’re over 30, you’ve lived through big, catastrophic events like 9/11 and the Great Recession, but 2020 seemed to compact four or five different catastrophes into a single 12-month cycle. From the Covid-19 pandemic and historic political turmoil to violence in the streets, rampant fires, and economic/financial decline, 2020 has pushed Americans and all global citizens to their breaking points.
For this reason, New Year’s Eve this time around will have some extra significance. How can we set some goals and objectives to push us out of this year’s bummer-a-thon?
Here are a few ideas for you and your family to consider as we move into the final days and weeks of 2020:
In 2021…I will consider new jobs and career paths.
Many people lost work in 2020 due to the pandemic. In fact, while exact figures are still unclear, we know that tens of millions of Americans were either laid off or had their hours heavily reduced. If you didn’t like your job very much, to begin with, this could be the perfect time for a reset.
You don’t necessarily have to switch to an entirely different field. If you worked in a warehouse, for example, you might have already gotten your OSHA certification, but maybe it’s time to upgrade your industry training so that you can apply to be a supervisor. The OSHA-30 certification, as opposed to the more common OSHA-10, would allow for that.
Or maybe you want to develop new robust side hustles that can generate some passive revenue in 2021. If you’re out of work and quarantining in Covid-19 lockdown areas, this is an ideal time to hunker down and plan ahead for when the storm passes.
In 2021….I will take control of my stress levels and anxiety.
Most people say their mental health conditions have declined considerably due to the pandemic and the turmoil of 2020. Increased stress hormones and chronic anxiety’s physiological effects are not good for us, physically or psychologically.
So a good New Year’s resolution for 2021 is to prioritize taking care of your mental health. Just like part of being an adult is taking care of your physical, day to day needs like eating, sleeping, and breathing, you also need to take care of your emotional needs.
Practice meditation and breathing exercises to help find your natural rhythm and reduce chronic stress and anxiety. This will improve all other aspects of your life, too. When you have control over your mind, it makes you a better parent, a better partner, a better friend, and a better human.
In 2021….I will spend more time helping others.
Most of the time, when we make New Year’s resolutions, our goals revolve around ourselves: making us happy, improving our conditions, etc. But sometimes, the best gift you can get for yourself is to help others.
Research shows that helping others makes people happier on their own. Whether it’s out of true altruism or just wanting to feel generous is almost irrelevant. When you get outside of your own head and reach out to others, it has a demonstrably positive psychological effect that can help reduce anxiety and depression.
We are a naturally social species, gregarious animals that thrive on collective action. It makes sense that helping one of our peers would have a direct and immediate reciprocal effect. While the pandemic may make it hard to encounter others, there are plenty of ways to help people online, through fundraisers, gifts, or just messaging someone a kind thought.
These are just three possible New Year’s resolutions to consider for the last night of 2020 when many of us will be eagerly awaiting the arrival of a new year. Do you want to expand or alter your career path? Do you want to improve your mental health? Do you want to help others? Or do you want something entirely else? Whatever it is you resolve to do in 2021, make it epic. After the trainwreck that was 2020, we owe that to ourselves and each other.
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