9 Self-Care Goals for 2021 (And How to Meet Them)
Start the new year with a fresh approach to self-care – one that’s all about focusing on healthy habits that make you productive, centered, and most importantly, happy.
Self-care is possible for anyone, not just those with time to spare. Even if you barely have time to slap some lip balm on, you can incorporate little habits into your life that can relieve some serious stress. In this article, we’ll discuss:
- How self-care can make you healthier
- Setting physical and emotional goals
- The trick to succeeding is scheduling
- Self-care doesn’t mean being alone-connect!
Self-care often conjures up images of perfectly coiffed women in pristine yoga studios surrounded by candles, flowers, and endless time for namaste. It’s a nice idea, but if you’re always on-the-go, that beautiful yoga studio on a carefree Sunday afternoon might sound unrealistic.
According to a Harris Poll, 44% of people believe that self-care is only possible for those with enough time. Are you nodding along yet? If so, your busy life may not have left much room for self-care this past year.
Between dropping the kids off at school, going to work, cooking dinner, and making time for friends, it’s hard to devote time to recharging, refueling, and creating healthier habits. That’s why so many of us opt for the drive-thru instead of the farmers market at the end of the day.
This year, we’re all about self-care tips that make it easy for you to stay healthy both physically and emotionally. With just a few simple tools, you can seamlessly weave self-care into your daily routine. No fancy yoga studio required.
Why self-care is important
To many people, self-care sounds trivial, but the benefits are real. Self-care reduces stress, promotes productivity, helps you focus, and fosters a sense of well-being. A 2016 study of 130 patients with coronary artery disease showed that self-care could even minimize cardiovascular risk factors.
Self-care isn’t a one-size-fits-all thing. It looks different for everyone, so it’s worthwhile to develop habits that work for your personality and schedule. If kickboxing gives you more stress relief and good vibes than meditating then go, get your kickboxing on.
If you don’t have time to prep every single meal of every single day, plan your weekly eating habits in a way that fits your life.
When defining your 2021 self-care goals, remember that it’s all about you. How often do you get to say that in your life? This year, give yourself permission to focus on self-care. You’ve got the tools to make it happen. Now you just need to get started.
Here are our favorite self-care goals along with awesome printouts that’ll help you (yes, you!) achieve them.
- Healthy eating: In a perfect world, we’d all be eating beautiful plates of roasted veggies, pan-seared salmon, and wild rice on our sunlit patios. But life isn’t perfect. Healthy eating means shopping, planning, prepping, and resisting the urge to order pizza because you had a rough day.
This year use meal planning to inspire healthy eating. 1THRIVE offers two different free meal planning templates so you can find the one that fits your life. Choose a simple weekly version and then devote time on Sunday night to planning, defrosting, and prepping breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the following week. Or go for the dinner planner that accounts for dining out, ordering takeout, or cooking at home. Do this with a partner and studies show that you will be more successful!
- Working Out: One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is getting fit. Raise your hand if you’ve ever made that one and then found yourself discouraged and deep into a bag of chocolate candy by Valentine’s Day.
This year stop guilting yourself. Instead of exercising to change how you look, focus on how it makes you feel. You’ll likely notice you feel stronger, focused, and happier – hello endorphin rush! Use our workout printable to plan and track your workouts.
- Staying Hydrated: Ugh, it’s 3 p.m., and you literally have not had a single sip of water all day, unless coffee counts. Sound familiar? Then your self-care goal should be hydration. Treat yourself to a cute reusable water bottle and follow the 8x8 rule of eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
Better hydration gives your skin that healthy glow, flushes toxins out of the body, and aids with digestion and mineral absorption. To help you stay on track, check out our fun water tracker.
- Reduce screen time: The average person spends 3 hours and 15 minutes a day on their phone. Yikes.
If you’re prone to scrolling Instagram and Facebook, you could probably benefit from a little more IRL time as opposed to screen time. Spending less time looking at screens will promote self-care because it will encourage you to talk with your loved ones, go out in nature, or read a book instead of watching a stress-inducing news program.
Look at your current screen time averages (if you have an iPhone, you’re likely already getting these not-so-friendly reminders from the Screen Time feature) and set a daily goal for the maximum amount of time you’d like to spend looking at your phone, tablet, laptop, or TV.
Use our habit and reward printout to track your progress and reward yourself after you’ve stuck with it for a month. Remember, keep your eye on the prize!
- Meditating: Meditating doesn’t require a full day, a temple, or any kind of special skills. All you need are a few minutes and an open mind.
Meditation may seem old-school, but thanks to a fresh crop of apps for your phone, it’s totally modern and accessible. Download an app like Headspace, which allows you to set aside a teeny-tiny block of time in your day to destress.
Use the habit and reward printout to see how many days you can meditate in a row. Soon enough, it’ll be a part of your routine.
- Me time: Practice good emotional health in 2021 by taking time to focus on yourself. You can do this by scheduling time for a quiet activity that you can enjoy by yourself. Dive into a novel from a favorite author, listen to a podcast, or repeat affirmations that help you get centered again.
- Time with loved ones: Bring smiles and laughter into your life by scheduling time with the people you love. Whether it’s date night once a week with your partner, brunch with the girls, Sunday dinner with your parents, or a day at the park with your kids, prioritizing these connections will boost your overall wellness.
Even if you’re swamped, taking an hour out of your day to catch up with a friend over coffee can make you happier and more productive in the long run. Schedule this in advance and treat it like it’s just as important as your other commitments – because it is.
- Community: If you’re the kind of person who sees volunteer opportunities but hesitates to commit to them, make this the year you go for it.
Find an activity that fits your schedule and then add it to your calendar. From monthly cleanup events in local wilderness areas to helping at a food pantry on the weekends, volunteering doesn’t have to feel like a full-time job.
- Vacations: Make it a goal to take your vacation days this year. Turn your dream vacation into a reality by actually booking the ticket instead of just talking about it. Once you’ve done that, you can schedule it, make a fun countdown for it, and start dreaming of the fun times ahead.
Whether your 2021 goals are about physical health, mental wellness, connections, or all of the above, you can achieve them by writing them down, tracking them, and scheduling them. You’ll be amazed by how easily your self-care dreams become a part of your life.
1THRIVE creates beautiful, customizable command centers with interchangeable components that support your efforts to live a more organized life. We can further your self-care efforts with our free printables. Sign up to receive access to all our printables today.