Creating New Year’s resolutions can be a fun way to start a new chapter, but we all know how maintaining our goals can be challenging. We’ve collectively dealt with a lot over the past year, and I’m here to remind you: be gentle with yourself! 2021 is all about setting intentions that feel right for you without the pressure to be perfect. If you need some inspo to tackle 2021 with confidence, here are seven intentions every 20-something should try this year:
1. Establish a self-care practice
Self-care may be a buzzy term these days, but now is the perfect time to commit to a personalized practice that works for you. This can be anything from baking banana bread to taking a bubble bath, going to therapy, or taking five minutes out of your workday to jam out to Ariana Grande. Self-care works best when you have a sensory experience (think: sound, touch, taste, smell, or anything visual). And in case you’re wondering, taking a nap totally counts!
2. Find a workout you love
Recently, I’ve started reframing the idea of fitness and simply calling it “movement” — it feels less restrictive and way more fun. If you’re ready to get active, ask yourself, “How can I move my body today?” Whether it’s going for a socially-distanced walk, a quick virtual workout (my current fave: The Class by Taryn Toomey), or having an impromptu dance party in your apartment, it’s less about how the movement looks and more about how it feels.
3. Learn to say ‘no'
Seriously, no is a complete sentence. It’s the best advice I’ve received in my twenties, and it’s the perfect reminder for anyone who needs to protect their energy, mental health, and well-being this year. If you’re continually carving out time for others with little in return, it may be time to set some boundaries and learn the power of ‘no.’ It may feel awkward at first, but when you respect yourself and your time, other people will, too. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
4. Revamp your network
Making friends in your twenties isn’t easy. This year, set the goal to revamp your network by getting in touch with new people who motivate and inspire you. If you’re feeling stuck, try joining a recruiting website, exploring a networking app, or attending a virtual meetup based on your unique interests. You’d be surprised how many people in their twenties are *also* looking for friends. Know that revamping your network may also mean cutting out friendships that no longer align with your values. And that’s okay, too.
5. Try a new recipe
Don’t get me wrong, I love some quality takeout! However, there’s nothing like learning a recipe at home and really mastering it to make you feel like a real adult. This year, flex your creativity and culinary skills by cooking or baking something new. Bonus points if you start a recipe book with your favorite dishes (mine has this divine lemon chicken piccata and, of course, all of the holiday desserts). For busy twenty-somethings like us, having a list of go-to meals is *chef’s kiss.*
6. Feel empowered about your finances
Between paying rent, filing taxes, and figuring out how much to spend and save each month, managing your finances can be overwhelming. If you wish you had taken a personal finance class back in the day, don’t worry — your twenties is an ideal time to start learning and planning the kind of lifestyle you want. Make a list of actionable steps you can take to feel more empowered over your finances, whether it’s chatting with your money-savvy friend about her best tips or meeting with an advisor. Soon you’ll be making serious money moves.
7. Pursue your passion
Whether you want to start a podcast or you dream of exploring a new career path, seriously, just do it. If there’s anything I’ve learned in my twenties, it’s that the perfect moment to pursue your passion doesn’t exist — you have to believe in yourself and go for it! Make a mood board. Post a sticky note on your mirror. Find a mentor. Remind yourself of your ideas and passions every day, and your life will start to feel a lot more exciting.
As we ring in the new year, remember that some goals are more challenging to stick to than others. Take a deep breath and remember that you don’t have to be perfect! Here’s to setting intentions that work for you and enjoying the exciting journey that is your twenties. Happy new year!