Oh, 2020, how you’ve disappointed us all. The lord of human suffering. The master of political turbulences. The king of unfulfilled plans.
I make yearly goals, and I take it seriously. I’d had everything planned, with some big life decisions in the making, before the virus halted most of it. I had no choice but to accept it and switch to short-term commitments, which I described in the article about how I became a better version of myself during the lockdown.
A few weeks ago, I opened my bullet journal and did a quarterly checkup on my annual “to do” list. I’ve created a shortlist of small goals to achieve to step into 2021 with peace of mind and a sense of accomplishment.
1. Help people out.
It’s in the headlines everywhere: small businesses barely survive, the big ones minimize the number of workers. People lose jobs and their income in a matter of a day. Financial problems and mental health issues caused by the new reality we’re forced to live in can turn the brightest day into the darkest. We, as a society, have an impact. If we support the businesses and people behind them, they will be able to keep going. If we think others will do it instead of us, that’s every person thinking the same thing. Who’s out there, helping, then? Not a single human being.
Some options to consider:
- Buy handmade
- Donate to a charity of your choice
- Offer support to friends and family
- Order take out from restaurants
- Shop in small, local shops
- Donate blood
2. Invest in yourself.
This year taught us that we need to take care of ourselves as much as we do for other people. In the turmoil of the pandemic, we forgot about ourselves for a second. That’s understandable — there’s so much going on in the world. If you’re one of those people, for the remaining days of the year, focus on yourself. Try to step up your game and invest your time into something that’ll give you a profit. It’s never too late to improve who you really are.
You can, for example:
- Read a book
- Watch a documentary
- Complete an online course
- Learn a new skill
- Try something new
3. Let go of toxic people.
Here comes the harsh truth: situations with toxic people are unlikely to be resolved by themselves. In fact, cutting contact is recommended by therapists as one of the most effective ways of separating yourself from the toxicity. It is possible to have healthy relationships. Promise yourself to do something about negative situations with people who drain your happiness.
Make sure to:
- Be more assertive
- Recognize the red flags
- Seek help from a professional
- Evaluate your relationships
4. Do a digital cleanse.
This is something I’ve been doing at the end of each year for a while. In 2020, we probably spent online more hours than we did any previous year. In 2021, not much is going to change. Whether you’re playing Among Us or working remotely, you’re creating a digital mess. If the concept of a digital cleanse is new to you, there’s a big chance that you’ve been collecting digital garbage for years now. You wouldn’t keep a bag full of dirt in the middle of the kitchen floor, right? If you clean the room you spend all of your time in, why don’t you clean the devices you use daily for 365 days? Phones, tablets, and computers need some love, too!
Ways to do a digital cleanse:
- Organize desktop
- Remove browser cookies
- Scan your computer for viruses
- Uninstall programs you no longer use
- Check your passwords and change them, if necessary
- Delete old, unimportant emails
- Get rid of unwanted pictures on your phone
5. Finish what you’ve started.
Unfinished business is going to haunt you and keep being a pain in the butt in the future. Deal with the unfavorable matters and situations before you step into the new year. Think of it as an investment. The time put into dealing with what you’ve started now, in 2021, will flourish into your peaceful state of mind where all the troublesome matters are a history.
- Close the deals and commitments
- Resolve conflicts
- Pay debts
- Make the decision you’ve been avoiding
Before fireworks light up the sky announcing the end of 2020, make sure to do something to make you feel better and accomplished. The list I compiled is the minimum you can do for yourself in November and December. Don’t rush buying Christmas presents — there’s plenty of time for that. Take care of the situation inside and around you after the exhausting year you’ve experienced.
Remember — it’s not about how you start, but about how you finish.
Toast to a healthy, successful 2021, and then… go ahead and live the next 12 months exactly the way you want. Don’t worry, 2020 has left the chat.