After the backyard bonfires have sufficiently burned all of the well-meaning 2020 calendars into a pile of forgotten ashes, it will be time to jot down (only in pencil, mind you) our hopes, dreams and *gulp* resolutions for 2021.
If I’m being honest, I find resolutions — how do I put this nicely — pointless. They are pressure-filled, often unattainable, and lead to a mound of guilt. After living through the year 2020, do we really need any more pressure to be piled on top of the already heavy loads we are carrying? That would be a big fat NO!
It is finally time for some realistic and attainable declarations, meant to lead us to a more fulfilled space.
Here are 21 realistic resolutions for 2021:
- Ditch the diet culture, period, end of sentence. Your ideal body type is your own business, and no one else’s. I can already picture the ads, “Quit the Quarantine 19, and get back to your pre-pandemic self with the help of this program for only 12 easy payments of $19.95.” It’s all a crock and makes women (especially moms) feel inadequate.
- Unfollow anyone trying to prey on “mom bodies” for their own financial gain. Guess what? All moms have MOM bodies because we gave birth to humans.
- Prioritize health. In the midst of an international health crisis, it is important to do things that will keep you strong. Eat foods that are immune boosting and make you feel good. Move your body in a way that is enjoyable. Then have a relaxing afternoon baking and eating cookies with your kids because that also makes you feel good.
- Make mental health as important as your physical condition. Kids, jobs, and pandemics are all stress inducing. Confide in a friend or talk to a therapist, practice mindfulness through meditation. Find ways to cope with anxiety and make sure you are exercising those methods frequently.
- Vow to habitually check in on our children’s mental health and openly discuss healthy frames of mind. They are carrying a lot of baggage too, especially this past year.
- Schedule and protect time for yourself. You need it and deserve it!
- Continue or begin to lend your voice and efforts to causes that matter. 2020 was a productive year of activism. On scales big or small, do not let all of the work fizzle. Real change begins at the local level!
- Find something that gives you purpose and fills your cup. Lend a hand to your community school or volunteer for a charity that means something to your family. Giving back feeds the soul, and there are so many different ways to help.
- Lead with kindness. Thank teachers. Buy from a local shop. Make dinner for someone you know is feeling lonely. Assume the best, first. We could all use more genuine kindness, now and going forward.
- Embrace the freeing feeling of saying “no.”
- Promise to only buy pants without zippers, buttons, or waistbands. No need to fool ourselves in to thinking we will need to dress up ever again! The comfortable life should be here to stay.
- Refuse to be one of those people who hoard basic supplies. Leave some for the sane people.
- Resolve to never lose yourself in the doom circle of social media. By nature, people tend to gravitate toward reading bad news, and 2020 was filled with a lot of really terrible headlines. It is tempting to get caught up in the black hole of gloom. Instead, reach for a book, go outside, delete the app, or simply walk away from your phone.
- Decide to not spread misinformation. Before sharing, ask yourself if you believe the information to be true. Then, check sources, at least twice. Deceptive articles are harmful, as they lead to people believing untruths. During a pandemic, especially, it is vitally important we consider our sources and seek factual ones rather than biased opinions. If you question, please do not post at all. Stick to pictures of kids and pets.
- Vow to not feel guilty for resting. Between career and household obligations it sometimes feels indulgent to sit down without being antsy to get up and work. Just stop and enjoy the book, the movie, or the silence.
- Acknowledge being busy does not have to be a way of life.
- No more comparing! Houses. Cars. Bodies. Kids. Leave it all behind. It is exhausting and unnecessary.
- Embrace no longer being cool. I like coffee and watching the news. I despise loud music and fast drivers. I have no desire to go clubbing because I would rather get up early and take a walk. I prefer sneakers to high heels. For now, all of this is most definitely more than OK.
- Find at least one positive thing that came from 2020, and make it a priority going forward. We began the Friday night tradition of watching a movie as a family while eating popcorn and junk candy for dinner. The kids look forward to it, and so do we as parents! It is something I hope we will always do together.
- Give yourself a major high five for making it through the trash that 2020 brought us all. Being a parent and guiding not only yourself, but also your family through an international crisis is an enormous feat. Celebrate it being over and know you can do tough things.
- Whether you consider one of these suggestions or all of them, remember you are more than enough just as you are.
See ya 2020, no one will miss you! 2021, you might have a low bar to clear, but you better come through with some positive changes. We all need you to be the hose that put out this massive dumpster fire! And when you do, we will toast to you with a crowded party of friends, a shared plate of s’mores and a lot of champagne while happily singing “Auld Lang Syne.”
What are your 2021 resolutions?