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Setting Resolutions During a Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has created a stressful and demanding time for all. Let’s be real: it’s hard not to adopt a defeatist mindset when you feel cooped up during what seems like a perpetual period of uncertainty.

Photo by Ava Sol on Unsplash

While 2020 might have been a year of despair and frustration, it doesn’t mean 2021 has to follow suit. Every cloud does have its silver lining, and this global pandemic might help you discover something worth striving for. If anything, we’re all better prepared when things go wrong.

With ongoing shutdowns and restrictions still in effect, now is the time to think through and set resolutions for the coming new year. Here’s everything you need to know to start a successful 2021.

Take Time To Revisit, Reassess, and Record

While a quarantine or a shutdown might leave you bored or uninspired, there’s actually plenty to do to start the new year on a foot you’re proud of. If anything, the pandemic has set up the most opportune time to revisit, reassess, and record resolutions.

You might have not been able to make last year’s resolutions but c’mon—no one was prepared for a global pandemic and shutdown. Now that you have made it through nearly an entire year of the worst possible scenarios, you are in a better position to revisit those resolutions and reevaluate whether they are realistic for next year.

Some thoughts to consider when you’re revisiting and reassessing your goals: how is your current mental wellbeing? If regular workday (or school) routines return, will you be able to allocate time to achieve these goals and resolutions? How will social distancing and the pandemic affect these resolutions? Is there anything you can modify to make these resolutions realistic? What do you want to get out of 2021?

After you reexamine your priorities, you can record your (realistic) resolutions. Establish resolutions that are targeted to both your professional and personal goals and rank them by priority. To stay motivated throughout the next year, try creating smaller goals that will help you achieve your more grand and long-term objectives. This will help you find the little things to be proud of during a depressing pandemic.

If you’re having trouble setting proper goals, you can look up templates that are a bit formulaic to give you some guidance. The SMART technique and template is a favorite among productivity experts, where you a goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Oriented.

Set Temporary Resolutions

Another great way to build momentum for the coming year is to set up temporary resolutions that are compatible with the pandemic. These temporary resolutions can also help you achieve your bigger goals. For example, if one of your resolutions is to reach your goal weight and gyms are closed, your temporary resolution could include dedicating an hour of self-care every day. These resolutions might include 30 minutes on your Peloton bike and 30 minutes of stretching, or 30 minutes of meal-planning and another 30 to meal prep for the week.

Find An Accountability Buddy

If we’re all honest with ourselves, we’d admit it’s a lot hard to complete tasks and achieve goals alone. Holding yourself accountable might seem easy in theory but it’s nowhere practical. But there’s a simple solution to keeping your priorities and goals in order: Get an accountability partner.

Just because we’re social distancing now doesn’t mean we can’t stay connected with friends. Friends are typically there for us through thick and thicker, and that’s why they make perfect accountability buddies. Let’s be real: nothing brings people closer together than a mutual struggle.

Take It One Day At A Time

Resolutions—especially bigger and long-term—are a marathon, not a sprint. If you fail to make a smaller goal, don’t fret. You can either make it up the next day or learn from your mistakes and prevent them from happening again.

The most important thing to remember when setting and working towards your resolutions is to be kind to yourself.

You are living in the midst of a global pandemic and operating in a world with several factors out of your control. It is okay to forgive yourself for falling out of routine and it is okay to take a break. Your self-worth is not valued based on your accomplishments. Above all these resolutions, the things you should prioritize the most are your mental, emotional, and physical health. So, make sure you listen to and nurture the body, mind, and soul.


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