New Year’s Resolutions For 2021

We’re all glad to be done with 2020, right? The thing is… rationally, all the nonsense that happened in 2020 isn’t going to magically disappear now that it’s 2021. There is (I hate to say it) a possibility that 2021 could be even worse — although let’s hope it’s not, I don’t think I could handle it.

One thing that 2020 did teach me is to set expectations low — lower than expected. The bar, basically, should be on the ground, if not buried a few inches underneath it. I constantly struggle with expectations (of myself, of other people, of places, of events, the list goes on) and having all of my work, social, event, and vacation plans cancelled, postponed, or otherwise interrupted really did a number on my mental health going into the latter half of the year.

In the interest of being kind to myself (and not dragging everyone around me down), my goals for 2021 are pretty simple:

Get better at managing my social media.

I kind of started blogging again on a whim (after years of not doing it) but I think I like it. I run this blog and ToriBeth Outdoors, but really need to plan content ahead of time and stick with posting to both of them on a regular schedule.

To help with this, I picked up this 2021 monthly & weekly planner from Amazon ($9.99!) and started filling in all my social media plans for 2021. Both this blog and TBO will have one post a week, some new weekly “feature posts” on Instagram, and my shop (TB Outdoor Supply Co.) will have some seasonal items and sales. Shortly after the planner arrived, I sat down and planned out content from now through March. Having this plan really helps me feel better about managing my social accounts and getting content out there in a timely fashion.

Prioritize time spent on books.

I actually picked up my book habit again in 2019 after reading on-and-off for years. I love reading, love books, but would go months in-between finishing a novel. In late 2019, I rediscovered the local library and started borrowing. In 2020, with the library’s lending services curtailed, I started using Overdrive and the Libby app to borrow e-books and read them on my iPad Pro. What was a stop-gap measure has become my new favorite way to read — the iPad Pro is super portable, and the app makes things very readable with large text and whatever magic it’s doing to relieve eye strain.

The best part of using Overdrive/Libby, though, is that getting a book is super easy. I don’t have to go to the library and browse, everything is done through the app. I can even place books on hold and see my wait times. When I’m waiting on a lot of books, there’s an option to browse by books that are available to read immediately, so I’m never stuck without any options. The best part? When I’m done with a book, I just tap a button on the screen and the book is returned to the library. No keeping track of physical books, no trip back to the library, no fines. Easy-peasy.

I generally read before bed every night, which is a lovely habit, but fell out of it a bit during the final months of 2020 because I was so busy doing other things. I want to prioritize that habit for 2020, as well as adding more non-fiction books to my list, and spending more time reflecting on books after I’ve read them.

If your goal is to spend more time with books in 2021, too, here are some of my favorite reads from 2020 to get you started:

Take charge of my health (for once).

This is… a complicated topic. I am, generally speaking, awful about taking care of myself. There are a lot of days (sometimes weeks) where I forget to take my supplements, even though I know I have deficiencies (and will feel like crap if I forget to take the supplements for too long). I sit for most of the day while working, and mostly sit in front of the TV in the evening. Takeout pizza is pretty much a staple in my household. Most damningly, I abhor water and fill the gaping void in my hydration habits with coffee and Diet Coke. (Diet Coke, because my prediabetes isn’t going to curtail itself.)

The upshot of all this is that I know I’m (almost) 35, and if I keep on doing what I’m doing, 45 is going to be miserable (and insulin-dependent).

First things first, the coffee and the Diet Coke are staying. But I have a couple of nice water bottles that I need to get back into the habit of filling and drinking from throughout the day. I’ve already started supplementing my caffeine drinks with peppermint tea and a few begrudging sips of water here and there… especially when I take my iron pill, which I’ve been trying to remember every night.

What I really need to focus on going into 2021 is not sitting all day. Whatever muscle I had (which wasn’t much) has pretty much disappeared over the course of 2020. My goal is to get outside for some kind of walk several times a week, even if it’s just around the neighborhood, and weekends are meant for hiking. I don’t know where all the hiking I had planned for 2020 went (oh wait…), but I need to get my rear in gear and get moving in 2021.

What are your goals for 2021? Hop on over to my Instagram and share, I’d love to hear them!

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