Starting Fresh in 2021
All in all, 2020 was not the year that any of us predicted it to be. I’ll never forget New Year’s Eve 2019, when everyone was absolutely elated that the notorious Roaring 20’s had returned; it was to be a year full of wonder and excitement. However, soon after the new year hit, we were bombarded with rumours of a deadly virus spreading about. As a result, we have found ourselves currently in the crazy midst of a worldwide pandemic. Of course, the challenges just kept on coming; the dreaded murder hornets, the deaths of many beloved celebrities, such as Kobe Bryant, and the devastating Australia bushfires which killed or displaced about 3 billion animals. Even so, we made it through the challenging year, and we have found ourselves in the beginning of the long awaited 2021. As we welcome the first few weeks of the year, I have been thinking a lot about how I will take on the new year. It’s practically a new world out there, as 2020 changed every aspect of my life. Although we are practicing social distancing and self-isolation, that does not mean we cannot try to create a better, healthier, and happier year for ourselves.
Starting fresh is much more difficult than one ever perceives it to be. When we finally build up the courage to move forward and start fresh, it seems so simple from an outside point of view. At first, it’s easy. But as time goes on, it gets harder to cope with and adjust to. Only someone who has tried to start fresh knows how hard it can be. It has nothing to do with your external environment, but everything to do with your mindset. When establishing a fresh start, people always mix up starting fresh, and starting easy. Sometimes we think that when we start in a new place, all of our old struggles are gone. But they’re not. We have reached 2021, and the virus is still just as scary as it was back in 2020. But this time, we know it and we get to choose how we are going to move forward with that knowledge. Ask yourself, how am I going to proceed? Yes, the year has indeed changed, but how are you going to change with it? Below, I have included some personalized tips on how to kick off 2021 in a new, vigorous way.
Establish Where You Are Now: In order for a fresh start to occur, you have to establish your starting point. It is completely ok to not be where you want to be; after all, that’s why you want a fresh start. Test yourself on what you want to change. For example, if you want to spend less time on social media, see how long you can go without being on it. Try to watch a movie, read a book, or write something. Remember to be honest with yourself, and do not sugarcoat it.
Start off Small: I would strongly recommend starting off by making some minor changes. Maybe eat something healthier for breakfast or slowly decrease the amount of time that you spend on your phone. In the end, it’s the small changes that end up being the most effective.
Remind Yourself That It Is Ok to Experience Negative Emotions: Do not be too hard on yourself when you try to start fresh. Try to separate your personal issues from the ones that revolve around the pandemic. Like I said before, it’s not the state of your outside environment that needs to change, but your mindset and attitude towards it. We are going into the year just as we ended it, but how are we going to make this year more tolerable for ourselves? Being positive does not mean that you are happy every day of the journey. It means that you go to bed after that long, strenuous day and tell yourself that better days are coming.
Prepare Yourself: When you are in the process of making some changes to your mindset and lifestyle (especially under these trying circumstances) you will hit a lot of roadblocks and obstacles. There will be days where you hit a relapse and fall back into old habits, but that’s only natural. Remember that these obstacles do not define you as a person. You are not defined by the challenges you face. Be gentle and kind towards yourself.
Every day is a new opportunity for you to change things for the better – hang in there!
CBC. “About 3 billion animals harmed in Australian bushfires, WWF says.” https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/australia-bushfires-1.5666994