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Dr. James’s 3 Tips For How To Ring In The New Year With A New Normal


Back in 2019 for my Where In The World Is Dr. James series, I uploaded a short video encouraging people to try new hobbies in the New Year. Pre-pandemic the world was everyone’s oyster when it came to branching out. You could finally convince yourself to set aside the time to travel or join a class you were too afraid to. With the virus leaving most of us cooped up all of 2020, this suggestion may seem impossible. However, the things that force you outside of your comfort zone don’t have to involve putting yourself at risk. This article provides tips on how to make the best out of this New Year while still adjusting to the virus.

#1: Set Smaller Goals

The cliché saying we have all heard around this time in the year, and have maybe even said ourselves, is “New year, new me!” While it is great to be ambitious in life, this mindset is also notorious for only lasting a week or two. People inevitably fail when they create a desired outcome that is too far from their reality. Setting smaller goals that work up to your ultimate aspirations makes it easier to maintain gradual progress and succeed. You won’t magically transform now that the calendar has changed. But, if you put in the work towards your accomplishments day by day you will get closer to being the person you want to be. The best things in life tend to take some time, but when they come they are all the more rewarding.

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#2: Take Advantage of Down Time & The Internet

Since many people are still working remotely or taking online classes there may be more free time. When you erase the time it took to commute to classes or work, there is extra time to be productive. Combined with this, many students are off from classes currently because of Winter Break. Though our new digital way of living has been wrought with struggles for some, there are hobbies that one can take up in the comfort of their home. Everything is online, from tutorials on learning how to draw to new recipes you can try your hand at. Being behind a screen all day doesn’t have to equate to feeling unmotivated if we don’t frame it that way. Use the internet to your advantage when setting your smaller goals, it is often budget-friendly and has a plethora of information to get you started.

Photo by Anthony Shkraba from Pexels

#3: Get Family & Friends Involved

Especially with the year we have all had it can be difficult to stay optimistic about this coming year. The idea of trying to better yourself or achieve your dreams can feel unimportant compared to everything going on. If you are feeling lost in where to get started or unmotivated, it can be beneficial to get friends and family involved. If you haven’t been working out as much because the gyms are closed, find a workout challenge that your whole friend group can try. Or buy some cheap canvases and organize the family around the table to take part in a painting tutorial. It can be a struggle to continue bettering yourself when you’re feeling down, but having people there for the journey makes it easier to keep going.

Photo by Gabby K from Pexels

Dr. George James (@GeorgeTalks), Chief Innovation Officer, Senior Staff Therapist & Supervisor at Council for Relationships, Assistant Professor for the Couple and Family Therapy Program at Thomas Jefferson University and CEO of George Talks LLC.

Jamie McClelland, is a senior at Villanova University, double majoring in English and Communications with a specialization in media production.

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