New Year’s Resolutions in a Pandemic

Should New Year’s resolutions be different in the midst of a pandemic?

We checked in with Robin Tassinari, MD, Consultation/Liaison Psychiatry at Albany Med, for advice. The American Heart Association in New York’s Capital Region and Albany Med are entering their fifth year of a special “Life is Why” collaboration, aimed to improve the health of Capital Region residents.

“We sacrificed a lot in 2020,” Dr Tassarini said. “The New Year is a great time to be hopeful with the new vaccine on its way, letting us look ahead to a post-COVID way of life. Make a resolution to get one when it becomes available because it is safe and effective—the vaccine holds the promise of a post-COVID world.”

Dr. Tassarini also offered the following tips for New Year’s resolutions:

  • Try and resist negative thinking and try very hard to avoid worry, the best way you can.
  • A recent survey found online by OnePoll showed that almost 60% of respondents said their 2021 resolution will be having a more positive outlook at life.
  • Skip the usual deadline and goals that carry us through till about February. Instead, focus our intentions/resolutions on personal things that we might have missed over many months. A good example might be to plan a safe, socially distanced celebration to catch up on skipped holidays, when the weather warms and we can be outside in small groups.
  • Especially this year, make your goals reachable, reasonable and realistic.
  • Remember that failing is not a reason to give up. We learn from mistakes (and we do tend to remember them more that we do our triumphs!). Just jump back on the horse.
  • Focus on will power and self-control to succeed.
  • Paying attention to our mental health will be key in 2021.
    • Be kind to yourself
    • Try to avoid stress
    • Enhance your self-esteem by giving yourself credit for getting through 2020!
  • Resolve to avoid negative self-talk and remain optimistic, or at least practice optimism (a great resolution for 2021, since studies have shown that optimism is related to a 15% greater life span!).
  • How are those for New Year resolutions?