Over the past few months, our social media feeds have been filled with optimistic posts regarding the new year. It’s a time to look at the past 365 days and reminisce on what happened. While 2020 was full of some incredible highs and unbearable lows, 2021 is here and with it a new opportunity.
If you’re the resolution-making type, 2021 is an opportunity to commit to continuous improvement. As a society, continuous improvement should be our commitment to each other. To make this commitment as a society, however, it starts at the individual level. In a piece titled If You Want To Change The World, Start With Yourself First, Tony Fahkry writes, “Everyone has an opinion on what is wrong with the world, yet few will do the work to improve their own lives.”
I’m not going to write about how to create SMART goals or resolutions. Still, you should check out this article from MindTools or this piece from Michigan State University to better understand goal-setting.
I want to suggest that you design well-rounded resolutions to improve every aspect of your personhood. Well-balanced resolutions should be more than a new diet or a workout plan at the local gym.
Consider including social, spiritual, physical, and intellectual goals, with some resolutions overlapping some categories. For more ideas, think about resolving your financial, emotional, professional, familial, and environmental lives.
While I believe there’s ample evidence supporting the need for development in all of these aspects of your lives, mainly I think academics spur progress in the other vital areas. I want to propose sculpting goals that target intellectual development.
Intellectual resolutions can be in a wide range of subjects and can be pursued in many different ways. Academic goals shouldn’t always be getting a Master’s degree or completing your doctorate (while those are great goals); they can be more straightforward. Some examples are:
- Read a book on a subject that interests you.
- Find time to watch a documentary instead of binging the newest season of This Is Us.
- Take an online course with your significant other.
- Teach a friend about something that you’re interested in.
Check out this post from Develop Good Habits to help you think about what opportunities exist and are worth pursuing while creating your 2021 resolutions.
Let’s commit to growing intellectually in 2021. Intellectual growth can be the catalyst for turning your hobby into your occupation. Intellectual development can increase your productivity in work-outs, homework, or household chores.
Intellectual growth can lead you on a journey of self-awareness and self-reflection. Growing in understanding is critical to growing as a person. And growing as a person is essential to growing humankind.
So this year, let’s resolve to stimulate ourselves intellectually. Let’s work out both body and mind. Let’s JazzJune.