It is no secret that 2020 has looked different than any year we have known in our modern lives. The stresses and necessary lifestyle changes that happened during this ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic have altered our lives and perspectives in many ways.
If 2020 taught us anything, it is that we need to prioritize our health and wellness – both mental and physical. Our mental health was pushed to its limit, but that doesn’t mean 2021 can’t be better. With every new year, many of us begin to focus on the things that we should give up or lose… lose that quarantine weight, stop using social media so much, or even cutting out entire food groups.
To make this year different, try focusing on everything you want to gain and all the ways you want to grow.
2021: The Year of Intentional Growth
To help you get on the right track and frame some new goals for 2021, we came up with a few intentions and mindset shifts to consider.
1. Start with Goal Setting
Setting goals can happen at any time of year, but for some reason, once January 1st comes around, setting goals seems more natural and necessary. For many reasons, goals can help you realign and give you something to work towards. Not only that, but goals help us stay focused, triggering new positive behaviors as we work towards achievement.
There has been a lot of research over the years looking into the relevance of goal setting, especially concerning motivation across all aspects of life. This motivation surrounding goal theory has been seen as a way to manifest self-efficiency, general ability, and performance.
While that is all great, setting goals can be challenging, especially if you are unsure of the direction you want to move in your life. If you are struggling to set goals this year, consider which aspects of life you want to prioritize.
Do you want to become healthier?
Do you want to learn a new skill?
Do you want to advance in your career?
Are you trying to rebuild personal relationships?
Do you want to grow your savings or your income?
2. Identify Limiting Thoughts and Patterns
For many of us, the biggest hurdle to overcome is within ourselves. That little voice inside our heads is feeding us toxic thoughts and creating limiting patterns. Finding ways to address these internal thoughts and patterns can be challenging, especially if you try to go it alone.
A few ways that you can start identifying these thoughts and patterns is by sitting down and answering these questions:
- What is the most limiting belief I have about myself?
- What is one habit that if I broke, I could be healthier mentally or physically?
Now, these are only two simple questions and not intended to solve your deepest worries, fears, or sorrows. Still, by opening up a conversation within yourself about thoughts and patterns, you can begin to see where some positive changes may fit.
3. Consider a New Routine
One of the most powerful ways to achieve goals and change limiting beliefs is to create a new routine that prioritizes mental and physical health. After all, the better we feel, the more motivated we become. It is often the little things that stack up to become those significant, life-changing achievements.
Some of us may fear routine. That’s because being “stuck” in a routine sounds boring! It doesn’t have to be, though. It can become the way you manifest your dreams into reality, by pursuing personal growth and development intentionally in everyday actions.
A few ways that building a routine can be beneficial for mental and physical health include:
- Sleep: Getting more sleep is easy with the right routine, because consistency will put your body into a rhythm. Performance and quality of sleep go hand in hand, and a consistent time for waking up and going to bed can help build that balance.
- Manage Stress: Integrating stress management and self-care into your routine is a great way to manage the stresses of life. Plus, once you get into a good routine, your time management often improves.
- General Health: Building a routine can take some extra planning and some trial and error, but it is well worth it. Give yourself spare time in the morning to meditate, exercise, or read while you drink your coffee. Avoid just rushing off to work. Prioritize what you eat, how you rest, and when/how you move your body each day.
Tip for Starting Your Day: Start a gratitude journal or write a positive intention each morning. Either one of these is an excellent alternative to looking at your social media first thing in the morning. They can help you feel centered and give you positive energy to bring forward into your day.
4. Get Outside More
Many of us spend the majority of our time indoors, usually looking at screens. While we may have normalized these behaviors, they often contribute to poor mental health and lack of movement. We can attempt to reconnect with ourselves and the world by spending a little time outside each day. It doesn’t have to be crazy. It could be a simple walk in the woods or taking the dog on a hike a few times a week.
If you can, find an outdoor activity that makes you excited to spend time out in nature. This could be anything from skiing to hiking or biking. Whatever the activity, get your body moving outside a few times a week, and you’ll be surprised how much your mood will shift. To excite yourself for the outdoors, it’s even a good idea to buy some new gear that’ll hype you up for a hike or camping trip.
Make 2021 Your Best Year Yet
Positive change doesn’t happen overnight, but it starts within yourself. It occurs when you begin to take small but conscious steps to achieve your goals. It also requires near-constant reminders that no one is perfect and that we should celebrate small victories along the way.
Now, this doesn’t mean ignoring the bigger picture or long-term goals. It merely puts your goals into smaller, digestible chunks to make every new day a new opportunity for growth and progress. It takes your intentions and truly makes them a guiding principle for you to follow and show up to each and every morning.
Make 2021 a year of valuing how you think, behave, and feel.