I think that we can all agree that 2020 was a year that taught us all a lot, a year so turbulent that the New Year has more meaning than ever. For me, it taught me to put less pressure on myself. This being why in 2021 I am only setting myself resolutions which build on achievements from last year. A lot of us tried to reinvent ourselves during lockdown, by getting stuck into baking or attempting to follow Chloe Ting’s fitness regime (those videos being something I am quite happy to leave in 2020). However, I learnt to ignore expectations of success and appreciate personal achievements that could be perceived as menial. I learnt how to drive on motorways, I read a few books for enjoyment and I started university during extremely unprecedented times. This year I am setting myself achievable goals, ones that remove the pressure of re-invention in the new year and that focus on personal growth.
1. Having read books for enjoyment after the cancellation of my A-Levels in Summer, I now realise how fulfilling it is to finish a book having not been told to read it. Unfortunately following the stereotype of being an ex-gifted and talented child, I lost the ability to read several books a week. Studying a joint honour degree with English can sometimes remove the enjoyment from reading. This year I aim to try to read one book for enjoyment per term. This may seem like a small goal; however, I am not going to force myself to achieve these resolutions because then I won’t continue them in years to come if they feel like a chore.
2. I aim to reduce how much meat I eat. Personally, turning completely vegetarian would be too much of a change. However, I know that with small steps I can decrease the amount of meat I eat. Going to university taught me how to cook, or rather forced me to make an effort with cooking. Therefore, this year I want to build on this development and incorporate vegetarianism into my diet.
3. I also want to save money. Summer of 2021 will be an amazing summer, positive manifestations only. I, therefore, need to start saving money in order to afford all the holidays and festival I aim to attend. I’m planning to save any excess money that I receive. This includes the rent rebate proposed to students and any money left over from my student loan (although this may be a bit ambitious). With shops being closed, this in theory, should be easier.
4. This is probably the most ambitious goal of all: stay on top of my university work. This means designating time during the week to prep for my lectures, and not trying to do the prep work during an online lecture for another lecture straight after. At the end of the previous teaching block, I began to dedicate time for this and therefore in the new year I am to continue with this routine.
I want to enjoy this year with small attainable goals to continue with self-improvement. After the stress of 2020, I believe it is counter-productive to add pressure on yourself with New Year's resolutions. Maybe begin with making small adjustments to bad habits rather than trying to completely re-invent yourself. Even if you choose to completely ignore the idea of setting yourself goals then I completely understand, 2021 will be a year for making up on lost time.
This article is part of our themed week on setting sustainable and healthy New Year's resolutions and gearing up to face 2021. Happy new year to all of our readers, and here's to a better 2021!