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Column: Making attainable New Year's resolutions

Rhea Jones 002
Rhea Jones Dear Mom and Dad

We often set ourselves up for failure with our annual New Year's resolutions, and as we saw last year sometimes unpredictable events (like a pandemic) can throw us off our path. As we enter the new year with heavy restrictions and no certain sign that the craziness of last year is coming to a close, it’s hard to be as optimistic and ambitious about the goals we are setting. That’s why this year instead of writing a long list of things I must accomplish before the year is up, I have decided to pick a few small goals that are easily attainable regardless of the state of the world.

First and foremost it’s important to start the year off with a cleanse. Before inviting new things into your life you first have to let go of anything that is no longer serving a purpose. Whether that be clearing out old clothes and clutter to create a more creative and productive environment, letting go of toxic or unhealthy relationships, or releasing worries that are no longer viable. 2020 was a very stressful year for everyone and we don’t want to bring that energy into our new year. We, therefore, have to re-evaluate our fears and decide which ones are feasible and which ones we should leave behind.

After clearing away all unnecessary things you will have more space for new knowledge and ideas. However, with work and school keeping us busy with new information and tasks we don't spend a great deal of time learning things we won’t be tested on or paid for. While we are still learning at school or work, it’s not always about the things that truly interest us. My second resolution for this year is to spend 20 minutes a day learning something that is not required by the school. Whether it be reading a book, watching an educational YouTube video or documentary, or even just talking to someone knowledgeable. This will not only make learning more enjoyable because it is not mandatory, but it will allow me to learn new things that I otherwise would never be taught.

Lastly, and I’m sure I’m not alone on this one, I will be trying to cut back my screen time. Last year when school switched to online and people started working from home I’m sure everyone noticed their screen time increased drastically. With Netflix, social media, and other apps on top of that we are spending a ridiculous amount of our day on our phones and computers. Unfortunately, there is not much we can do about online work or school but we can try to cut back on our electronics use in our spare time. While this might be a hard habit to kick, it's critical that we work on this addiction to stay our healthiest selves.

Like every year 2021 will certainly have its challenges. Perhaps even more than other years considering the still-present effects of COVID-19. However, I believe it will also be a year of incredible personal growth for many individuals. While these New Year’s resolutions may seem small it is often the little habits that shape someone's life. Let’s make 2021 a great year personally and globally!