New Year, New You: How to Be the Best Version of Yourself in 2021

2020 has undoubtedly been a chaotic year for all of us. To be the best version of yourself in 2021, You’re Not Alone will initiate its “New Year, New Me” campaign from December 31 to January 4. These resources are to help you reach the best and most productive year yet.

First, allow me to clarify what productivity means. To me, productivity does not mean cramming your schedule with tasks and work. Productivity is more about taking responsibility for yourself so you could become your best, most authentic self. Then, you can start to help and serve others.

Now, I would like to introduce the term “mindset habits.” Mindset habits are crucial because your external world is a reflection of your internal world; you can’t change yourself without changing your mindset first. So, here are a few mindset habits you could incorporate into your own life for the new year.

1. Assess your “default.”

We all have a default, also known as our “comfort zone.” When we face difficulty, we tend to fall back into our defaults, whether it be distracting ourselves with work, retreating to unhealthy habits, or scrolling through social media. It’s comfortable and comforting—hence, “default.”

You’re Not Alone started as a personal blog in December 2019. When other teens reached out to me, wondering if they could contribute and share their own stories, I expanded YNA’s mission to incorporate teens from anywhere in the world. However, I soon realized that managing an organization required a lot more effort than I thought. While I looked at other youth organizations with bigger audiences for inspiration to achieve more, I often grew envious of their progress. Self-deprecating thoughts ran through my head: they’ve only been established for three months; why can’t I make any progress? Why am I stuck? I didn’t know where to draw the line between being assertive and micromanaging, and I was constantly doubting myself and wondered if the organization would accomplish anything at all. That’s when I fell into my own default bubble, where I pushed YNA to the back of my mind for a few months and watched other organizations grow tremendously, wishing it could be mine.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve learned to seek help from the youth leaders I admire. I am pouring in as much effort as possible into my own organization because I realized that the amount of effort you put into something is the quality of the result you get out of it. Growth lies in discomfort, and if you continue to remain in your default bubble, you will remain as you are.

2. Focus on the journey, not the destination.

It was clear that I was focused on the destination as I eyed the youth-led organizations amassing thousands of followers and creating massive impacts on the community. By nitpicking at all the things I should have done and all the ways things could be better, I only sought results. In 2021, I will take a step back to focus on the journey. And to really put that into action, here are three things I am grateful for:

1) YNA as a platform to express my unfiltered thoughts and feelings! It gives me so much joy to know that I’m spreading positive energy.

2) My passion for writing! I love to write and journal; I am so grateful that I can articulate my thoughts and emotions on paper.

3) My friends and family! They are my strongest supporters, and they’re the ones who encourage me to step out of my comfort zone and continue doing the things I love.

Many of us are rushing from one task to another so often that we can forget to be grateful for how much progress we’ve made. There is so much beauty in this world and in your life, so lighten up and enjoy the ride!

3. Take ownership of your life.

Though you can’t control our circumstances and environment, there are plenty of things that are still in your control. It’s up to you to choose between being proactive and reactive when things don’t go your way. It’s up to you to decide whether you will allow your circumstances to define you. It’s up to you to decide whether to see the positives or focus on the negatives.

In 2021, I will choose to be resilient and not fall back into my default mode when I am faced with an obstacle. What will you choose?

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