Advice & Features Articles

New Beginnings in 2021

Yellow Road Traffic Sign with Change Ahead And This Way Text on Blue Sky

By Dr. Melanie Ross Mills | Special Contributor

It’s 2021! This year I’m going to lose 10 pounds. I’ll eat more veggies. I won’t overspend at Costco. I’ll make my children write thank you notes for their Christmas gifts. I’ll exercise an hour every day, spend less time watching tv, and finish that novel I wanted to read. New Year’s resolutions are a great way to give your life direction toward your goals, but how do we keep the momentum going?

Studies have shown that after a year only about 15% of people have been successful at keeping their resolutions. This leaves us with a large percentage of people that return to overspending at Costco and never complete that novel.

A fresh new year is here for us to reset, renew, reengineer, reestablish, and rebuild. A time to embrace new routines, new ways of thinking, and new beginnings. Not as a resolution this time, but as a life change.

Where to start? 

No need for a long list. Choose one or two key words that will guide you daily as you make decisions and new lifestyle choices over the next 9 months. Choose one of these or brainstorm your own.

Simplify: I will work on simplifying. 

Make life less complicated. Make a conscious effort not to take on what you can’t control. Streamline your priorities and don’t let outside distractors get in the way. Limit your toxic influences.

Journal: I will journal my thoughts. 

Take time to look at the deeper parts of your heart, mind, and emotions.  Each night write down your overall thoughts for the day. Which ones are serving you well and which ones are holding you back? Are you living or holding onto the past? Are you emotionally open and available to build quality relationships?

Active: I will be more active.

Make a conscious effort to walk and do more physically. Walk to your neighbor’s house instead of driving. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Ride your bike to the grocery store.

Nourish: I will nourish my heart, mind, and spirit. 

Digest what is good for you. Eat more power foods. Pay attention to what your mind takes in visually and how it affects you. Chose to watch and listen to things that are nourishing and life-giving. Spend time cultivating your spiritual life.

Others: I will think more about others. 

Focus outwards. The more you think of ways to help others, the less you think about what you’re lacking. Share with the world what you have to offer. Make a concentrated effort to make a difference.

Purge: I will clean house. 

Clean house – donate what you don’t use. Clean out your pantry, cabinets, and closets. Clutter can weigh us down without us even knowing it. Let go of what you don’t need.

Build: I will invest in people.

Spend time with those people who interest you. Make time for those that will benefit from your life experience. Connect with mentors who are wiser than you; learn from them.

Gratefulness: I will see the good more often.

Pay attention to the little things that make life a little sweeter – from a neighbor picking up your newspaper to a stranger holding your door. Let those around you know why you are thankful for them.

Mindfulness: I will be more mindful. 

Rest and breathe. Take time to be fully present. Listen to those around you. Engage with your heart. Notice the details in the small things.

Now is the best time to launch new beginnings. Opportunities await. It’s ours for the taking if we’re willing to put in the effort.


As a certified and licensed Temperament Therapist, Dr. Melanie Ross Mills is gifted at instigating purposeful dialogue and honest self-reflection on topics of friendship, parenting, and marriage during her one-on-one sessions and through her Life Bonds™ Book Series.  In 2016, she was honored with the Women of Excellence Award, and she has been seen or quoted in television programs and other publications nationwide. She received her degree in Applied Learning and Development from The University of Texas at Austin.

For more information, you can reach Dr. Mills at www.melanierossmills.com.

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