skyline buildings under fireworks display

In 2021, I Hope We All Keep These New Year’s Resolutions

1. May we learn how to accept what’s wrong in order to create change.

Change is hard. Acknowledging how much hurt that there is in the world is hard. Acknowledging that we have all had a role in contributing to this hurt is even harder. But there is no way to make things better without accepting that we have contributed to causing this pain.

We’re human. We make mistakes. We hurt other people. We can feel defensive about this – we can be tempted to pretend that this hurt never happened, that we personally could never have played a role in causing it. This kind of ignorance is not bliss – it just causes us to cause more harm.

In 2021, may we learn how to accept that we have caused harm. May we learn how to forgive ourselves for it. May this forgiveness allow us to walk into learning how to be better people with humility and grace. May we never be complacent with continuing causing harm. May we learn how to accept what’s wrong in order to create change.

2. May we (finally) learn how to love ourselves.

Loving other people is a beautiful thing. For many of us, this comes more naturally than loving ourselves. Some of us focus on our love for others as a way to distract us from the parts of ourselves that we can’t learn how to like, let alone love.

I’m not saying that you need to fall in love yourself before you fall in love with someone else – some people connect with truly beautiful souls who teach them how to see the beauty within themselves. Yet so many of us don’t. So many of us are waiting for someone else to teach us to love ourselves when the love that we’re searching for is waiting for us within our own hearts.

In 2021, may we learn how to direct some of the love that we point at others toward ourselves. May we learn how to treat ourselves with as much compassion as we treat our loved ones. May we become friends with ourselves. May we learn how to love ourselves.

3. May we continue to connect in new ways.

As hard as being physically distant has been this year, it has forced so many of us to open up to new ways of connection. This year has reconnected me with old friends. It has pushed me to make new friends all across the country – people that I may not have met in real life, but who I have laughed with on video calls and who I have shared some of my best memories of the year with. This year has allowed me to share my writing with so many of you.

In 2021, may we continue to reach out to others with as much urgency as we have this year. May we open our hearts to new friends not only across our own cities, but across countries, across the world. May we continue to watch livestream concerts from our favourite musicians’ bedrooms. May we continue to laugh together about the smallest, silliest things. May we continue to connect in new ways.

4. May we remember to be grateful.

It can be so easy to get caught up in the monotony of daily routines. This year has shaken up all of my routines in a way that reminded me of what a gift life truly is. I have been reminded of how much I love walking through bookstores. I have been reminded of how much I love grabbing coffee with my friends during our rushed lunch breaks. I have been reminded of how much better it is to work late into the night when you have other people to laugh with when you get so tired that everything seems hilarious.

In 2021, may we remember how much we love the little things. May we continue to appreciate the ways that we showed up for each other from a distance. May we stop taking things for granted. May we remember to be grateful. 

5. May we dare to be vulnerable.

This year has pushed me to open up about my experiences to total strangers that became friends. This year has made me dare to be vulnerable – this year has made me brave. This year has reminded me of how interdependent we all are. We aren’t meant to do everything alone.

In 2021, may we continue to open up our hearts to other people so that they feel comfortable opening theirs to us. May we continue to care deeply about the doctors and nurses and nursing home residents and essential workers in our communities even after they’re no longer making headlines. May we continue to share our struggles because our stories give others permission to share theirs. May we dare to be vulnerable.

Yes, in 2021, let’s take all of the lessons that this year has taught us and use them to create a better future for ourselves. A future where our decisions are fuelled by the drive to make the world a better place for all of us who live here. Where we remember to care about each other even when we don’t see each other’s daily struggles. Where we are thankful for tiny miracles. Where we remember what it’s like to be apart so that we push ourselves to stay connected.

About the author
Writing to create connection Follow Emily on Instagram or read more articles from Emily on Thought Catalog.

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