I think we can all collectively agree that the last thing on our minds is a New Year’s Resolution. Although I’ve already caught glimpses of morning news broadcasts talking about losing quarantine weight, I like to think most of us are fully aware that COVID-19 doesn’t expire at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Though it is exciting to have almost-certainty that an effective vaccine is coming our way in 2021, I know I’ve learned my lesson about great expectations. I certainly don’t think there’s anything wrong with goal-setting as I have been making vision boards for the past two years and may even do one next month; however, I don’t have to be the one to discuss the harmful effects of setting overly ambitious goals at the beginning of the year and falling into a pit of self-pity three weeks later.
In 2019, I set out to achieve monthly goals and I was able to do this consistently for six months. Though I didn’t complete a full year of it, I demonstrated to myself that I can be consistent and committed to anything I set my mind to. I have decided to adopt that going into 2021 since the biggest lesson of 2020 has quite possibly been that tomorrow is never promised. Why aim to have something by June if I can start working on it little by little now? My December goals are all about self-care:
- Journaling daily
- Meditating at least three times per week
- Stretching my body every morning
- Learning new breathing exercises for my anxiety
- Religiously sticking to my skincare routine
- No alcohol on work nights (includes wine!)
- Exercising four to five times per week
- Not using my phone the first and last hour of my day
These are just a few of the personal goals I’ve set out for myself this month. Self-care is a 24/7 thing for me, but I’ve noticed I’ve needed a bit more attention to myself as of late, so I want to walk into 2021 feeling better within. For me, it is more effective when I add structure, but for many people, setting goals can feel constricting. It can place unnecessary pressure to complete something by a 30-day deadline. The best part of a New Year’s resolution is that the start date is arbitrary so long as you do *something* before December 31st. Still, structure has its own benefits and I think that is one of the biggest things we all lost this year that we sometimes need to keep us from going off the rails.
Seeing as we’re still in the beginning of December, you can start a new goal for yourself this month too–no matter how big or small. Want to decrease how often you’re on social media? Explore the functions in your phone’s settings that monitor screen time so you can use metrics to track your progress. Tired of having a messy house/apartment? Set reminders for cleaning days throughout the rest of the month for first thing when you wake up on your off day. Want to start exercising but it’s too cold to go outside and you aren’t going to a gym due to COVID? There are PLENTY of at-home workouts on YouTube that do not require equipment. A personal favorite that my boyfriend introduced me to is Chuy Almada and another Internet fave that I turn to is Chloe Ting; her ab workouts are around 10 minutes and I’m always happy I did something instead of skipping my workout for the day because you do feel the burn. For extra measure, write your goal(s) down on a piece of paper–there is nothing more gratifying that crossing something off a list when it’s complete.
There really is no loss to goal-setting because the start and end date is completely up to you. Sometimes things don’t work out and that’s okay. You either learn a lesson about interfering habits or you prove to yourself that you can be committed to something, regardless of the outcome. You don’t have to have an extensive list like me. As a Taurus, I am definitely rooted in my habits, but this is not realistic for most people, and work-from-home does not mean we have more time on our hands. This is why I urge you to start small or set out for something within your means because you’d be amazed what you can do in a matter of a few weeks. Start today!
What are some goals you’ve been putting off due to the quarantine slump? Let me know in the comments!