Creating a New Normal: Making a sustainable lifestyle in 2021
Updated: Jan 22
"Normal" describes the expectations and standards of society. To reiterate my last post, many people pray things will return to normal, but I suspect things will not return to what we knew as normal. We are in a period of change that creates an opportunity to re-defy what normal is and design patterns generating normal within ourselves. Normal has always been a small box that only specific people fit. Since we were home most of the year, it gave us a long time for some self-discovery.
In 2021, we should look at ourselves and not do things because we want to be productive. Do not make this year about productivity. Make this year about your needs. Listen to your intuition, and you will know what you need to do for yourself, no one else.
Normal should not be defined by what other people are doing. You (as an individual) have a specific identity, different situations/ backgrounds, and a distinct perception of happiness. Even those things are inevitably changing as we learn, and our world starts expanding through the connections we have with other people. Family, friends, co-workers, significant others are just a few of the people who impact our views. So why should normal be one-size-fits-all?
If you need more rest, that should be allowed.
If you need days where you do what you enjoy, that should be allowed.
If you need to do something to boost your confidence, that should be allowed.
Goals, especially New Years' resolutions, have turned into a competition to see who gets the most done. There is so much pressure to get things done that we un-motivate ourselves. We set these unreasonable goals instead of taking them little by little. Sometimes we set goals with no intentions or the wrong ones. Some of us do not set goals at all because we are afraid of failing them. Instead of setting goals, we should be aiming to create habits for a lifestyle that would make us satisfied. But on question remains...
How to create a normal for yourself?
1.Analyze yourself and your situation
Knowing yourself is the best way to do this. The truth is people don’t like to look at themselves as a whole to include the good, the quirks, the accomplishments, and the mistakes. To even take a step to where we want to be, looking at the present is essential. So here is a list of questions to ask yourself:
What do I need for myself this year?
What is draining for me?
What motivates me?
What does happiness look like for me?
What are my strengths?
What are my weaknesses?
What opportunities are present to fulfill my vision?
What are the threats to my vision?
2.Create short term and long term goals
Short-term goals act as a capstone for your long-term goals. Short-term goals can complete in a maximum of 12 months, whereas long-term goals typically take 12+ months.
Example of a short term goal: Making your bed every morning for two weeks.
Example of a long-term goal: learning a trade or skill.
3.Use the SMART method
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. It acts as a guide for goal setting, providing a sense of direction, motivation, and a clear focus. For beginners to goal setting, ask yourself:
What do you want you to accomplish?
What will you use to measure success?
Do you have the resources need to achieve the goal?
Are you committed to the goal? Is it realistic, given the time and circumstances?
Can you do it in that time?
4.Remember the KISS principle
It means: "Keep it short, simple" ( or "keep it simple, stupid," but the other way seems kinder). Do not overwhelm yourself with perplexing goals.
5.Write down your intentions and action plan
The "why" and "how" of the goal is just as important as the "what" and "when". If your intention is temporary, your goal will be too. Also, misunderstanding how to accomplish the goal will result in you wanting to quit the goal.
The best way to do this is to use: What, when, why, where, and how (to be more specific when planning).
Why do you need to do this?
Change can be an unsettling feeling because there is so much uncertainty behind it. I struggle with anxiety, so having an idea of what I want brings comfort. Many people experienced those feelings because of the pandemic. One thing I realized is there are always going to things that happen that are out of control. It may impact how our goals go and cause them to go differently or even fail. But we make a failure out to be this terrible thing when it does not have to be that way. It’s okay to fail, it’s okay for plans to change, and it’s okay to have to change what you want to do because it’s best for the time being. Take L (the lesson), take a break, and take it little by little. There are always going to be uncertain, uncomfortable times. Do what you need to. My needs for myself this year will not look like your needs, and that is alright. One positive outcome from 2020 is that being so distant from others built confidence for me to do what I want. I hope you have the courage to do what you need to this year
P.S. resting more, taking breaks, and learning to relax, are goals too. 😇
Thank you for taking the time to read. Don’t forget to like, comment, and share. Remember to subscribe to my Youtube channel, and follow my Instagram and Twitter to connect and stay up to date. I am excited about next week's blog post so make sure you come back next Saturday. Until then, there’s a lot more content on my youtube channel. I hope you have a good day, evening or night.
Until next time,
xoxo Lay 💋
Last Blog post: The internal renaissance: wellness and mindset in 2021