2021 is finally here and it has been a long time coming. Last year taught me many things, mostly through hardship, but the great thing is that even the worst moments in our lives can pave the way for something better. This year, I plan to go into it with a positive mindset, and what better way to do that than with the help of my favorite book series. Because New Year's resolutions would be nothing without some old friends.
1. Stop Procrastinating
As a chronic procrastinator, this is a resolution I make for myself every year, but this time I mean it (I hope). Thankfully, in the last few months of 2020 I began to actively work at better time management so I'm not rushing to cram a bunch of assignments into the tail-end of every deadline. And that starts with not taking on too many tasks and only focusing on what I'm capable of doing and what's worth doing.
It's easy to feel like we have to do it all, but that becomes overwhelming and for me at least, it makes me put off doing simple tasks because there's so much of it to do. But it's okay to prioritize a few things and to not sweat the small stuff. And once we can do that, we find that more things are small stuff than we even realized.
2. Focus on the good in life
Bad things happen in life; that's inevitable. And while I can't control when bad things occur, I can control whether I only focus on the bad or not. As someone who has suffered from depression for a number of years, I know firsthand that it's not always easy to find the light in the darkness. But being intentional can help. This year, I plan to write down at least one good thing that happens to me everyday. That way, when my mind starts going to those dark places, I can look at all the good that has happened and remind myself to turn on the light.
3. Read more
This year, I really want to be a better writer and part of being a better writer means being a better reader. I have stacks of books from last year that I have yet to read and in 2021, I plan on at least getting through a good portion of them. Reading unlocks the imagination and this year, I want to have as many crazy ideas as possible to fuel my stories.
4. Do what's right, even when it's unpopular
Doing what's right is not always the most popular choice. Sometimes the world will tell us that we're wrong for choosing to care about other people or that being empathetic makes us weak, but these are the things that make us (and the world) a little bit better.
Even when it comes to being on the right side of history, it often comes with great opposition. Sometimes the thing that's moral, isn't even the thing that's lawful and it may be easier to go with the majority, but no one ever became great by doing what's easy. And no one can ever be good, by doing what's easy either. This year, I want to choose to always do what I know is right (to love others, fight for justice, walk in humility), even when I feel alone in the decision.
5. Allow myself (and others) to be human
Being human is a deeply complicated process and an even frustrating process sometimes, but it can be beautiful. Part of being human is feeling things, even the not-so-fun things: pain, anger, jealousy, etc. And part of being human is also inevitably messing up. No one is perfect and even as I write these resolutions I know there may be times when I don't follow through on them, but that doesn't make it a bust. It just makes me human. And that's the same with other people.
Sometimes I can be too hard on others and expect them to know everything that I know or handle things exactly as I would, but that's me trying to control someone else's humanity. Everyone messes up, everyone does stupid things sometimes, everyone is ignorant about something (including myself). But having the grace to allow people to mess up and feel things differently than we do in order for them to grow is just as important as our own growth.
“As Hagrid had said, what would come, would come…and he would have to meet it when it did.”
- last line of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
There's no telling what 2021 has in store for me, but whatever it is, I plan to face it head on and with a better perspective than I had in 2020. Harry Potter may not have been written in 2021, but the lessons are just as relevant now as ever. This year, whether I follow my resolutions to a T or not, the important thing is to focus on positivity, growth, and actively choosing to be better each and every day. Happy New Year!
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