Monday, May 20Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Why I Haven’t Made Any New Year’s Resolutions for 2021

For many of us around the world, a new year represents a fresh new start and the chance to set goals such as getting fit, being more adventurous or reconnecting with distant friends. Those awkward days between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day are usually filled with anticipation and excitement for the year ahead, but it’s safe to say that this time around, it was such a relief when 2020 finally came to an end. Who would have thought at the end of 2019 that words and phrases such as “social distancing,” “unprecedented” and “quarantine” would enter our everyday language as a virus that practically appeared out of thin air swamped the entire world? The devastating impact that the pandemic has had across the globe left many of us feeling helpless. Three national lockdowns later, it’s safe to say that that helplessness has been replaced with boredom, particularly at the government’s prioritising of the economy over protecting the health of the nation. 

Upon reflection, 2020 made me realise how much I had taken for granted. Even though it was not the year that I got through all of my resolutions – many of which were dependent on a covid-free world – it was the year that I challenged myself in ways I hadn’t even thought of before. I never imagined that I would actually sit down and complete various online courses and teach myself how to cross-stitch to prevent myself getting bored during the summer, but I finished the year with those new skills.

It showed me that you don’t have to wait until the new year to try out new things or change your habits and lifestyle. So, when nothing came to mind after I spent the days before New Year’s thinking of what goals I had for 2021, I just decided that I would not make any. At least, not yet. 

I realised that there was no point in forcing myself to come up with ideas just so that I could have something written down in time for the new year when I’m feeling so uncertain about the future, and there’s nothing wrong with that. My main goal at the moment is to just stay healthy and to be mindful of others as we navigate through the pandemic. If you’re in the same position and are having difficulty creating clear goals for the year, don’t be hard on yourself. The smaller and more realistic they are, the better. As cliché as it sounds, 2020 was undoubtedly tough, but we are tougher, and we will get through this.