9 Inspirational New Year’s Resolutions for 2021

Transforming the new year into the new me.

Dec 28, 2020

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A new year is upon us and many hope that 2021 will bring healing to all. The start of a new year is a time of making positive change, arriving at fresh decisions, and transforming old habits into great ones.

This year, life looks different than it did last December. When the ball drops at midnight this December 31, many will be celebrating in a quiet, low-key way, perhaps snuggled on the couch.

A fresh focus for the upcoming year could be health, mental wellbeing, and connection. Here are nine resolutions that may inspire 2021 to be a great and healthy year for mind, body, and soul!

Try something new

Out with the old, in with the new! It is easy to become comfortable with the familiar and stick to old routines, even if they do not really inspire us. Trying something new need not take one out of their comfort zone, it can be fun!

BestLife suggests listening to a new song once a day, one you have never heard of. Be daring and try out a new music genre. Or, put on your apron and try making a new recipe, maybe choosing an ethnic cuisine you know little about. With your new music and exotic food on the table, life may reveal a fresh, new perspective. And you don’t have to travel far to create a stimulating environment!

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Do one act of kindness each day

Acts of kindness, no matter how small, can have incredible benefits. Being kind actually makes people happier, decreases stress, and leads to an improved sense of wellbeing.

Check out Goodnet’s comprehensive kindness list for ideas. Keep in mind that doing acts of kindness does not necessarily entail going outside. Inspire Kindness has ideas about how to practice kindness during coronavirus. And don’t forget that this does not have to involve helping strangers; being kind to yourself and loved ones is of primary importance.

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Make a date with nature

Nature is uplifting and you need not go far to find it. You can sit in your backyard or on your balcony, or take a walk in a park. Try to go outside everyday even if it means bundling up.

A study showed that walking outside for 50 minutes improves wellbeing, decreases stress, and improves cognition. Being outdoors is also a great way to get vitamin D, and it helps to improve your sleep. Make a promise to go outside every day!

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Turn off your devices

With little entertainment being offered outside the house these days, people are very attached to their phones and laptops. Even a cursory glance at the news can lead to hours whiled away checking Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, not to mention the enticing series offered on various TV platforms.

Scouring the news, or doom scrolling, can actually lead to anxiety and negativity.  In fact, a study confirms that it is better to focus on the good; having an optimistic mindset helps one cope better in times of difficulty. Try your best to disconnect, even if it is for a scheduled 30 minutes per day.

Both Android and iPhones have features to help you monitor time spent on your smartphone. So set aside time each day to silence your phone, be in the moment, and embrace the calm.

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Meditate each day

Meditation can help you relax and build your resilience. It can be done anywhere, anytime, and requires nothing but your presence.

Wake up a few minutes early each day and head to a quiet space, then sit and practice mindful breathing. Start with five minutes a day, and then build up to ten minutes if you can. 

If you prefer a guided meditation or listening to relaxing sounds of nature while you sit, there are many meditation apps you can download that will help you incorporate this important self-care tool into your daily life.

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Develop your creative side

Being creative is good for your brain and for your mood. A study shows that people who are involved in everyday creativity are happier. Everyone has a creative side, and it just takes a commitment to sit down and let the juices flow!

To get you started on a creative New Year’s resolution, try joining The Hundred Day Project. The eighth annual project begins on January 31, 2021. All you need is a commitment to work on a creative project of your choice for a few minutes a day. Participants inspire each other by posting their work on Instagram.  To date, there are 1.7 million posts of art projects done by happy creators!

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Eat more plant-based foods

This resolution is beneficial to both your health and that of the environment. You don’t have to become a full vegetarian, but you can strengthen your flexitarian muscle. There are many fun ways to add vegetarian dishes to your diet.

Aiming to have one plant-based meal a day is a great start, according to FoodNetwork. Swap out the turkey sandwich for hummus, or make a marinara sauce instead of bolognese sauce. Another idea is to try cooking with one new vegetarian ingredient each week. Try putting tempeh in your tacos, making a chickpea meatloaf, or a portobello burger.

You will feel great and will make the earth smile. And keep in mind that January is Veganuary, the time to explore all those amazing plant-based foods!

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Reach out to an old friend

Now, more than ever, it is great to feel connected to others. Many people lose touch with friends they really liked because of a busy career, a growing family, or moving to a new city.

Make a commitment in 2021 to reach out to a buddy you liked a long time ago. It is now so easy to find old friends on social media. It will require a few searches, and then a simple, heartfelt message. You will feel good making a reconnection, plus you will warm an old friend’s heart who will know that you care. As BestLife says, “new is good, but continuity deepens life.”

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Reduce food waste

Food waste is a big issue worldwide. According to Going Zero Waste, food waste would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gas if it were a country. This small and easy change can help the environment and your pocket book! Pledging to start on New Year’s Day is a great way to start the year in an eco-friendly way.

Forbes offers some practical and easy suggestions to waste less in the kitchen, including planning meals in advance, buying only what is on the grocery list, using leftovers, and cooking more foods from scratch.

Freeze overripe fruit, put them in a smoothie, or bake them in muffins. You will feel good about your diminished trash bin, be relieved to see a cleared-out fridge, and will have more money in your wallet!

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NICOLE NATHAN BEM, CONTRIBUTOR
Nicole is an editor, blogger and author who has recently left her urban life in order to be more connected with nature. In her spare time, she’s outdoors hiking in the forest, mountain biking or tending to her new permaculture garden.