Setting Goals for the New Year during COVID-19

Aug 9, 2022

The new year inevitably brings thoughts of change and improvement to mind, but this year is unlike any in this lifetime. You might have taken the time to create a list of resolutions in 2020, but then they fell by the wayside around March when COVID-19 began to take over in force around the United States.

You may begin to wonder whether there is any point to making a list of resolutions this year, as the pandemic rages on. In fact, having goals doesn’t just help you improve yourself: It’s good for your soul too. Working on goals in your life can increase feelings of satisfaction and confidence and may even reduce risk factors for dementia. Here are some goals you can work on this year—even during a pandemic.

Connect with Family and Friends

There may be nothing people are more aware of these days than the need to connect with others. If the pandemic has created a larger divide between you and your loved ones over the last year, take the time to bridge that gap. Find ways to connect, even though you are apart. It might be more difficult than in years past, especially if you are uncomfortable with technology. However, now is the time to embrace all the ways technology can bring people together. Ask family members for help setting up a computer, tablet, or other device to help you stay in touch.

Improve Mental Health

Mental health has been brought into sharp focus over the last year. Isolation and stress can be especially taxing, and many people have felt the effects on their mental well-being. This year, set a goal to take care of yourself and address any mental health issues that have crept up recently or been lingering in the background. Take the opportunity to look inward and do what it takes to improve your health. Practice mindfulness to decrease stress and connect with loved ones to reduce feelings of isolation. Don’t hesitate to talk with your doctor about the best way to care for your mental health.

Find a New Hobby

If there was ever a time to find a new hobby, it is now. Hobbies don’t have to be time-consuming or difficult—they just have to be something you love. Take up knitting, reading, puzzles, or any variety of activities that make you happy. A new hobby is a great way to pass the time—you might even find new friends online to talk to about your favorite pastime.

Focus on Physical Health

You’ve heard of the “Freshman 15” that new college kids add to their waistline, and of course there is the sympathy weight husbands gain when their wives are pregnant. Now, we can add the “Quarantine 15 (or more)” to the list of common weight-gain phenomena. The stress, boredom, and loneliness many have felt during the pandemic can cause weight gain, along with other health issues.

Take back your health this year and focus on your physical wellness. Resolve to eat better by focusing on whole grains, lean meats, fruits, and vegetables. Try out yoga, walking, and other exercises to get you moving. Most importantly, keep your doctor in the loop as you create your health plan.

“Resolving to change yourself for the better is always a worthwhile endeavor,” says Mother Bernadette, activities director at Cedar Crest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. “Don’t let the pandemic discourage you from looking inward and making improvements.”

It can be hard to scrape up the desire to make new goals this year, but it will be worth the effort. Find resolutions that speak to you and determine to achieve them—in spite of COVID-19.