With much of the world in doom and gloom in December 2020 plus the grip of COVID and the resultant lockdown restrictions, if you didn’t get to create a new year’s resolution list for 2021, you are not alone. Research in the UK by Brandwatch/ Incite UK shows 45% of people who normally do a list of new year resolutions did not do one for 2021.
In previous years the three top resolutions were
- Reduce/ stop drinking
- Change/ improve my job
- Going vegetarian/ diet change
This year the top three resolutions
- More time with family and friends
- Learn something, eg a language
- Read more
What a difference; in 2021 we become more modest, more eager to learn. Given that the UK and for that matter, many other countries are already spiralling out of control on unemployment, there is no end in sight to how bad the situation will be. Strange when we see massive share growth in the stock markets of many countries, far beyond the reality that will dawn. Exceptions may be those companies in the technology, distribution and food supply.
I published my tongue in cheek list of alternative new year resolutions but also had 20 personal Initiatives for 2021. These included, in no priority but not limited to, publishing my second book, no booze three nights a week, visit Vietnam, three exercise sessions a day, read more, play more golf, sail my boat, get more tech-savvy, focus more on close friends, and be more romantic with Jezzabel.
Eleven months to go in 2021, so how am I doing? Some are impossible to start. e.g. Vietnam trip. Some, I’ve made a good start e.g. meeting close friends, found an editor for book two, most days two lots of exercise and a few days three lots.
In the recently published book, Tiny Habits by B J Fogg, the author outlines how you need to breakdown your resolutions. Let’s call them initiatives…. or creating positive habits, break them down to simple actions. As an example, if drinking more water is the initiative on your list, get into a simple routine; place a covered glass of water in a key place you pass in the morning, or leave a glass early evening next to your bed. If reducing booze intake is on the list, create a simple rule, no drinking e.g. Monday/ Tuesday/ Wednesday. If you set the target of walking three days a week; but can’t find the initiative to do it, find walking partners. This creates an additional benefit and commitment on your objectives/ targets. Take specific, but easy/ baby steps.
When you get to the end of 2021 and look back, it will not just be satisfying to see all you have achieved of your objectives but it will add to your life’s experiences and successes. The fact is that nearly all of us are going to face big challenges and in some cases new ones this year. Some of the challenges will come from societal pressure, e.g. unemployment, civil unrest, increase in poverty, currency devaluation, bad governance, etc. Look at what happened in Washington, Delhi, Netherlands recently. On a bigger scale, parts of Africa and South America where they are experiencing a breakdown of law and order and increasing military conflict. Myanmar saw a military coup just a few days ago, with it’s democratically elected leader ‘Aung San Suu Kyi’ being detained again.
2021 will see in excess of another 150 million people falling into extreme poverty.