New Year, New You: 10 Forms Of Self-Improvement To Embark Upon In 2021

Self-affirmations are the best way to manifest positive changes in your life. So what if you need an annual holiday as a reminder to update your intentions? 2020 has been a terrible year for all of us, but I just know it’s going to be better in 2021.  Here are 10 ways you’re going to be a better you in the next year and beyond.

  1. You’re finally getting (or updating) your passport. There’s a whole world out there that requires exploration. What are you doing just lingering around your same old city? There are borders to cross and oceans to fly across. Traveling really is not as expensive as you’d think. You can rack up airline miles through credit card loyalty programs or check out a Groupon Getaways deal. Either way, it’s time to expand your horizons and get a change of scenery and culture. Stop making excuses for stifling your inner wanderlust.
  2. You’re either connecting for the first time or reconnecting with your roots. In 2021 there is no excuse for not knowing where you come from. Whether you were adopted, orphaned, excommunicated, or whatever your family situation is, it’s easier than ever to verify your ancestry these days. DNA testing companies all have sales and are available everywhere. Some of them can even be covered using flexible spending accounts! It’s time to pay homage to your familial forefathers by respecting the culture. Learn the language, eat at their restaurants, read some of your people’s history, attend a festival- just get creative and learn something about your ancestral makeup.
  3. You’re finding a cause to support. There are endless ribbons and National [name your cause] Awareness days. Pick something you feel passionate about or have a personal connection with and give back to a purpose greater than yourself. It will give your life more meaning and it’s just a good thing to do. Learn how you can make a small difference, whether it be through monetary support, spreading knowledge, or attending a rally to make a political change.
  4. You’re going to stop tolerating less than what you deserve. It’s said so much now that it sounds cliché but it’s not. It just needs to be said louder for the people in the back… and repeated as many times a necessary until it’s actually believed. Seriously, just stop being underappreciated, used, lied to, manipulated, strung along, underpaid, overworked, backstabbed, stood up… the list goes on. Enforce boundaries, make necessary changes, give ultimatums—do whatever it takes to live your truth and receive back the good you put out in the universe.
  5. You’re getting control of your finances. Stop avoiding paying on your student loans or skating by with minimum payments. They’re not going anywhere until you pay them off and it’s just debt baggage weighing you down. Contribute to your job’s retirement plan. Follow Dave Ramsey’s advice for an emergency fund. Some of us screwed up majorly in our late teens and early 20s, but it’s time to move past that and secure financial freedom in our near futures.
  6. You’re done with making excuses for people. I get that person is family. She’s old and such and such was acceptable in her day. You’ve known him forever and have history. Blah blah blah. Don’t be afraid to walk away. You’re wasting your time and years on some people and it’s stunting your growth. The people you can’t imagine living without can quickly become people you’ve forgotten about when you remove them from your life and realize they were adding nothing. Let some of the bridges in your life burn.
  7. You’re not self-medicating anymore. Please, for the love of everything, can we leave behind unhealthy vices that do not serve our mental health in 2019? I could not be more tired of people who smoke or drink mass amounts of coffee on a daily basis yet complain about crippling anxiety or depression. Some substances just aren’t meant for you and your body’s chemistry and are making these problems worse. There’s no shame in therapy or getting the right meds and it’s time to be done with masochism and open new doors for a more wholesome abled you.
  8. You’re seriously evaluating your employment situation. Just like you need to shop for new car insurance at renewal time, sometimes you gotta check the competition for your job. Are you long overdue for a raise? Could you be getting paid more or using your talents better elsewhere? Are you just stuck in an overall drudgery rut and need a change? Make it and don’t look back.
  9. You’re using social media more wisely. I’m here to say it: social media is extra toxic and unhelpful to your self-esteem if all you’re doing is lurking on people you don’t talk to, comparing yourself to people’s fake posts, and letting people you don’t even like have access to and comment on your personal business. If someone isn’t your friend in real life, why are you cyber friends with them? Cut them off! If you like someone but their posts are triggering to you in any way, just remain friends but unfollow their feed. You should be digitally feeding yourself a well-balanced media diet. Follow people who inspire you, follow businesses for event/sale info, follow TV shows you like to see when new episodes are coming out. Limit who can see your private page and posts.
  10. You’re making a bucket list. No, I’m not predicting your near upcoming death—I’m just saying you need tangible defined goals and a plan for your existence. What are you here for? What are you trying to accomplish? Where is your life going? Dare I ask where you see yourself in the next five years? Don’t let life live you, take proactive control.
I’m Cara, not to be confused with Carrie, although you could say I’m a Millennial Bradshaw of sorts. Pop culture connoisseur. Lover of all things creative and passionate about health and personal well-being. Follow me on IG @cara_vale_writer