The new year is fast approaching, and along with it often comes the onslaught of messaging that you should work out harder, eat differently and make yourself smaller in 2021. You know the drill: new year, new you. But why does it feel like that messaging applies exclusively to weight and size?
To be clear, wanting to work out or eat more vegetables are not bad resolutions. They're just not the only resolutions that you can make going into 2021.
Your body, you know, the one that just got you through a traumatic and unprecedented nine months, deserves to spend the next 12 doing what makes it feel good: inside and out.
Here are a few ideas:
Get Into a Regular Sleeping Pattern
Sleeping is the best. By getting yourself into a consistent sleep routine, you can improve your stress levels, improve your mood, bolster your immune system and so much more. So commit to sleeping without your phone (and not scrolling through Instagram until 3 a.m.), and get a new alarm clock in the new year so that you can wake up totally rested and ready to take on the day.
Become a Morning Person
Once you've got a solid sleep schedule in place, you can level up and work on becoming a morning person. It turns out waking up and immediately staring at TikTok while downing your coffee isn't great for your mental or physical health! Who knew!?
An easy way to become a morning person is by setting achievable morning goals. Every week, set your alarm for five minutes earlier and commit to not pressing snooze until you reach a time you'd like to make your consistent wake-up time. (No need to be waking up four hours earlier, an hour or two will suffice.)
Make that time worth it for you by doing things you like to do in the morning. If it's quiet time and reading over your coffee, watching an episode of your favorite show, whatever! The world is your oyster!
Okay, okay, we know that 2020 was a s--- show and we all basically threw our planners out the window, but this is the year to get back to getting organized.
Order yourself a crisp new planner or calendar, and get to writing out your goals for this year. You can stick to a traditional planner, a wellness planner (like this one from Ban.do) or try a desktop planner (like these from Hadron Epoch) to spruce up your work from home space.
Overhaul Your Closet
New year, new style! Take stock of what's in your closet, what trends you're saying goodbye to in 2021 and what your want your new aesthetic to be. Then, donate or sell the clothes you're getting rid of and start investing in quality pieces for your wardrobe.
Read the Books on Your 'To Be Read' List
It turns out that once you buy the books, you're actually supposed to read them. Go through your bookshelf or Good Reads and get going! Start with a goal of 10 books in the new year and see how you do.
Build a Budget
This was the year that we all stayed in and ordered more, so take stock of your expenses and commit to saving a certain amount by the end of 2021. The trick is to actually stick with it. Download apps to help you along the way like Mint for budgeting and Digit for saving.
Buy a Recipe Book and Work Through it Julie & Julia Style
Pick a chef (any chef), buy one of their cookbooks, and work your way through recipe by recipe. This is an easy way to broaden your horizons in the new year, eat good food that you prepared yourself, and impress people with your skills!
Try Out a New Hobby
There has never been a better time to try something new than right now!
Sign up for a MasterClass and absorb anything from acting classes with Natalie Portman to conservations with Jane Goodall.
Sign up for a class with Brit + Co and take watercolor lessons or learn how to invest.
Hop on YouTube or Instagram and search for a tutorial.
Download an app like DuoLingo and learn a new language.
Because we promise you that you are not drinking enough water. Go ahead and take a sip now. You'll thank us later.
Be Kinder to Yourself
And, perhaps the most important (but not necessarily the easiest) of all: Be kinder to yourself in 2021. Here are a few simple things you can do daily:
Start your day writing down something you like about yourself.
End the day writing three things you think you did well.
Brag about yourself on social media (it's okay in moderation!).
Start off your day with daily affirmations.
Cut out negative self-talk and instead talk to yourself like you would talk to your best friend. This sounds so cheesy, but it works. You'd never tell your best friend that they aren't good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, thin enough, etc. etc. etc., so why are you telling yourself that?
We all deserve that in 2021!