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Recover your Success Momentum with these 5 Meaningful Habits for 2021
January 26, 2021 by Bianca Angeli H. Arellano
Picture this — it is the post-holiday season, boxes of decor have been taken down, and the last wisps of festive spirit have been chased out the windows like bed weather chill. The phone, once ringing off the hook with Christmas and New Year greetings from friends and relatives around the world is quiet once more. The kids have almost gone through the last bits of sweets and chocolates from their godparents. There is an air of anticipation as they look forward to a continuation of distance learning, and you — keeping yourself, your career, and everyone's future together as the homeowner — prepare to dive back into working mode.
Except you do not want it to feel forced. You do not want to buy different kinds of home-gym equipment and give up in the middle of an online workout program — and it is the third program you have signed up for since March. You do not want to hop onto the next productivity hype of fancy bullet journals, calligraphy pens, and washi tape — only to be disappointed at an apparent lack of artistic skill. And you definitely, definitely do not want the frustration of not having a green thumb.
Last year's social and economic turbulences impacted our everyday lives in the biggest ways possible. You have seen how everyone reacted to it all - just swing online to see the many coping mechanisms for the stuck-at-home: backyard gardening, fashionable loungewear, makeup experiments, videogame streaming, TikTok, and an entirely new generation of memes. Only time can tell how long these trends will stay, or what place they will have in our lives once the fast-paced world kicks back in. But as you're left cleaning off the last bits of 2020's chaos into a dustpan, you finally decide to be ready for life.
It is time to build new mindsets and habits for the new year of illuminating yellow and ultimate gray. As the past year taught us how every person has different mental, emotional, or intellectual capacities, it is wisest to consider what habits are applicable and — more importantly — beneficial to your lifestyle, and your newfound definitions of success.
Do you need directions on 2021 habits that will not make you go downhill just because you break it once? Read on to find out.
5 habits and practices you can apply in the new year
1. Practice gratitude in every possible aspect of your day.
Gratitude is the one thing that keeps you from regretting the past, overthinking about the future, and missing out on the small but meaningful moments of every day. The pandemic taught us to be more aware and appreciative of what we have now, what we have achieved, and the many benefits it has reaped for us. Gratitude reminds us how we would not be where we are without the people around us, without the circumstances that worked in our favor along the way.
Here are some helpful habits to practice gratitude:
- Write in a daily journal three people who made an impact on your life, whether the impact may be as big as recommending you for a promotion, or as small as helping you clean up the dinner table after a long workday. If you can, reach out to those people and show your appreciation for them.
- If journaling sounds like too much of a cheesy mindfulness fix for you, consider making something more tangible and Instagram-worthy through arts and crafts. Instagram is close to bursting with #gratitude inspiration — get creative with a gratitude tree, a gratitude box, thank-you notes, or letters. You can also purchase a charm bracelet customized to remind you of things you are grateful for.
- Maximize all the opportunities you have to learn something new. Just by walking the bustling business districts of Makati, Ortigas, or Pasig City, you can glimpse the many industries at work and how each one keeps the country in steady development. This can help you put things in perspective when encountering feelings of failure, setback, or overwhelm. Gratitude is not just reserved for times when you get what you want, so remember to find learning opportunities even in the most difficult of times.
2. Insist on your influence on your own life.
The pandemic taught us how many things in our life are beyond our control. Remember the mornings when you could not get out of the bedroom because of that nagging feeling of hopelessness? When you could not even bring yourself to the stand on the balcony for a breath of fresh air?
In this new year, insist to yourself that you are capable of improving your lifestyle, in big and small ways. Whether you are investing in upscale properties and real estate or supporting local businesses by helping them expand, know that your personal agency is also something worth waking up in the morning for. Following through with your commitments can also remind you how important you are in this chaotic world. In the routines that you will be building momentum for in the next few weeks, it is an essential reminder that you trust the choices you make for yourself.
Here are some helpful habits to maintain influence over your life:
- Actively take care of your physical, mental, and emotional health. Engage in the physical movement even as you build your career from home, such as taking phone calls while walking, or listening to educational podcasts while working out.
- Be honest with yourself about your fears, flaws, and insecurities, especially to those who will be directly affected by them. On the other hand, be mindful of your greatest strengths and personal capacities. Consider using habit trackers, online or analog, to recognize recurring stressors, doubts, and limiting beliefs, so you can address them promptly and avoid exhaustion in the long run.
- Set boundaries for the many commitments in your life, and discipline yourself to follow them. Consider associating specific places to a particular area of your responsibility, to minimize distractions and interruptions. For example, your home office can be dedicated to accomplishing your work-from-home tasks, your balcony can be dedicated to taking client calls, and the bedroom and dinner table are reserved for quality family time only.
3. Sometimes, put yourself first.
Now that you have scavenged your unmet personal goals for yourself, your relationships, and the world, from the rubble of 2020, do not let the priorities of others compromise them. More often than not, securing ourselves from turbulences like last year’s are among the new factors that weigh heavily on our long-term goals for the year. To fulfill these new goals requires a steady determination and self-awareness that not many of our friends — or even family members — would understand, but do not let that conflict stop you from starting routines that you believe are most beneficial. Put yourself first by doing things that will make you happy like buying your favorite food or booking that trip to Baguio city you've been wanting for a long time.
Here are some helpful habits to help you make sure you are putting yourself first:
- When deciding whether to keep old commitments or make new ones, ask yourself - will it make me feel better at the end of the day, knowing that I did this? If not, how can I improve to align with my personal values?
- Set only three tasks you will prioritize for the day, and make sure that you achieve them. Once completed, you can move on to smaller chores that may crop up. In this way, you are assured that you have made significant progress in any of your projects, initiatives, and duties.
- Reposition your plans to mark progress instead of perfection. A learning plan, instead of a vague resolution, will help you develop the skills and attitudes for achieving your dreams. Consider joining a daily challenge, following a wellness podcast, or taking e-courses to gain a new skill. Just remember to be patient with yourself as you learn.
4. Work smart, with your heart.
Given our heightened exposure and a newfound appreciation for the many technologies that had kept us connected and coherent despite the chaos and standstill, it is humbling to know that these creators also had to pick themselves up more than a hundred times before they could fully transform their ideas into something useful and meaningful for the world. Even if we can only remain in our condos or residential homes, for now, it is time to dispel the fears and excuses that limit us from choosing what is best for our careers, relationships, or communities. Be on the lookout for opportunities and investments that will help you appreciate life more.
Here are some practical habits you can build that will help you work with your heart:
- Curate and consume content that inspires, motivates, and helps you achieve your goals. This may include signing up for educational newsletters, following certain brands that you love, or engaging in premium real estate.
- Maintain balance in your commitments so you can focus on them with clarity. A helpful organizing practice is to use Sundays to plan out the succeeding week, with Sunday nights reserved for rest and relaxation before Monday hits again.
- Remind yourself constantly about your goals, so you never fall off track. This can look like posters, vision boards, accountability partners, journal notes, and posters and wallpapers with motivational quotes.
5. Have an optimistic attitude.
The past year also taught us that the faces, jobs, and services that were once considered mundane in our lives, were in reality among the most essential for our survival. With every calamity, social upheaval, and technological breakthrough that rocked the country, prescribing optimism is as double-edged as political satire.
But in all its chaos, 2020 undoubtedly compelled us to appreciate the small details that make every day worth enjoying and making the most of. The K-dramas, films, books, and music we all enjoyed in the past ten months reminded us that beyond the walls of our homes, the fast-paced world we were so used to is still slumbering in wait. The habits that we adapted to while in lockdown, no matter how embarrassing they may seem in retrospect of ten years into the future, still got us through the pandemic.
Dangerously positive sentiments not included, here are some helpful habits to develop an optimistic attitude this 2021:
- Let music heighten your mood. Music genres can signal your brain at different levels of concentration. Creating personal playlists can also help you relieve pre-pandemic memories when everything was not as confusing as they were now.
- Along with your three high-priority goals, make a conscious effort every day to have one small meaningful win. It can be as small as completing your morning routines before a certain hour, or not reaching for your phone and scrolling through social media the moment you open your eyes. Feel free to track these wins in a journal, if ever you need affirmations when you hit your lows.
- Build trust — in yourself and your choices, and with others and their capabilities, so you may also attract positivity from the people in your life.
When the world shuddered to a halt in March last year, we were forced to rethink our definitions of success. Milestones used to be all about getting a promotion, securing a deal, acquiring a well-known client, nailing targets, reaching quotas, or purchasing that high-end condominium in Baguio. And yet, the pandemic reminded us how fragile it is to run full-steam ahead into the future while we were fueled only by external validation. We witnessed companies scrambling to implement risk management strategies that only used to be theoretical, and employees — both laid-off and retained — adapted to habits and ventures that complemented their work-from-home setups and strengthened their career moves. Our savings got scraped by all that panic-buying of groceries, alcohol, disinfectants, face masks, and face shields, and our plans for the future are now blurrier than ever.
Many of us had taken advantage of this slowdown to reconnect with our energies and make amends with our inner conflicts. We have learned to congratulate ourselves for how far we have come, and we have seen with unparalleled clarity — for the first time in years — the hobbies, interests, and meaningful experiences that only seemed like fleeting memories before.
By building momentum into these success habits that benefit your lifestyle, you can make sure that your 2021 will be ready for life.
Watch the video version of this blog right here: