Goal–Setting, Self–Care, and Self–Discovery in 2021

2020 was chaotic, to say the least. We’re now three months into 2021, and in some ways, things are still the same—I’m still attending classes via Zoom, masks are still a necessity, and I’ve grown accustomed to a never–ending inbox full of emails (and Canvas notifications). However, the future looks bright as more and more individuals are being vaccinated for COVID–19. I’m hopeful for what’s to come in 2021, and in this article, I’ll outline some ideas to help you become the most ideal version of yourself this year. 

  1. 1. Start Focusing on the Good 

    It’s been said a million times before, but I truly believe that focusing on all the good things in your life can not only change your attitude, but can also help you attract more good things; this is also known as the law of attraction. Every day, I try to come up with three different things I’m grateful for. We’re all in bad moods sometimes, but shifting your attention to the good in your life can really help you realize that things aren’t all dark.

  2. 2. Practice Self–Care 

    Whether you enjoy putting on a face mask or meditating, self–care is about you taking care of yourself. This might mean finishing your homework early so you can catch up on 20 minutes of your new favorite show before bed or taking a break from work to catch up with your friends. Most importantly, self–care is about prioritizing your own needs. In college, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and stressed with work, so it’s vital to devote a little bit of time each day to do something that you love—whether that’s doing yoga, watching a movie, or simply eating pizza (that sounds really good right about now…)

  3. 3. Learn Something New 

    While I’m not the greatest chef in the world by any means, learning to cook or trying any new activity can be a great source of inspiration, happiness, or even stress–relief. Challenging yourself with new things this year is an excellent way to either push yourself out of your comfort zone or find a way to relax amidst the chaos. However, simply finding an activity that makes you happy is important too. Don’t limit your ideas—you can do something complicated like becoming a cupcake–baking master, or start off simple with a morning yoga routine.

  4. 4. Expand Your Network 

    No, I’m not referring to your professional network, though that could be the case. Fostering the relationships you have in your life is important, but meeting new people and making new friends is too! Whether it’s in online class, at a job, or simply in a library or coffee shop, there are so many kind and interesting people you have yet to meet. Being friendly and open is a great way to expand on the network of people in your life. 

  5. 5. Find Your Passion 

    College is one of the best times to explore what you’re interested in. I explored one of my passions this semester by taking a course in English Literature just because it interested me—as opposed to it being required. Joining a club to meet people or learn more about an organization is another way to foster new interests and new friends. Finding a purpose or passion will make you more confident in yourself and your abilities and can help drive you to pursue different opportunities. 

Remember that this article is simply a list of ideas to help you get started on making the most of this year. Some goals and aspirations are more challenging than others, but as long as you’re hopeful, 2021 is bound to be an exciting year of personal growth.