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Starting 2021 with a New Mentality, Not a Resolution.

Updated: May 2, 2021

By Julia Quynh


It’s 11:55 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, and I am quietly ringing in 2021. Staring at the digital clock I’ve displayed on my laptop, I blankly count down the minutes and seconds left before the year begins anew. This New Year’s Eve is undoubtedly different with the COVID-19 pandemic that has altered all of our plans. This year, I count down alone, instead of celebrating and shouting out the last few seconds of 2020 with the rest of the world.

Instead of making a New Year’s resolution, I space out and begin to wonder. How should I hit the reset button as the new year approaches?

This question brings to me why I titled my article in a manner imploring you to adopt a new mentality coming into 2021, instead of ringing in the new year with the age-old habit of making resolutions.

A New Year’s resolution is typically a promise you make to yourself during the New Year. The most popular resolutions you might hear around you: to lose weight, save money, or be happy. They sound pretty simple and straightforward, but accomplishing these goals is not as easy as it sounds. According to a statistic by the Western Connecticut Health Network, about 50% of adults in the United States make New Year’s resolutions, but, sadly, fewer than 10% actually keep up with their resolutions for more than a few months.

When the New Year afterglow wears off, the ‘fired-up high’ motivation wears off. As a result, you end up with unaccomplished goals, and, more importantly, the feeling of misery. I am all too familiar with this feeling, having failed to accomplish my yearly goals as well. But this all changed when I came to a new epiphany.

It might sound astonishing, but when you make a New Year’s resolution, you ‘resolve’ yourself to accomplishing it. There is no authentic internal motivation behind your resolution, and, most of the time, you are only doing it for the sake of doing it. Most people make New Year’s resolutions on a whim, when what really matters is finding purpose through your resolution. When you understand why you want to achieve your resolution, you will definitely find a way to achieve it, no matter what.

To achieve your resolution, you can't expect to see results overnight! Focusing on achieving a specific outcome in a short amount of time can be demoralizing, if you aren't able to reach your goal quickly. What I suggest, is to start by gradually changing your lifestyle, to eventually reach the end-game of your New Year's resolution that you have in mind.

For example, let's say I want to lose weight for the New Year. But, I can't expect to lose weight healthily by making an immense change to my lifestyle right off the bat. Instead, it would be more beneficial if I were to slowly make changes to my nutrition diet, and incorporate exercise into my lifestyle. Starting with small steps and setting your mind to each task will eventually lead to your personal success.

To make things simple: slow and steady wins the race! One can’t expect to see results in a short period of time, and change their whole lifestyle overnight. So it would be best to start by making small incremental changes to your lifestyle, rather than cheating to see a short-term outcome.

New Year’s Eve is a celebration of the chance for a fresh start. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time for you to get into a new state of mind.

Image: "fireworks" by SJ photography is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0



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