In January 2018, I wrote about how to redeem New Year’s Resolutions. Much of what I wrote is still relevant and can be found here, and partially below, yet, resolutions seem insipid and shallow in light of the year 2020 has given us. There is no denying that societal messaging might have us still associating January 1st with a day to create resolutions for a new year, even if this new year is steeped in the same uncertainty that we felt for most of 2020.
I think more about the range of emotions that might come up with “New Year” this year, from sadness and grief, to the year we did not have, to the coming year we might not have, to the survivors remorse that lingers for those who have lost loved ones. The same remorse might come up for those who have not struggled (and perhaps, even thrived) as they look towards 2021 and beyond with optimism and ease, versus the collective grief that many others have felt.
I am not here to tell you there is any right way to feel. If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that our feelings will be with us no matter where we go, and are often the loudest when we have nowhere to go, and none of our usual coping strategies. Accepting these feelings, no matter how complex or contradictory, is a step towards more calm. This also helps to keep us aligned with our inner self. According to Dan Siegel, “research is clear that once we add the three pillars of attention, awareness, and kind intention to whatever we are doing, we will be happier and healthier.” 
As we begin to close this year, perhaps we could all benefit from more kindness and compassion towards ourselves. Coupled with acceptance of the present realities, this approach is fitting no matter how you're feeling as December comes to a close. It might be tempting to see December 31st as closure, yet I encourage us to let go of timelines, and magical thinking that New Year’s Day suddenly changes anything. I rarely talk about “moving on” and more so think about moving through. December or January, this season or the next, we will all continue to move through what is.
If resolutions are still calling you, by all means, carry on with such plans. If you’re struggling to make sense of resolutions, especially this year, know that you’re not alone. And if the holidays or New Year’s seems particularly dire, hopeless, or painful for you, I encourage you to use this time to reach out to a loved one, trusted friend, or mental health professional. You do not have to wade through darker times on your own. Despite what you might believe, we humans need others for love, support, and survival. I’d like to leave you all with a reminder from January 2018, with a sentiment that has not changed, and will not change in 2021 or the years to come:
DO WHAT’S BEST FOR YOU
I was once asked what my greatest accomplishment was, and I said: “I survived.” Sometimes everything we have on our plate is already enough, or there are more pressing parts to our human experience than a massive to-do list of resolutions. Be kind to yourself. Maybe you’re not in a place to have a laundry list of resolutions. Maybe it’s one item you can easily accomplish, like a sleep resolution or saying kinder things to yourself (and others), or letting go of something that no longer serves you. Even something as simple as how we serve ourselves and the world day to day.
There is much that is small and worthy. Go into 2021 with grace, compassion, and a willingness to try and possibly fail. That’s the best we can really do as humans.
Simply put, 'be a better human' is a resolution I think we can all get behind.
Or, fuck ‘em. Don’t make any resolutions. Everyone might be doing it, but I’m reminded of the quote “When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”
Do what’s best for you.
With love and so much light for 2021 that shows us how much good is left in the world,
Claire Fountain (@cbquality) is the wellness culture of tomorrow. A writer, therapist, and celebrity yoga instructor whose globally recognized TrillYoga continues to influence the fitness industry. Claire inspires with her unorthodox and realistic approach to yoga and mental health, while promoting a conscious lifestyle through insight and education. Her work focuses on the intersection of women, well being, mind body integration, self worth and the stories we tell ourselves with experience ranging from over half a dozen e-books and articles to international classes and speaking engagements.
 Siegel, Dan. (May/June 2020) “The Healthy Mind Platter” From Virtual Symposium 2020. Psychotherapy Networker.
 Mark Twain.