Goals for 2021: What I’m doing to ensure a peaceful, grounded year
Pretty much everyone in the universe was excited to wish away the stress of 2020 with the New Year, but just because some numbers change on a calendar doesn’t mean that things are automatically different or better in some way. Hope is valuable, especially in today’s world, but the most important thing is working towards that hopeful future.
Here are some small things I am doing this year to ensure a more relaxed and grounded 2021, regardless of what the pandemic throws at us.
I’ve written about this for the Vail Daily several times during the pandemic, but I’m going to stay on my soapbox for this one, thanks for asking. Taking a bath is always nice, lighting candles and sitting by my electric fireplace bring me peace. But I remember how past versions of myself were so much better about self-care. I would play guitar, choose books over Netflix, a night in over a night out. The pandemic has given me even more reasons to choose those things — going out is kind of out of the question and my Netflix queue is just the same six shows I always watch anyway.
Self-care is anything that you do for you because you love doing it. It can be video games, working out, taking some runs on the mountain, playing with the kids, or baths and books, my preferred format. I’m writing to publicly state that I commit to self-care every day, even if it’s just my 30-minute workout or the hot shower after. And I am going to start viewing those little moments as not something I have to do, but something I do for me.
In the same vein, as long as I can remember, athletics and physical wellness has been a New Year’s Resolution of mine. (For the record, I don’t really believe in those, but I do believe in any chance to grow and change). I’ve had varying degrees of success over the years, but 2020 was definitely a positive entry in that diary. I got better at skiing, learned the basics of snowboarding, learned more about strength training, developed even better vegetarian recipes and deepened my yoga practice.
This year, I hope to see working out and being active as not something I have to do for my health or vain aesthetic reasons, but because I genuinely enjoy it and the way it gives me confidence, quiets my inner critic and shows me that I am stronger than I know. I hope you will join me on this, because we all deserve to feel good about ourselves and the ways we are growing.
Being patient with myself
At the same time, it’s impossible to do anything perfect, and that includes self-care and exercise. I am a creative person: while the coronavirus pandemic, and the passing of my family dog of 12 years, initially gave me a burst of inspiration, I’ve found that in the following months, that has all but vanished. I’m not playing guitar nearly as much as I used to, I’ve made just a few pieces of art and most of them have so far gone unfinished. I’m reading books but not quite at the speed I could manage before the pandemic.
And I have to be okay with that. You don’t always have the energy to give 100% every day, and that’s fine. I am giving 100% of my energy to my mental health in this stressful time and as a natural result, I won’t have as much energy for the things that normally fuel my creative side.
It’s cool to eat ice cream and watch Netflix all night sometimes, but my goal is to always remember the ways I am moving forward and not judge myself for taking time to rest.
Knowing my limits and asserting them
Part of being patient with myself means I have to know where my limits are, and I have to be self-confident enough to vocalize those needs and follow through with what’s going to make me happiest. If I know that doing a hard workout is going to be more of a struggle than a celebration, I need to either take a rest day or find something less challenging to do. If I notice that I haven’t given myself a good chunk of time to honor myself with self-care, I will make sure I have a free evening to do that, away from distractions.
Understandably, it’s relatively easy for me to do a lot of these things. I do not have kids and while I’m not rich by any means, I have the ability to budget for things that will help me take care of myself, and family support in case of emergency. Regardless of your current life situation, I hope you can see the value and importance in striving for the best version of yourself, and that you can use this manifesto as inspiration to take into your own life.
My highest hopes, wishes and blessings for a peaceful, happy, healthy and safe 2021.
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