I’m Heading Into 2021 With More Direction

In creating my theoretical 2021 to do list, I’ve mapped out where I am on the priorities line-up for Covid-19 vaccinations, where I’d like to travel if CDC advisories permit and all the things I want to do on my first day of freedom when I can toss my mask aside—and dance down 42nd street in New York City without a worry in the world.

My “day in the life” PowerPoint slide would read something like this:

In daydreaming about my ideal day in the new year, it made me reflect on all the things that I’ve come to miss due to the new do’s and don’ts that are a part of our new reality. There’s almost a sense of grieving at the lack of connection, agency and normalcy that we’ve all had to endure for a good part of this year. Then again, all is not lost because the best gifts are wrapped in surprising packages.

When I sit down on December 31st to reflect on what has been and what’s to come, I will choose to be more thoughtful, and dare I say appreciative, of both the lemons and the lemonade. Now is the time to reflect on the new behaviors that you’ve enjoyed adopting, so that you can continue them for years to come. Here’s some inspiration for rethinking and reframing your goals for 2021:

Connection: Distance makes the heart grow fonder

I still appreciate a good neighborhood stroll to accompany my catch-up calls with the team. To make Zoom hangs a little less tiresome and a little more interesting, my friends and I have tried everything from virtual twerk lessons, to digital game nights. When it comes to family, food is at the heart of every visit—so my mom and I started a recipe swap that’s made even more special by trading care packages with hard to find local ingredients. 

Consider all the things that help you feel closer to your loved ones, and have fun reimagining how that might come to life in a new way.

Agency: Creativity and innovation

My husband and I have started to not only cook more at home, but the increased frequency and a desire for variety have inspired us to try making everything from Moroccan tagines to Korean noodles. Our 700 sq. ft. apartment has turned into a super gym with some simple equipment and an array of workout apps. Another upside? I’ve been able to reprioritize what I once considered as essential expenditures and put those savings towards investments for retirement.

Who doesn’t want to go into the New Year a few pounds lighter both emotionally and financially?

Normalcy: Back to basics

What’s great about new routines is that it allows for new traditions. Wednesday nights are now reserved for date night into next year, where we both put on a nice outfit and order delivery—giving new definition to Netflix and chill. What’s also been helpful is defining and resetting boundaries. This involves both physical boundaries like where to work vs. rest, but also emotional ones like choosing to stop checking emails after a certain time of night. 

In preparation for the ball drop at midnight, I would like to toast to you and yours for a healthy and happy new year where you find true freedom in leaving behind the things that no longer matter, and are blessed with a renewed understanding of everything that brings you joy.