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Reflecting and Resolving for 2021

Considering how rocky 2020 was, “Auld Lang Syne” can’t come soon enough. It was a difficult year, but we learned a lot. We learned how tough we really are, how to adapt to change, and—most importantly—we learned what matters most. And while there are many aspects of the past year we’d rather forget, there are some lessons learned we can take into 2021. So, this year, we’re not resolving for a “new year, new me.” We’re reflecting on the silver linings of 2020 and thinking of ways to carry those lessons into this new year, next year, and for years to come. Here are our top three:

1. Be your own cheerleader.

Here’s a revolutionary idea: why not wake up every morning of 2021 and give yourself a compliment? You might be surprised how many of us feel uncomfortable with that notion. Even if it’s just, “I only hit the snooze button once today! Go me!” it counts.

It’s not news that, as women, we’re oftentimes really hard on ourselves. We feel such an immense pressure to be good, good sisters, good students, good career women, that we’re too focused on getting the next step done right to stop to congratulate ourselves for how far we’ve come. But with this new year comes a new chance to flip the script. By giving yourself a compliment and acknowledging what you’re good at every day, you aren’t being conceited, you’re being confident. Instead of picking apart what you’ve done wrong or what you don’t like about yourself, give yourself permission to be your own biggest fan. It all starts with some positive self-talk. You can even take it one step further and give a sister a genuine compliment every day. That’s how we, as KDs, build each other up.

2. Give back.

If 2020 taught us one lesson, it’s this: we need each other. Where would we be without essential workers, healthcare professionals, and everyone else who came together to help us get through this year one step at a time? If one of your resolutions is to pay it forward, consider this: giving back doesn’t stop and end at volunteering or donating money. Giving back in small ways can be just as meaningful.

Give a pep talk to a sister who is going through a tough time. Give compassion to your coworkers when they seem stressed. Give a listening ear to your family members who are struggling with anxiety. Give a shout-out to the KD officers and volunteers who have worked tirelessly to navigate 2020. Give your roommate a hug when she aces a test (or fails one). Give kindness, give patience, give support. We needed those things in 2020, and we’re sure to need them again in 2021.

3. Allow yourself to be human.

Wake up early; you don’t want to waste any hour of your day. Drink coffee for the antioxidants, but no more than one cup. Dress to impress, but don’t look for validation. Go to work, go to school, meet deadlines, multitask, be productive. Read books, have a hobby, tidy your space, don’t turn on the TV. Eat dinner, but a healthy dinner that you made from scratch. Go to bed at a reasonable hour, but only after all your laundry is folded. Don’t forget to exercise.

Goodness, gracious. Are you exhausted just reading that? Because we are. Is there even a second of our lives that hasn’t had an entire blog, article or book written on how to do it perfectly? No wonder we all feel guilty for not measuring up. Here’s the big secret: literally no one checks off every task on the list every day. Just focus on a few things that matter to you, and it’s OK that the rest is imperfect. Don’t worry so much about the daily routine. That’s called balance. That’s called life.

Here’s hoping for the good things that came out of 2020 continue in 2021. Happy New Year, sisters!