A guest blog from Benestar
How to make 2021 your year
Welcome to 2021. If you’re anything like us, you’re likely a little bit relieved to have left 2020 behind. Living through difficult times often takes a heavy toll on our wellbeing, and not surprisingly, anxiety and depression have been at an all-time high. Although there are positives on the horizon, the pandemic will not go away overnight – and we will undoubtedly face further obstacles this year.
A positive attitude and a growth mindset are two of the most powerful and transformative values that we should aim to build on in 2021. Although you may not have control over external causes of stress, you do have control over yourself. As humans, we are hard-wired to dwell on and overestimate the negatives. But suppose we can learn to look for the positives within the negatives and start turning challenges into learning and growth opportunities.
In that case, we can move into 2021 with an increased sense of optimism and vitality.
How to stack your 2021 vitality deck
Work to address your negativity bias
As humans, we’re hardwired through nature to direct our attention to the negative, dwelling on insults over compliments, unpleasant events over pleasant ones. You can overcome some of your negative bias by becoming more self-aware, challenging your negative self-talk, and replacing it with something more useful. Guided meditation and reflection can help you look at your feelings more objectively. When you next experience a joyous moment, ensure you take some time to enjoy it, reflecting on the positive thoughts and emotions you are feeling at that moment.
Set your priorities straight
Take a moment to reflect on your life and what is most important to you. If you could have the life, the way you wanted it in, let’s say 3-5 years, what would that look like? What would you want from your friendships, career, and family? How can you make sure you take care of your mental and physical wellbeing? Asking yourself these questions helps you specify your long-term ideal and what you want your life to be, which you can then break down into micro-steps and smaller achievable goals.
Improving yourself and your life through micro-steps
Self-improvement rarely happens overnight. Look to take one small step at the time. Try focusing on the things you repeat every day that are part of your daily everyday routine; although seemingly trivial – the things we do on a day-to-day basis constitute a large part of our waking life. Changing just one small habit can reap massive awards.
Hold yourself accountable
Endeavor to live your life with integrity, owning your responsibilities as well as the mistakes you make. Your words and your actions have consequences. Holding yourself accountable means moving away from viewing yourself as a victim of circumstances. Instead, it takes ownership for yourself and the consequences of your actions – thus increasing your self-control. Knowing that our actions have meaning, and purpose contributes to our sense of vitality – of being healthy, capable, and energetic.
Speak clearly and authentically in the workplace
Indeed, it’s not always easy being your authentic self at work, and there may be cultural barriers that deter you from being fully open and honest. Yet you can reap significant benefits from being your most true and authentic self at work. Say what you mean and do what you say, but do so with tact and consideration for others.
Being yourself ultimately allows you to feel more confident in what you do, emphasizes honesty and trustworthiness, and inspires engagement.
Cultivate a growth mindset
Take the time to reflect on the lessons 2020 has taught you about yourself. What are the skills and strengths you have developed throughout the year? And how can you continue to build and expand on these in 2021 and beyond?