Nine “New Year, New Me” Ideas That Aren’t Resolutions
by Gabriela Herstik
HAPPY NEW YEAR. As 2020 comes to a close, we’re left looking back at the good, the not-so-good, and the downright ugly. One thing that’s for certain? 2021 is going to be all about setting ourselves up for emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical success. So why not try these nine ways to make 2021 your year, no New Year’s resolutions necessary? Little things can make a big difference, and these small changes are no exception.
This year is going to be the one when you put our own needs first, when you honor where we are no matter what, and when you recognize the importance of community. Can we make 2021 the year of asking for help and as we allow ourselves to accept support? Yes! Can we make 2021 the year of treating ourselves without guilt? Absolutely! Can we make 2021 the year of self-compassion and helping others? You betcha! Read on for some ways to make sure 2021 is your most emotionally fulfilling and spiritually satisfying year yet!
1 Make self-care a priority.
Self-care isn’t just one thing, and it’s not the same thing for everyone. Basically, self-care means taking time to focus on things that contribute to your wellbeing. Self-care can be taking a bath, going to the doctor or therapy, scheduling thirty minutes for yourself to read at night, or simply saying no to going out. In 2021, try making self-care a priority. See if you can do something small for yourself every day — even if it’s taking five minutes in your morning to turn your phone off and enjoy your breakfast without thinking of work. Get creative!
Also, remember to have compassion for yourself. You’re not perfect, and there are going to be days when you’ll mess up. But guess what? That’s totally okay. Perfection is overrated anyway.
2 Move your body more, feel your feelings more.
Have you ever been to a yoga or fitness class and all of a sudden you feel super emotional and you may start crying? It sounds crazy, but it happens! Our emotions live in our bodies, not our heads, and when we start to move our bodies, sometimes these feelings bubble to the surface. As scary as it can be, feeling your feelings is vital. One way to do this is through movement! This can be anything: an online yoga class, an intense workout with weights, or even a long run.
Another fun way to get back into your body? Dancing! Turn on your favorite hip-shaking song and dance the craziest, most soulful dance you’ve ever danced. Let loose and move to the beat. Sometimes this can bring up unexpected emotions, so just breathe into it and know it will all be okay.
It sounds counterintuitive to remember to breathe, but it is so important. When you feel yourself getting stressed or anxious, try taking a long inhale in through your nose, and out through your mouth using sound. Let out that long sigh, or a growl, or a hiss, or a shriek. Get it out! And then continue to listen to your breath. If you’re feeling particularly anxious, you can use the 2/4 breath technique described by breathwork coach Erin Telford,
“You simply inhale for a count of two and exhale for a count of four. When you double the length of your exhale, it signals to your body that you are safe and it turns off the fight or flight response. When you start to get a little more relaxed, you can increase your inhale to a count of three and your exhale to a count of six.”
Even taking a few deep breaths throughout your day can help you relax and find more presence and peace, especially in tough situations.
4 Practice gratitude.
Gratitude is the attitude! There’s always something to be grateful for — a healthy body, a home, a job, the sunshine, friends, and family. Instead of counting all the things that go wrong, count all the ways things go right, and watch things transform. Problems turn into opportunities and abundance becomes the name of the game. By focusing on what we have, we get more of that back from the universe, plus it feels good to be grateful! You can even start each day by making a list of things you’re grateful for in a gratitude journal. And don’t forget to tell your loved ones how thankful you are for them!
5 Set up a cyber support system.
We promise this isn’t as crazy as it sounds. All this means is having a friend or two who you can text when you need a reminder that everything will be okay and that you got this. Try setting up a group text with two of your BFFs who agree to be there for you when you need it most. If you’re having a bad day, feel stressed, or just need a reminder that you’ve got this, you can text the group and ask for some love — and boom! They’ll be there. You can also schedule weekly calls with friends or family, or even sign up for online therapy like Calgary Institute of Counseling if you feel like you need even more support. The key is to have a system in place for when you need some extra support because we’re human and we’re not meant to do this thing called life alone.
6 Record the good, the bad, and the ugly.
2020 was a difficult year for everyone. One thing we’ve learned? The importance of writing things down. Writing things down feels good and it can help us get things out of our head so we can see the world from a clearer perspective. Plus, it makes looking back on the year even more fun. Treat yourself to a new journal for the year, or grab a “One Line A Day Journal” so you can make sure you record a little every day without feeling like the commitment is too much.
7 Utilize mantras.
Mantras are intentional phrases you say in repetition. Though we classically associate mantras with meditation, they can be used anywhere, at any time. If you’re looking to infuse your life with some more positivity, or just a reminder of how incredible you are, you can try using mantras. Create a phrase in a positive framework, starting with something like, “I am,” “I choose,” or “I call in.” This can be something like “I choose to show up as my fullest self,” or “I’m a competent person, who is confident in body, mind, and spirit.”
Try making up your own mantras based on what you need at the moment. You can write these on paper and tape them on your mirror, then them to yourself each day. Or maybe you set your phone alarm for 11:11 and say them then. Repeat your mantra to yourself at least three times, or whenever you need a reminder of how incredible you are. Switch them up and see what resonates and works best for you.
8 Surround yourself with things that make you happy.
If it doesn’t serve you, let it go. We repeat: If it doesn’t serve you, let it go. Life is too short and way too uncertain to spend it surrounded by things that drain you. So we invite you to focus on things that make you feel loved, fulfilled, and happy! Surrounding yourself with people who fulfill you and not deplete you is vital. So why not try to surround yourself with only these sorts of people and things in the new year?
9 Get creative.
When was the last time you made something just for the sake of it? Creativity is healing and making an effort to create more in the New Year is sure to infuse 2021 with even more magick. Plus, this doesn’t even have to cost a lot of money. Go to the dollar store and get some pipe cleaners and make stuff out of them. Dress up in Goodwill finds with a friend and have a crazy photo shoot. Finger-paint, or try a crazy new makeup style just for fun. You can even do something small that adds creativity back into your day-to-day life, like buying some stickers and fun pens for your agenda.
Having some old-fashioned fun is always a good idea, so take that class, buy those paints, DIY like there’s no tomorrow, and more than anything, enjoy whatever this year has to offer.