As 2020 (a.k.a. one of the most dramatic years ever) draws to a close, there are plenty of reasons to be hopeful for a new year which is soon approaching.
2020 had some pretty unbelievable ups and downs which no one could have anticipated when the year first began.
So while you may want to approach the new year tentatively and hold off on any plans, there are still small steps we can take to commit to for a hopefully better year ahead.
With all the lessons we've learned from a rather turbulent year, what should we decide to leave behind in 2020 and what should we bring into the new year?
Here are some ideas for realistic and life-enhancing resolutions we should all consider for (hopefully less dramatic) 2021.
Resolution ideas for 2021
Invest in health insurance
If this year has taught us anything, it's that our health is something that should never be taken for granted. While there are ways to adopt healthier lifestyles and stay healthy, we should always be prepared for the worst situations to happen when it comes to our health.
With COVID-19 likely to stay a threat for the foreseeable future, we have to safeguard both our health and finances by ensuring we have sufficient funds for the healthcare we may need should the worst happen.
In order to stay protected, try to find the best health insurance plan to fit your particular situation.
Go easy on the junk food
We are what we eat and if you've been binging on bags of potato chips and tubs of ice cream during this pandemic, the new year might be a good time to kick these habits.
While there's nothing wrong with treating ourselves occasionally with some snacks and treats, snowballing and making these long-term habits are a recipe to declining health.
Now more than ever, it's a time to boost your immunity, eat wholesome, nourishing foods and really take care of your body.
Another lesson to bring forward into the new year is to focus on our hygiene a little more than we used to.
Washing our hands for 20 seconds, wearing a face mask when in public, social distancing, hand sanitising - these are all great habits to stick to come the new year in order to protect yourselves and your loved ones.
When the lockdowns first started early this year, many of us turned to fitness and working out as a means of staying healthy (and sane) in an otherwise unpredictable world.
Sticking to a good fitness routine is undoubtedly great for our health but can also significantly boost our moods. Cardio workouts can produce dopamine, seratonin and oxytocin in our brain which are great hormones for stress-relief and good moods, while toning and strength training can avoid muscle wasting.
Stretching intermittently and taking brisk walks outdoors is also ideal in order to get some much-needed vitamin D from the sun and to avoid sitting at your desk too long which can lead to all sorts of unwanted spine and muscle conditions.
Amidst a difficult economic period such as this one, some of us may be let go from our jobs as companies scale down and try to save on costs.
If you're fortunate enough to now have a stable job or a steady stream of income, the first priority on your list should be to save up an emergency fund for rainy days ahead. This amount can act as a financial cushion should you happen to lose your job in the future until you secure a new one.
Avoid wasteful spending
While end-of-year sales have been tempting and have been a good time to buy things at reduced costs, the new year is a great time to reevaluate our spending to avoid unnecessary expenses. A great way to cut back on your spending is by first crafting a realistic budget and sticking to it.
Quality time with loved ones
Is there anything quite like spending time with those closest to us? During the lockdowns, many of us learned to appreciate our loved ones more and value the limited time we get to spend with them.
Whether this involved occasional house visits in small groups or taking occasional outdoor walks together, spending time with the people in your life amidst some of the most isolating times is so important to prioritise next year and beyond.
The pandemic has probably made a lot of us realise that anything can happen to us - whether we be young or older, healthy or not.
For those of us who have children and wish to protect them as best as we can during this difficult period, investing in a good life insurance plan for our little ones is a great step in order to secure their futures.
While no one likes to think of the worst case scenarios, this pandemic has forced us to reevaluate not just our futures but our children's as well.
As we say goodbye to 2020, let's also look forward to 2021 with some of the great habits we've picked up despite the craziness this year.
While it was a year of up and downs for many, let's enter the year with a dose of optimism and a healthy amount of planning with some of these realistic resolutions.
Stay safe and happy new year!