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Resolutions in the Middle of a Pandemic

The first month of 2021 has passed, and for many of us, it feels like a continuation of last year. Many of us have given up on our New Year’s resolutions since we haven’t strictly kept up with our checklists or dream routines. Whether it be working out or practicing a hobby more, we simply haven’t felt motivated to achieve anything. “I’ll do it tomorrow” is a phrase that often leads to this never-ending cycle. Just like that, it feels like the dull and anguishing energy of 2020 has spilled onto this new year. 

Despite these feelings, it’s important to note that though not everything changes overnight, you still can achieve your goals. Change is challenging to implement and execute for a long time. While this may not sound motivating, it’s important to remember that change isn’t easy in order to not be so tough on yourself when you can’t stick to your resolutions. Some days, you’ll be able to wake up at 5 a.m. and check off every goal of your “perfect day.” Other days, you’ll lay in bed for hours on end and probably not get much done. Both of these can exist simultaneously, and that’s perfectly fine.

We often face the issue when creating these resolutions at the start of every year because we tend to put too much on ourselves. While waking up at the crack of dawn, working out every day, changing your entire diet and learning a new language may seem incredible, it’s important to remember that all these significant changes simply can’t come overnight. This is why you cannot beat yourself up whenever you wake up in the middle of the afternoon, work out sporadically, or eat pretty poorly. You will have good days and bad days. You just need to remember that the process to build habits takes consistency, but more importantly, it takes time. Take it day by day. 

Now more than ever, we need to be gentler with ourselves, considering the state of the world. Almost all of us have had our lives changed because of the pandemic, whether it be for better or worse. With these changes, we cannot expect ourselves to be functioning the same way as we would without the pandemic. Many of us cannot see friends and family, go to work, explore, or go to school. Therefore, resolutions this year may feel a bit different. In this same vein, we cannot punish ourselves mentally for being unable to achieve huge goals. Instead, we should celebrate any small changes as massive victories amid such gloom. You should be proud of getting out of bed, getting dressed, trying out new recipes and all the other small life victories. Right now, this is more than enough!

The pandemic has crept into almost all areas of my life (and probably yours, too), and it’s not looking like it’s leaving anytime soon. So, what does this all mean? Should you just not have any resolutions at all? Quite the opposite! I feel that it’s essential in times like these to hold onto something and look forward to any glimmering bit of hope for a better tomorrow. These resolutions can give us the strength to not feel defeated in times like these. Yet, we should do so calmly while centering our well-being. 

Remember that you have so much time left this year, and while some habits may not be formed, others definitely will! You will hopefully be able to look back at 2021 with a bit more compassion for yourself and feel satisfied that despite the circumstances, something good came out of this year!

Arlette is a third year Journalism major and Latin American Studies minor at the University of Florida. Born and raised in Miami, they love anything that connects them to nature and sunshine. Whenever they aren't reading or writing, they can be found gardening, baking, crafting, or analyzing psychological thrillers. Passionate about all things people centered, they hope to pursue a career that allows them to stay close and accountable to their community.
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