Our 2020 vision wasn’t so bright

Resolutions to brighten up the idea of 2021

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Photo by Peyton Sims

With 2020 coming to a close, we can find it difficult to have hope in a new year.

Story by Peyton Sims , editor in chief

You’re gathered with your friends on Dec. 31 of 2019. The clock reads 11:59 p.m. With confetti poppers in one hand and a drink in the other, everyone anticipates the moment the clock strikes midnight. You may remember cheering in joy with your friends as the new year began. Maybe you even had a partner to embrace while you watched the ball drop in Time Square. Despite how you celebrated, it wouldn’t take long for you to realize that this wasn’t going to be the roaring ‘20s you had expected.

However, wipe the worrisome thoughts of the upcoming year off in an instant. With specific New Year’s resolutions, you’ll be sent down a path of self discovery and will leave with a renewed perspective on life. Before we start, make it your first goal to not dispose of these fresh resolutions likes you’ve done in the past. 

Make a bucket list 

One of the simplest yet most efficient is none other than making a bucket list for yourself. Grab a pen and a piece of paper and get to brainstorming. Take some time for yourself, and begin to reflect on where you want the upcoming year to take you. Do you want to travel out of the country for the first time — if the pandemic clears up, of course — ? Do you want to write a book? Do you want to have a new cultural experience? Whatever your heart may desire, let this be the year that you take action and begin marking up your bucket list with check marks. 

Create environmentally-friendly routines

For the betterment of ourselves as well as our one and only Earth, it’s important that we consider how our everyday actions could be contributing to the disruption of our planet’s future if we haven’t already. When one person decides they want to help, it only inspires more to take action. Whether you begin using reusable bottles compared to plastic water bottles or you set aside a separate can in your household dedicated for recycling, these little steps can open the doors for not only a brighter year, but a brighter future. 

Start journaling 

Speaking from experience, journaling is one of the most therapeutic ways to wind down at the end of the day. Some days you’ll fill the pages with heartfelt emotions from a day of misfortune and stress, or it could be ecstatic scribbles of pure bliss from a moment you’ll look back on for years to come. Taking the time to journal not only benefits the mind, but it also acts as a time capsule for you or your other family members to look back on in the far future. 

Make a “goodbye list” 

Maybe it’s a toxic relationship. Maybe it’s improving your eating habits. Maybe it’s putting an end to an addictive habit. We’re all guilty of holding onto negative mannerisms. This year, it’s important that we realize these types of mannerisms must be temporary. Take a moment to reflect back on what contributed to some of our gloomiest days from the past year or even before then. Begin to make a numbered list and write down the things you want to say goodbye to in 2021. This tactic allows you to not only view your actions from a new perspective, but it also gives you a push-start in the right direction.  

Discover the importance of attitude 

Attitude: something everyone has, but not everyone acknowledges. After a stress-induced day where we feel unaccomplished and exhausted, it’s easy for us to take out our inner emotions on our family members, siblings or friends. When we express a bad attitude, it’s likely we’ll spoil the good attitude of everyone around us. Before embarking into the new year, consider the impact your words can have on others. Be patient, take a deep breath and let your positive spirit be contagious enough to take over someone’s negative attitude.

Limit your screen time 

Yes, yes, you’ve heard this many times before. While a little social media doesn’t hurt, it’s important to realize the moments we miss when we’re engulfed in technology. If you’re guilty of having a screentime that averages around 10 hours per day, it’s time to put those high numbers in the past. Begin adding in walks through the park, picnics with friends or bike rides in your daily routine to give yourself time to reflect on other resolutions you plan to practice. You’d be surprised how much more alive you feel when you choose to experience life rather than follow others’ experiences through a screen. 

Embrace your personal style

We all have a personal style that we’re drawn to, it’s just a matter if we’ve chosen to express it or not. Not only does expressing your style greatly boost your self confidence, it also sends like-minded people in your direction. Make it your goal to be authentically yourself this year and don’t be afraid to display it to others. Whether that means you’re rocking your favorite band tee or you’re making risqué fashion statements, if the outfit boosts your spirit when you walk out of the door, you know you made the right decision. 

Contemplate your career 

The future is inevitable and it’s constantly moving closer. You might as well give yourself time to question where you want to eventually see yourself end up. As many people say, “Begin with the end in mind.” Contemplate your passions and ask yourself if you’re heading in the direction you need to be in order to succeed. Are you completely oblivious as to what’s next or where to start? There’s no need to fear –– use this valuable time to consider a career path that you would be happy in. 

Enhance your hobbies 

Everyone has a hobby. To some it may be crocheting or gardening, to others it may be painting or photography. Take the hobby you love dearly and turn it into a side hustle. Not only will this rack you up some extra cash, but you will also be noticed and appreciated for your talent. Whether you start by taking photos of solely your family and friends or if you start a worldwide Etsy shop to sell your creations, you will now have a newfound purpose to pursue your passion and keep you on your toes.

Take a mental health day 

Everyone needs them, but not everyone takes them. Before our school and work life resumes after our extended break comes to an end, set a day aside where you have nothing on your agenda. This will give yourself time to reflect on the dos and the don’ts that you want following you into 2021. There’s numerous at home remedies that can make your mental health day more efficient ranging from candles, essential oils and meditative soundtracks. It’s time to sit back, relax and plan a year that’s worth being excited for. 

Finish or start a project 

We’ve all been there. Life gets chaotic to the point that the other goals get swept away, never to be picked up again. That novel you started writing last year? Your scholarship application that you didn’t have time for? Now is the time to reopen these projects — or even begin — and revamp them to be better than they were when the idea first formulated in your mind. It’s never too late to begin what you once started. This new year is just as full of many goodbyes as there are fresh starts. Let this moment in time be your call to action. Bring forth the change, and don’t be afraid to hold back. 

Now, as the annual countdown for the upcoming year creeps up yet again, it’s important that we acknowledge that these resolutions are more than just a to-do list, but instead, a vital list of values. Take a moment and look around. You may be celebrating New Year’s six feet apart this year, if you’re even celebrating at all, but we’re lucky to say we’ve made it as far as we did. While this year has had some chaotic surprises, we’re now prepared for whatever inconveniences are to be thrown our way. Have no fear and keep your spirits bright, for 2021 will be full of just as many new beginnings as there will be endings.