I’m not really one to make New Year’s resolutions, but after the past year, I feel it can’t hurt to manifest some positive thoughts into the universe. The pandemic definitely threw a wrench in my plans, as it has for many others. The goal for 2021 is to refocus and recenter myself after this tumultuous year, and these 21 resolutions will help with that.
1. Make time for self-care.
You can’t pour from an empty cup. It’s easy to put yourself last when you’re a single mom, but this is number one for me this year. Even if I have to hire a babysitter in order to take a bubble bath, I’m doing it.
2. Workout consistently.
I don’t think weight loss should be a resolution, because the number on the scale isn’t what matters. Physical fitness and being healthy overall is. I want to feel good, not just look good. Since exercise is also a great stress reliever, this resolution does double-duty.
3. Try out a new type of exercise.
This goes back to resolution number 2, but it deserves a separate spot on the list because it’s really going to push me out of my comfort zone. I’m talking about something totally unexpected and fun like rock climbing, snowshoeing, or even starting to ruck.
4. Rediscover an old hobby.
I pretty much dropped all my hobbies when I became a mom, and even more so when I became a single mom. This pandemic has forced me to see that life is really short and I need to fall in love with my life again, so rediscovering my love of dance, photography, and journaling is definitely on the to-do list.
5. Set aside quality time with my kid.
We used to go on fun adventures together all the time, but spending 24/7 together for the past 10 months has allowed us to take that quality time for granted. We’re in the same house, but not really spending quality time together. That’s why this year is all about reconnecting and starting to experience adventures together again, even if we have to social distance.
6. Read together.
I started reading a book the other day and my little one grabbed his book and curled up next to me. I’ve always made reading for enjoyment a priority for me, but never for him. Doing it together will also give us some extra quality time and teach him the value of reading for enjoyment, not just for knowledge.
7. Put pen to paper.
I’m a writer, but I rarely write. I type. So many of us do. When’s the last time you sat down and wrote out anything more than your signature or a few checks? There’s something about opening up a journal and putting pen to paper that just can’t be replicated by clicking keys.
8. Focus on quality, not quantity when it comes to relationships.
In the age of instant gratification, it can be difficult to build quality relationships. When something goes wrong, we can just go on a dating app or social media and find a new date or a new friend. Surrounding myself with good people and building quality relationships is my goal over quantity this year.
9. Meet people the old-fashioned way.
This might be one of the toughest items on this list because of social distancing, but meeting people online just takes away that personal connection and can make it difficult to build those quality relationships I mentioned in number 9. I’m hoping that by rediscovering my favorite hobbies, I will be able to achieve this, even while wearing a mask.
10. Reach out more.
The pandemic has really brought to light the need for personal connections when it comes to your mental health. That lack of social interaction has forced many of us to reach out virtually, and I’ve made a lot of great connections because of it. I’m guilty of getting caught up in my own routine and forgetting to check in with those connections though, so that’s a definite priority for me this year.
11. Retrain my brain to look for the good.
This past year was anything but perfect, which can make it easy to get caught up in a pattern of “why me” and negative thoughts. There really is a science behind thinking positive thoughts and good things happening. Keeping your goals at the forefront of your mind, by journaling or thinking about them frequently, will train your brain to look for the things that will help you reach those goals in the people and opportunities around you.
12. Unfollow the toxic.
If I want to achieve my goals, I have to let the negative things go. That starts with eliminating anything toxic in my life- from people to foods to bad thoughts. Unfollowing people on social media that perpetuate the toxic is my first step towards achieving peace within myself.
13. Empathize more.
It’s easy to get caught up in your own troubles. I know as a single mom, I have days where I’m definitely down on myself and struggle to support others. This pandemic has shown me that we all have our crosses to bear, and being more empathetic can go a long way in helping out our fellow human beings. A simple acknowledgement of their struggles can make them feel not so alone after the mess that was 2020.
14. Feel it and then heal it.
I spent much of 2020 covering up my pain– whether it be from a breakup, the loss of a job, financial struggles, etc. I’m learning more and more how important it is to feel that pain immediately in order to move forward. The longer it sits and festers, the harder it is to move on from it. Feel it and then heal it is the emotional goal for 2021.
15. Learn to let go.
This involves a lot of things- toxic relationships, control over situations, even something as simple as clothes I no longer fit into. I’m a hoarder of a lot of these things, and 2021 is going to be the year of letting the things not meant for me go, so that life won’t feel so heavy.
16. Establish a better routine.
Working from home and participating in remote learning has really messed up any sort of routine I had established as a single parent. It leaves me working til midnight most nights, and that lack of recharge at bedtime has left me in a zombielike state for most of 2020. Early to bed and early to rise is the goal for the new year.
17. Less screen time.
In the age of social media, this can be a difficult task, but just like limiting screen time is good for kids, it can be equally beneficial for adults. Particularly before bedtime, it’s important to get off the devices and allow your brain to prepare for a restful night’s sleep. The blue light emitted from screens can interfere with your body’s ability to make melatonin, a key hormone for quality sleep.
18. Take help when it’s offered.
I think a lot of us single parents just think we can do it all on our own. We don’t want to burden anyone else, but the truth is, there are a lot of people willing to help if we open ourselves up to accepting it. Don’t be afraid to take people up on their offer to babysit. It’s not selfish- it’s necessary.
19. Keep long-term goals in mind.
When I first became a single parent, I focused a lot on the task at hand and less on the bigger picture. This helped me feel not-so-overwhelmed at first. Now that I’m over the hardest part, it’s time to start looking at the big goals and doing what I need to do to get there.
20. Don’t text the ex!
This goes for any type of ex…whether it be romantic or a friend. They’re an ex for a reason, and they didn’t change. I had to learn this one the hard way last year, and I’m certainly not repeating that pattern in 2021.
21. Give myself a pat on the back.
2020 was hard! No one was prepared for it, so if you’re reading this right now, give yourself a pat on the back while I do the same. We survived it. It made us stronger. We can tackle anything 2021 has in store for us. Believe it. Manifest it into existence. Last year made me strong. This year, I’ll be happy.
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