Happy 2021

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Picture of the word ‘resolutions’. Many people make new years resolutions but they can be tricky to keep. Photo by Breakingpic via Pexels.

2020 – it began with Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt hugging at the SAG Awards. Then, it became the year of the raging pandemic, where everyone began wearing masks, staying at home more than usual and celebrating the hard work done by the healthcare workers. 2020 has finally ended and 2021 has begun. With it comes a vaccine and plenty of New Year’s resolutions, and a hope shared by many: the hope that 2021 will be a better year, with things getting somewhat back to normal after a year of living in a pandemic.  

At the start of each new year, people all around the world make common promises to themselves. When a year begins, there is the newfound hope that making these types of goals will be a way to improve life with a whole new year ahead for people. These resolutions date back to 153 B.C. when Janus, a mythical Roman god with two faces, became symbolic. One face looks forward to the new year and resolutions for the upcoming year, and the other face looks backward to look back on the past and be forgiven for wrongdoings in the previous year   

Some of the most common new year’s resolutions include getting in shape, losing weight, spending less money, enjoying life more, getting organized, learning or trying something new, traveling more, breaking addictions, reducing stress, feeling healthier and spending more time with loved ones. The commonality among all of these goals is the newfound hope for a better year, and with a new year comes endless possibilities for a person to feel better about themselves and the life they live. But are these types of hopeful promises healthy, especially if they don’t end up happening?  

In the end, the problem is whether or not making these resolutions is beneficial to the individual. Making ambitious goals without coming up with a strategic plan to achieve those goals isn’t the healthiest option, in terms of feeling a sense of fulfillment with the coming new year. According to UAB Medicine News, less than 8% of people actually stick to their resolutions each year, and yet millions of Americans keep on setting these goals. There are a few ways to attempt to keep these New Year’s resolutions, but the majority of people do not, as shown in the estimates. Most people aren’t setting the right types of goals. Most people are not setting specific enough resolutions. Most people aren’t making resolutions with positive language. And most people are making resolutions that are not about themselves. A goal needs to be oriented for the individual, and instead people tend to be influenced by society and what others are doing. Instead of focusing on long-term changes, people should try and work on the short-term, easier changes, like cooking something new, donating old clothes, practicing breathing techniques or keeping a daily planner    

With the start of 2021 and a new year, new goals are being set. Right now, there is a hope for the end of this virus, and with it comes the hope for a much better year. To make things more enjoyable in a time of such uncertainty, people may find it helpful to make very structured, short-term goals to better themselves. Instead of following the crowd and making the goals that everyone sets, people should focus on what’s best for their wellbeing during this time, making a realistic, planned-out goal. That is the only way to properly ring in the new year, so cheers to a happy and healthy 2021. 

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