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  4.  » The Weekly Pulse: Looking Forward to a New Beginning & New Year

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones that you did  do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream.  Discover.—Mark Twain 

2020, as we are all well aware, has not really gone as planned. It’s safe to say that no one had  “2020 vision” about the magnitude with which the Coronavirus pandemic would test us as a nation.  Thankfully, we’ve come out stronger knowing that like everything else this too shall pass. Though we  have all worked to acclimate to our new normal, this year was filled with some really positive things  worth remembering and celebrating, such as: the first Stimulus Package which was beneficial to some  everyday Americans and Small Business owners, the Black Lives Matter movement moving to the social  forefront, the electoral win of the Biden/ Harris ticket, popularization of Zoom Meetings and TicTok, the  COVID-19 vaccine. 

The month of December is traditionally comprised of back-to-back holidays: Hanukkah,  Christmas, and Kwanzaa. Health officials have already urged everyone to remain home with their immediate households and stay vigilant, so why not use this time to be creative and take time for yourself,  as well as set goals for 2021? 

There is still a bright future ahead brimming with optimism and good vibes, where we can enjoy  both indoor and outdoor dining with our loved ones, traveling, and freely hugging family and friends.  Every day, we grow closer towards the return to normalcy. Today, we’re sharing tips that will empower  you to march into 2021 with a fresh perspective, a new beginning, and new norms to embark on while we  continue to contend with this COVID-19 era. Below are ways you can put your best foot forward in 2021:

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  • Analyze last year’s resolutions.
    • While creating your New Year’s resolutions, we recommend you think about  how 2020 went for you. Think about:
      • Did you reach your new year goals?
      • Where did you struggle?
      • What should you focus your attention on in the coming year?
      •  What kept you motivated? What made you lose motivation?
      • What could you have done better?
      • By reflecting on your resolutions from 2020, you’ll be able to see what did and  didn’t work for you. This is a crucial first step that will help you set 2021 resolutions that will allow you to see success in the coming year.
  • Are your resolutions SMART?
    • Once you have a plan in place, setting 2021 resolutions and achieving them is  something that you can realistically work towards You should ensure that the resolutions you set for 2021 are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable,  Realistic/Relevant, and Time)
  • Make your resolutions visual.
    • Being able to visualize your resolution is a fun step, and it’s one that will help  you stay motivated. When you jot down your resolutions, you should write down  why they are important to you. Design a vision board.
  • Make time for Self Care. It’s no use to make a self-care routine and not practice it. Take time to pamper yourself or simply do something you enjoy. Take the time to relax and care for yourself. 
  • Practice Gratitude. Gratitude can be a life-changing practice if you truly commit to it. No matter where you are in life, you are bound to have something you are thankful for. If you’re finding it hard to stay on track with your gratitude practice, you should try using a  gratitude journal.
  • Check-In with Yourself. Mental self-care is just as important as physical self-care. Check-in with yourself regularly throughout the week.
  • Listen to Podcasts. If you find yourself too busy to read, you can try to listen to podcasts instead. Podcasts are a fantastic way to absorb new information while multitasking.
  • Social Media Detox. Take a break from social media and focus on yourself. Unfollow anyone who is not serving you or makes you feel bad about yourself. 
  • Make time for family and friends. This one has hit us all in a painful way in 2020, at best we are limited to small gatherings, and at worst, we’re just not able to see those folks that we hold nearest and dearest to our hearts. By 2021, we can all hope for the days  where we’ll be able to host dinners and gatherings, hug our loved ones freely and just be  able to sit around a table and look back at how crazy 2020 truly got, and it will be a  therapeutic process for us all. 
  • Take more walks. Believe it or not, many people have deemed walking as an unrealistic exercise, but devoting 20 minutes to take a walk has plenty of benefits: strengthen the heart, boosts immune function, improve your mood, tone your legs, and much more.  

Although, without our usual plans or gatherings, take time from work as you would normally do  during the holidays and take time for yourself! Remember, next year is all about doing things to better  yourself, and nothing is too small for that. Use this time this year to read, exercise, sleep, relax, binge watch TV or Netflix. You need to maximize your mental health while minimizing COVID risk, that  should be everyone’s mantra! Wishing everyone a happy, joyous, and healthy holiday season!