Fresh Resolutions for an Unusual New Year

After what has undoubtedly been the longest year ever on Earth, it’s time to turn our eyes with hope and optimism towards the horizon of 2021! 


We are all breathing a sigh of relief that 2020 is now in the rearview mirror. It’s been a year of uncertainty, worry, loss, and challenging conversations. We are all feeling weary and exhausted, ready for some positive momentum in our lives. 


Getting through this pandemic has taught all of us quite a bit about adjusting our expectations and perspectives on what’s most important in life. And with these changes, our resolutions may look a bit different this year. Here is our version of Pandemic-Style New Years’ Resolutions:


  • I will be more productive

INSTEAD: I will make time for rest and recovery.

With the exhaustion of navigating the past year of the pandemic, rest and recovery are more important than ever. On her podcast Unlocking Us, Brené Brown talks about “FFT’s” or “F#*king First Times”, of which this past year was beyond full. FFT’s could include: Working virtually for the first time, having to help our kids learn on a virtual platform for the first time, or having to make difficult social distancing decisions for the first time. She points out in her podcast how utterly DRAINED we all feel because our lives are more full of FFT’s than ever. Being new at something uses our brains in a new way that feels vulnerable and scary. Brené states: “The only way to get to the other side of the discomfort of being new is to push right through the middle”. We’ve all been pushing through the middle for close to a year now, and for goodness sake, we’re all super tired. 


Rest and recovery looks different for everyone. For some, it might mean curling up on the couch with a cozy blanket, hot cup of tea, and a really good novel. For others, it means doing something physically active to rejuvenate: going on a long run, snowshoeing, or a bike ride with a friend. Whatever your source of recovery may be, it is more important than ever that these activities are scheduled into your calendar. 


  • I will be awesome at _____ (work, parenting, adulting, etc.)

Instead: I will embrace being imperfect and good enough.

It would have sounded funny a year ago to say that we are striving for “good enough” in the coming year, but perhaps this is just what we need in the middle of a pandemic. Lowering our expectations of ourselves can actually be an extremely important self-preservation strategy! So many of us are struggling with anxiety and depression due to unattainable expectations that we place upon ourselves–to be the perfect parent, or to excel at multiple projects at work. Instead of our usual resolution to RAISE the bar on our productivity and awesomeness, this might just be the year to lower that bar, even just a little. With a big dose of self-compassion, we can give ourselves some grace through this challenging time. 


  • I will improve my body by ____ (losing weight, exercising more, etc.)

Instead: I will appreciate my body and all it does to keep me healthy and active. 

Our traditional new year’s resolutions often revolve around making our bodies more beautiful and fit–getting to the gym more regularly, counting calories, and sticking to the new year diet. We certainly don’t disagree with efforts to become healthier and more respectful of our bodies. However–as we turn the page on the new year and enter into 2021–let’s show our bodies some well-deserved appreciation for what we’ve been through. Thank your body for all of its working parts, for having a strong immune system, and perhaps even recovering from illness if you struggled with this (COVID or otherwise) in the past year. In order to keep things in perspective, remind yourself that the size of your jeans is less important right now than the overall well-being of your body and brain to maintain the resilience that you need. 


  • I will be strong and handle things on my own.

Instead: I will be strong when I get support from others. 

Strength and resilience have been common themes throughout 2020, as humanity has faced a multitude of adverse experiences. Some families are enduring these hardships with little impact; other families are being hit with multiple crises such as illness, job loss, financial struggles, and even the death of a family member. The importance of connecting with community to weather this storm together has been an essential lesson of 2020. Our strength comes from our connections, and our ability to both give and receive help when we or others are in need of support. 


With these fresh new resolutions in mind, New Years Eve is an opportunity to take a deep breath, fill ourselves with strength and positivity, and be ready to face 2021 head on. We will be ready for new challenges armed with recovery, self-compassion, realistic expectations, strong bodies, and the resilience of community that surrounds us. 


Happy new year from Project Village!

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