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new year's resolutions for 2021

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There has been a lot of interesting research done on New Year’s Resolutions – about the kind people tend to make and which ones actually stick. One study found that “approach-oriented” vs “avoidance-oriented” goals tend to be more successful. A great example of this is having a resolution to jog more, versus to drink less. When you resolve to jog more, that’s an approach-oriented goal. It’s about something you can actively do. Drinking less is avoidance-oriented, as it’s something you’re trying to stop doing. Translation: quitting bad habits is harder than starting good habits.

Another study found that there’s value in having what are called both superordinate and subordinate goals – those that rank higher and lower in importance. So, having a combination of large goals like, improve my friendships, and smaller goals like, eat more salad, can lead to better overall success rates.

These can be helpful to know during normal times, and especially helpful to know during this very, very abnormal year. Hopefully, you’ve been gentle on yourself this year. It’s understandable if you lost steam on that manuscript you were writing or website you were building before the pandemic hit. It’s hard to pursue big goals when you’re worried about your health, finances, civil unrest, a presidential transition…you name it. It’s important to remember that when making your New Year’s Resolutions for 2021. Here’s a look at how resolutions might (and probably should) change during a pandemic (and overall sh-tty year).

new year's resolutions for 2021

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Get more sleep vs don’t sleep all day

Before the quarantine, you might have made resolutions about getting more sleep. Between work and social engagements and exercise classes, you probably never made it to bed when you said you would. Now, when there’s nowhere to go, your new resolution might just be to not stay in bed all day. You may have to push yourself to set an alarm and keep regular hours, when nothing else is pressuring you to do so, as studies have found people are spending more time in be during COVID-19, but it’s not necessarily a good thing.

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