2021 is right around the corner, and that means we’re all making resolutions. Based on how 2020 went, there’s nowhere to go but up. Sure, we might not have any certainty with regards to our political stability, but there are always reasons to be optimistic. Here are some great realistic resolutions for 2021.
- Ditch Gatorade: One of the reasons major diet resolutions don’t stick is because there’s a desire to get immediate results by dropping every single unhealthy habit. But changing your diet is the same as quitting a drug: you’re not going to be successful if you go cold turkey. Start with just a single thing, like Gatorade for instance, to exclude. That way you won’t have to completely drop your bad habits, but wean yourself off of them.
- Become a Weekend Drinker: College is a slippery slope from casual drinking to day drinking to straight up alcoholic tendencies. After a couple of months of almost daily drinking (and twenty additional pounds gained as well), an easy solution was changing the days you drink to the most fun days of the week. That way you can still enjoy parties without having to deal with daily hangovers.
- Find a New Activity, Not a Gym Membership: Gym memberships are expensive, a major hassle, and not exactly safe in the age of COVID. Instead, try finding a physical activity that can provide some of the same benefits. Exercising is a state of mind, and there are plenty of activities that can provide the same health benefits without explicitly seeming like exercise.
- Rearrange Your Diet to Include Past Duds: Your taste buds are always changing, so bring back some foods you might have written off in the past. Just this year I’ve discovered that cauliflower kinda slaps if you prepare it right, and that’s the major takeaway I’ve culled. Most food is delicious if you prepare it correctly.
- Embrace Chicken: Sorry vegetarians, but this is the trick that I’ve adopted to easily lose weight. The great thing about chicken is that it can be prepared in a ton of different, equally delicious, equally healthy meals, without becoming tiresome from overeating the same type of meat. As long as you don’t fry it, there’s no way you can go wrong by adopting more chicken into your diet.
- Take “Album Breaks”: Structuring your breaks is the healthiest way to make the most of them while staying organized and on track to complete whatever you are working on. My favorite example of this is an “album break”. If you’ve been working for hours, put on an album and don’t go back to work until the album is over. It’s a great way to give yourself a mental break and clear your mind before getting back to work.
- “Five Extra Minutes”, not “Five Extra Hours”: There’s a tendency, on everybody’s part, to give a lot more than what would be considered healthy. But the reality is that it’s mostly a mindset and not a reality. Any time you think you need to devote hours to something in order to get it done, embrace the mantra “Five Minutes, not Five Hour”.
- Try Not to Mention Work Too Much: Your job is a major part of your life. It takes up significant amounts of your time, and more often than not there is always something to grouse about. Why would you spread that annoying habit to the time outside of work? You’ll find out that you and your friends will be a lot happier if most of your work angst stays in the office.
- (Safely) Go to the Social Gathering: This would be an absolutely disastrous piece of advice for 2020. But it’s looking like 2021 might just bring the global pandemic to a more reasonable level of safety, and god willing we might just be able to have social gatherings again. The ones for work can often be lame, but they are the quickest way to make office friends and be clued into promotion opportunities. Don’t let these slip by, but make sure they’re safe.
- Have a Specific Homework Area: Most people already have this, either on purpose or unwittingly, but if you haven’t embraced the idea of having a specific area to do your work at home, it’s time to. Having that separated area for work makes it easier to complete the work and doesn’t sully the other parts of your house by getting them associated with work.
- Spice up the Virtual Date: We’ve all had to adapt our dating habits to COVID. I’m pretty sure Tinder’s stock is through the roof right now, and any of us who actually got passed the initial swiping stage have had to be a little more creative with our dates. Virtual dates are probably here to stay, so it’s time to embrace the new normal of doing virtual games for a first date and make it a resolution.
- Be a Little More Disconcerting: The major lesson is basically love yourself. We’ve been up way too late and spent way too much time swiping. It’s time to raise your standards and stop messing around with scrubs. If you know you go for a certain type of person (and if it hasn’t ended well before), just try filtering out those characters. It will lead to a lot more happiness further down the line.
- Breathe: Do it, right now. Take a much deeper breath than you think is necessary. Really exaggerate it. Now exhale. It’s the simplest, least obstructive thing you can do anywhere and anytime you’re feeling stressed, confused, or irritated about anything. Yeah, it sounds dumb, but we don’t do it enough. We should normalize taking deep breaths in any situation.
- Be nicer to yourself, you idiot: There’s a bit of self-actualization involved with this one. If you actively treat yourself like a better person, the weirdest of things happens. You actually become a better person. You need to be your own number one fan, because if you’re incredibly hard on yourself constantly, other people are going to pick up on it and think it’s okay to treat you that way. Will yourself into being a better person.
- Drink Water: This could have (or should have) been in the health section, but it also drastically affects your personal mindset. It’s amazing how calming and stabilizing just an extra glass or two of water a day can be on your personal well being, so embrace the agua as a resolution in 2021.
- Keep wearing your mask: Seriously, just because we have a vaccine doesn’t mean COVID suddenly disappeared yesterday. Keep wearing your mask, because anyone who doesn’t is an inconsiderate asshat.
- Reconcile with your Place in the Vaccine Line: I’m honestly amazed by the sheer stockpile of vaccines currently being cultivated by the drug companies awaiting an official rollout. It means that there’s a certain level of optimism about the timeline of fully eradicating (or controlling) the disease, but the reality for most of us is that we are probably not going to get vaccinated any time soon. There are healthcare workers, elderly individuals, essential workers, and other high-risk people who need to be at the front of the line. Understand that not getting vaccinated is just part of the steps that need to be taken.
- When Your Time Comes, Get Vaccinated: I don’t want to hear any anti-vaxx bullshit. Get vaccinated. This isn’t a resolution, this is a mandate.
- Keep it Simple: Fashion tends to embrace a “more is more” attitude, which is great for major stars and people who get photographed professionally, but it’s not exactly translatale to the layman. If you find yourself wanting to embrace fashion in 2021, just remember not to do major overhauls. Find a couple new styles and outfits, and start small before you become a full on fashionista.
- Change Out of the Sweats: Yeah, I don’t want to do it either, but sooner rather than later (hopefully) we’ll be able to go back out to bars and festivals and other places where you have to wear jeans, and if you don’t fit into the pair that fit early in 2020, you’ll want to know that information now.
- Stay Optimistic: Look, there’s no guarantee that 2021 will be any better than 2020. But there are reasons to be optimistic. We tend to get caught up in the “worst year ever” rhetoric (and, yeah, 2020 definitely earned it this year), but when people say happiness is a state of mind, they’re not wrong. So here’s to 2021. May we at least get something back that we had lost in 2020.