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Why I didn’t set any New Years Resolutions this year

I love New Years Eve; it is quite genuinely my most favourite day of the year. For me it’s all about reflecting on the year which has been and looking optimistically forward to the year ahead. It really doesn’t get any better than that!! You see I am a planner, a lover of order, systems, goals, schedules, and stationary to write this all down with multi-coloured pens and highlighters. New Year’s Resolutions have always been my thing, my Nivarna; I know it might sound strange to some, but for me it is quite genuinely my ‘happy place’. I think you get the picture.

Yet this year, as I reflected back on the year which has been, the year of Coronavirus, cancelled trips, homeschooling, working from home, and less time spent in the physical company of groups of friends, I just felt I needed to do things differently. You see what I love about goal setting is the certainty it gives you; you know exactly what you’re working towards and the milestones you need to hit to tick them off. Yet what I have learnt in 2020 is that plans can change almost overnight. How could I possibly set goals for this new year if I didn’t really know what the landscape of 2021 was going to look like???

So instead I took a friends idea of 21 things to do / achieve / experience in 2021 and focused on this simple question “If I could design my life for 2021; how it makes me feel, who I want to spend it with, and what experiences I want to have, how would I design it?”. The end result, which I will say took a whole month to pull together, are 21 ways I have chosen to live my 2021 by. I feel connected to them in a way I have never ever connected to my resolutions before. They feel me, they sound like me, and they are an aspirational me that’s truly within striking distance. They speak directly to the values I hold dear and the person I want to be, deep down at my core.

I have listed them below in the hope these may give you inspiration to look beyond the challenges of 2020 and the difficulties still to come in 2021. To ask yourself the same question “If I could design my life for 2021, how would I design it?” and then allow yourself to get lost in the possibilities. I know there will be restrictions for everyone about what is truly possible in one year when it comes to designing a truly different life; we can’t all take monumental leaps in one year. Yet we can commit to making small changes each and every year until we get to our own personal Nivarna. I’d really urge you to at least consider writing your own 21 for 2021. Here are mine:

My 21 for 2021

  1. Wear heels more – they make me feel glam and sexy
  2. Spend more time with people who bring me joy and less time with those who don’t 
  3. Laugh more because I have a tendency to be too serious and life is way too short 
  4. Travel more so I can learn more about the incredible world I live in
  5. Weekends are not working days
  6. Say ‘yes’ to new experiences
  7. Say ‘no’ to obligations or commitments which don’t serve me
  8. Be fully present in each moment because moments can be fleeting 
  9. Create an investment habit so I get to choose when I retire 
  10. Stop being afraid to to say what I want, rather than what I think people want from me 
  11. Meditate each day – the calm and stillness keeps me grounded and reminds be of the importance of simply being
  12. Make healthy decisions on what I feed my body more often than unhealthy decisions. Life is about balance not abstinence
  13. Commit to exercise each and very day. I feel so much better for it and my energy and clarity levels soar 
  14. Climb one mountain
  15. Write the book I was meant to write and not the one I thought I should write! 
  16. Date night every week with my daughter because she’ll be off making her own life soon enough  
  17. Finish work at 3pm every Friday so I can enjoy a long lingering weekend to relax and recharge 
  18. Take more photographs so I can saviour all those precious memories year after year 
  19. Read one chapter from a book each and every day – inspiring stories remind me of what’s possible and how incredible the human spirit is 
  20. Switch off from all digital devices at 7pm Monday to Saturday, and all day on a Sunday 
  21. Remember the saying ‘we can only do better when we know better’ to forgive myself of any of my perceived poor choices 

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