2021 New Year’s Revelation:
You’re Fine As Is
Looking for things to change about yourself is so 2020. Instead, double down on what you’re already nailing.
As we close the book on 2020, we can all agree that getting through it in one piece was an accomplishment all on its own. Instead of starting off 2021 looking for things that are wrong with ourselves, let’s flip the resolution script, focus on our strengths and find ways to level them up in this new year.
Forget resolutions and start making revelations
At their most basic, New Year’s resolutions are about behavior change, and lasting, significant behavior change doesn’t happen just because a clock strikes midnight. Resolutions are goals, which are easy to fail at and lose track of. The moment you fall short of a resolution, you’ve failed.
This year, we’re swapping out New Year’s resolutions for New Year’s revelations. Instead of saying, “Here’s something I don’t do that I should be doing,” we could say, “Here’s something I got better at last year, and here’s how I want to keep doing that even more.”
Revelations are habits—the things you do day in and day out. They’re easy to stick to, and if you miss one day, easy to pick back up.
Let’s look at some common New Year’s resolutions to see how they can be turned into New Year’s revelations.
Get in shape
Who hasn’t resolved to “get in shape” in the new year? Fitness is one of the most popular resolutions, and consequently one of the most lamented. The first time you indulge in a bagel or skip a day of running—and at some point over 12 months, you’re going to—you’ve “failed” to meet your resolution.
The New Year’s revelation version of “get in shape” would look at a healthy habit you started in 2020, and find a way to grow that habit in 2021. For example, “I started running in 2020, and in 2021 I want to use my Galaxy Watch3 and Samsung Health app to track my running so I can maintain and build on that habit.”
The difference: You’ve identified a habit you’ve already started and found a way to build on it, as opposed to identifying an activity you haven’t started yet and finding ways to beat yourself up for not adopting it.
A resolution that's almost as common as getting in physical shape is vowing to boost your financial fitness. For example, “I want to learn how to budget and stick to it in the new year.” This goal is easy to fail at. Everyone spends a little extra now and then, whether it’s a coffee on the way to work or some retail therapy after a rough week, and that’s OK. Expecting to stick to a budget with no preparation is unrealistic and sets yourself up for disappointment.
The revelation version of this goal would be: “I got a much better idea of how I spend my money in 2020, and I want to start tracking my spending in 2021.” By identifying a financially healthy habit you naturally developed in the previous year and simply tracking it, you’re creating a record of success (the tracked expenses), and the desire to keep it going will be positive reinforcement of your habit. What’s more, you can’t start a budget without knowing your own spending habits (for better or worse) first.
How can you maintain this habit? Samsung Notes sync across your devices and even with productivity apps on your desktop. Keep track of your spending in the app, then enter it all into a budget spreadsheet when you get home.
Connect with friends
“I want to spend more time connecting with friends and family” is a relationship resolution that’s usually made, but every time you have an interaction with a friend that doesn’t feel deep and meaningful (not all of them are, and that’s OK), you’ve “failed.” That’s too much pressure to put on you and your friends!
Rather than turning your friend group into a to-do list, try this: “My friends and I video chatted a bunch in 2020, and I want to keep doing that even after we stop staying home so much.” You could schedule a regular, recurring video chat with friends, or plan virtual game nights with casual social games you can play online with each other.
By focusing on an easy, fun date to get together with friends instead of viewing your friendships as yet another thing to check off a list, you’ll look forward to time spent fulfilling this revelation.
Work on a hobby
Finally, many people resolve to take up a new hobby, like “I want to get better at photography.” Again, while worthy, this is an ambitious goal that can feel daunting. Turn it into a more manageable revelation instead: “I took some great shots on my neighborhood walks during 2020, and I want to get better at urban photography.” Now you’re not trying to learn a whole new hobby, you’re taking something you already enjoy doing and learning a new way to do it.
You could stick to this habit by starting an Instagram page dedicated solely to architectural photography to show off for your friends. Rather than trying to learn a whole new hobby, you’re improving on something fun you’re already interested in and turning it into something that can earn you social cred.