If you have lost something or someone this year, you are far from alone. 

Sometimes this fact can be comforting, and other times it can be even more depressing. Witnessing collective grief and tragedy can sometimes make your own personal grief even more exhausting.

2020 has been hard for everyone. As the new decade opened, many of us had big dreams and plans for the year. We weren’t wrong for setting large goals—in fact, we can harness and bring this energy of abundance into 2021, along with something else that 2020 has taught us: sometimes things don’t always go the way you expect them to, and being open to “derailment” will keep us stronger, smarter, and more whole. 

Manifestation is never in vain. If something doesn’t happen exactly the way you expected it, it’s probably because it isn’t the right time, or it wasn’t the right thing. This just means that the thing you wanted is coming at a later time or something completely different from what you expected is waiting for you.

So, what’s the point of setting New Year Resolutions? 

For one, these resolutions won’t make us perfect and they’re easy to give up on after a while. Doing them simply means that you’re putting a concerted effort into self-improvement, which is always good! Discipline is a constant journey. The first step is deciding on your intentions. 

What do you want to do in 2021? What do you want your life to look like? What habits and thought-processes do you want to grow out of? What are some daily steps you can take to make these things a reality? 

When writing your resolutions for 2021, start there. Begin with your goals, and then focus on the daily steps. These steps should be actionable, doable (don’t over exert your future self), and part of a routine that helps bring you closer to your larger goals. Commit to doing your best to follow these steps every day, or week, or month. You can decide on the frequency, but something small should be done at least every day (it can be as simple as drinking water). 

That’s all there is to it. You set your steps and you do your best to complete them. The steps matter more than the larger goal. As this year has shown us, sometimes we aren’t ready for our goals, sometimes our goals aren’t ready for us, and sometimes the world isn’t ready for either (I mean, who really expected a pandemic this year?). But in the midst of chaos, or rather despite the inevitable possibility of chaos, you should still love yourself enough to take those steps and trust they’ll bring you where you are meant to be. 

Bell hooks defines love as “’the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth. ‘ Love is as love does. Love is an act of will–namely, both an intention and an action” (All About Love).

Your primary goal is to love yourself and give yourself what you need to be whole. That means using intention and action to nurture your own wellbeing and growth. What can that look like for you in 2021?

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