2021 New Year’s Resolutions: An Invitation NOT to Set Them



No one will deny that 2020 was terrible. You made plans and then set them on fire because nothing went as planned in 2020.  


Now the vaccine is in sight, and you’re ready to reclaim your normal – hit the gym five days a week, meal plan, read three books a month, volunteer more, all the things you did in 2019. It’s time to break out your vision board and construct your new you, right? But for 2021, I invite you to do something as you sit down to start planning your new year’s resolutions … I invite you to … wait for it … DON’T


Now hang on. Don’t come for me. Listen.


Don’t set any new year’s resolutions with HARD goals— the kind of goals with rules. Instead, I invite you to continue to do the things that nourish your soul and don’t feel the need to punish yourself for any allowance you gave yourself in 2020. Having lost my mom when I was 15, there is one thing I’ve learned about grief and trauma— you don’t fix it or move past it by making a wildly fast and dramatic swing in the opposite direction. 2020 was traumatic for most, if not all, of us. We all lost something. It will take us all time to recover from 2020, as it should! Just as you wouldn’t run a marathon after giving birth, I’d like you to think of 2021 as a sort of postpartum period. A time to understand your new normal and accept it may look different than it did pre-2020. I’m not saying eat pizza every day, but I am saying continue to give yourself the space and the grace to slowly return to a life you want.


I know this is going to be hard. As a Type A, Enneagram 3, setting goals is something I love doing. But as a person who struggles with depression and anxiety, not meeting said goals sets me on a collision course of self-deprecation. So for 2021, I’m not setting them. I’ll continue to do the things that make me happy, but I won’t turn them into musts. I’ll work out, sure … but not with the goal to lose 20 pounds. I’ll eat healthier (when I want to) but again, not with the purpose of over correcting all the takeout I consumed in 2020. I’ll read books when my kids allow it, but not with the goal of reading a new book every month.


It doesn’t need to be a new you in the new year. The fact that you’re alive is a miracle (Hamilton heads – don’t let it go over your head). Truly I’m not sure I even want a new me. 2020 taught me that I’m strong and resilient. I can make the changes necessary to keep myself and my family as healthy as possible. I won’t apologize or regret any decision I made in 2020 because they were made with the sole purpose of getting us to 2021.


So I’m asking, heck I’m begging you, my friends … as 2021 gets started and the world begins to open back up, allow yourself to enjoy it (responsibly, of course).