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Setting New Year’s Resolutions During a Pandemic

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After everything that has happened, it is difficult to envision where you’ll be in January 2021. From social distancing to working from home, asking ourselves where we envision ourselves in the New Year may seem like a hopeless endeavour. Yet with all the changes 2020 has brought us, it is still valuable to set aside time for reflection on personal and professional goals. No matter your situation, here are some ways you can begin to reframe and reestablish your goals for 2021 and the rest of the decade moving forward. 

Revisit and Reestablish your Goals

When you set your goals or New Year’s resolutions last year, you likely didn’t take a global pandemic and economic downturn into consideration. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced some to slow down and spend time at home while others are working longer hours than ever before as essential workers. Use the start of the year to adjust your short and long-term goals. Reflect on your priorities and identify what needs to be modified or eliminated. If you have additional time, do some early spring cleaning and remove clutter from your home. A clean, fresh perspective, even by changing the atmosphere of your home, can help you adjust your focus to where it is needed most. Make targeted plans about what you want to improve upon, both personally and professionally. Prioritize your list of goals and plan for how you’ll attain them. 

Write Your Goals Down

Writing down your goals is an excellent way to stay motivated. Pick organizational tools that work well for you so that you stay motivated to use and refer back to them all year long. It may be a journal, planner, app, or a simple spreadsheet on your computer. There are limitless options to organize your goals, so identify a method that works best for you. Once you’ve chosen a method, record your goals in as much detail as possible. Avoid generalized statements that give you little direction, such as “workout more”. Be specific – “Workout for 30 minutes, 3 days a week.” The more specific you are, the more likely you are to stick to your goals. Writing down your goals can also help you define if they are practical and achievable. 

Have an Accountability Partner

Having someone to hold you accountable when our lives are so upside down can help improve your chances of success. Our goals can get lost within the everyday chaos of work and family life. Sharing our goals with others incentivizes us to stay committed and keep ourselves on track. An accountability partner is even more beneficial when the relationship is mutually beneficial, so consider how you can be motivating to your accountability partner as well. 

Keep Going

If 2020 has taught us anything, it is perseverance. Reaching goals is a marathon, not a sprint. Do not be discouraged if you do not reach some of your smaller goals or if circumstances beyond your control hinder your progress. It is probable that there will be setbacks along the way. Having a defined schedule and practicing habits that sustain your progress will strengthen your physical and mental health, as well as keep you motivated to reach your goal. 

The end of 2021 will be here before you know it, so envision yourself celebrating your accomplishments instead of dwelling on 2020’s setbacks. Challenges bring out the best in many of us. Turning our current situation into an opportunity to position ourselves for future success is something we can be proud of.

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