December 31, 2020 at 11.59 pm – across the world there was a collective sigh of relief that the ‘lost year’ is truly behind us. The end of a year, that has been tough for many due to an out of control global pandemic, was no doubt welcomed.

With vaccinations due in early 2021 in many parts of the world, including in Australia, the hope is that we will return to the pre-COVID-19 normal. 2020 was a year that deprived us of many things we take for granted like being outdoors, travel or simpler pleasures like sipping coffee in our local neighbourhood cafe. While many of us wish we could reset 2020, the new year gives us a much needed opportunity to reassess, refocus and plan our lives. The post-COVID-19 world may look a lot different, so it’s a perfect opportunity to do things that really matter to us, even if that includes hitting the dancefloors and dance the night away to Kylie Minogue’s Disco.

A recent study by Stockholm University and Linköping University into New Year resolutions found that approach goals (‘I will do something’) had a better success rate than avoidance goals (‘I will quit something’). We make your work a lot easier with our list of New Year resolutions for 2021 – one for each month of the year:

January – Get Fit 

There is a reason why over 12% of the new gym memberships are signed this month. The beginning of the new year is when many of us promise to get on Santa’s good list and resolve to get our health on track. Gym memberships and attendances see a spurt, though statistics show that on an average, many drop off within 24 weeks.

That need not bother us if we resolve that 2021 will be the year that we hit the gym with a vengeance. Most gyms have attractive deals on offer tapping into this market, from free classes to trial memberships. It may be worth signing on to the 6 or 12 month contracts. Besides being cost effective, it might also motivate you to stick to this resolution, which is one of the most broken New Year resolutions in the world.

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 Sydney’s iconic City Gym, christened in the late 1970s as the ‘Gay Gym’, is featured on our cover this month. The gym has always prided itself on being an inclusive space for everyone, featured floats at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and has even offered its space for rehearsals for many floats in the parade.

According to owner Billy Jnr, City Gym is embarking on a promising new year in 2021 with a “complete renovation of the entire facility, including the new state of the art cardio theatre, boxing and functional area, luxury change-rooms, and the unveiling of the new City Gym Eatery.”

February – Upskill

The pandemic has impacted many careers – many lost their jobs, were stood down or had their salaries cut. Many universities in Australia have an intake in February and this may be the perfect time to think about upskilling, finding a new career,  or getting a new degree/certificate. With the economy likely to pick up post-COVID-19, a new qualification may just be what your resume needs.

March – Parched

One in four women and one in five men in Australia reported an increase in drinking while at home during the COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions. Christmas will traditionally be the time that the country indulges in one tipple too many – research revealed over a quarter of Australians admit to drinking too much over this period. So this New Year may be a good time to work towards a Parched March.

Even if you do not kick the bottle completely, resolve to drink less to join the number of Australians who are drinking less than from a decade ago. The National Health and Medical Research Council has said that the ideal number of drinks that Australians should consume is around 10 standard drinks a week.

April – Read Up

As Autumn takes hold, this is the time to recharge after a hedonistic summer and Mardi Gras. Binge watching is so 2020. The COVID-19 lockdowns have been great business for streaming platforms who have had a captive audience literally unable to leave the couch. 2021 may be the year of books and a time to go back to the simpler pleasures of reading. Head to your local queer book store, or order online to support the businesses which have been struggling to survive. Reading one book a month – let that be your New Year resolution for this year.

May – Queens Of The Desert

The last month of autumn, when Australia heads into winter is a good time to draw up your travel plans. When the harsh summer has given way to cooler days and nights, it is probably the best time to travel in Australia. Head to the beaches, maybe the outback, a luxurious train journey on the Indian Pacific or load up your camper van with essentials and stilettos for a 16,000 kilometre trip across Australia, a la Priscilla Queen Of The Desert.

June – A Healthy Meal Plan

Mid-year is the time to look back on how well you have stuck to your resolutions so far. Did you break the 24-week-gym jinx or did you finally decide that lifting weights is not really your thing? Ditching those dumbbells should not stop you from planning a healthy 2021! 

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 Check out a diet that works for you and draw up a healthy meal plan. Decide whether you want to give up carbs, turn vegan or get on the intermittent fasting bandwagon. Eating organic and healthy is not too difficult with the countless meal plans that are available – there are some startups that even offer pre-packed healthy meals.

July – Get On Top Of Your Finances

This is the time that you start looking for a tax consultant and calculate the deductions that you can avail of. Start planning your finances early at the start of the financial year. Whether you are planning to be finally debt-free, saving up to put the down payment for a house or that flashy new electric car getting your investments in order should be your top priority this month. Something about the early bird and the worm!

August – Volunteer

The winter months are coming to an end and if you have spare time on your hands, why not sign up to volunteer. Community organisations like ACON, Thorne Harbour Health, Drummond Street Services, Minus18 and Switchboard all rely on volunteers for outreach. Volunteering your time is a great way to give back to the community.

September – Declutter

Channel your inner Mary Kondo and plan a spring cleaning. Declutter not just your home, but your mind and soul as well. Make a list, check it twice about the things that are important to you. Ask, as Kondo does, whether that thing sitting on your mantle, in the closet or that relationship, ‘sparks joy’? That furniture or garden gnome can be recycled, but think twice before you decide to recycle an old relationship!

October – Self-Care

October 11 is National Coming Out Day as well as the World Mental Health Day. Use this month to check on your mental health. Reach out! The importance of self-care cannot be overemphasised. There are many ways to preserve and recharge your mental batteries – consider therapy, take time out for yourself, detox your social media or set aside time every day to meditate.

November – Hydrate & Sleep

These are two simple resolutions that can literally overhaul your physical and mental health! With summer on its way in drinking enough water can do wonders for your body and mind. According to the Harvard School of Public health, experts say women should drink around 11 cups of water per day and men around 16 per day. While you’re at it, remember to stay away from those sugary concoctions.

Globally, on an average, an adult sleeps around 6.8 hours per night on weekdays. That is much less than the recommended eight hours of sleep each night. Sleep deprivation has been documented to cause a number of health issues, including fatigue, lifestyle diseases, hypertension and cardiovascular disorders. So, do not hesitate to take that afternoon power nap!

December – The Health Season

‘Tis the season to be Merry. The holiday season couldn’t have come any sooner. Look back on the year and reassess your goals. Before you head for your holidays, get that much delayed health checkup. And you are ready for a brand New Year! And draw up a list of New Year Resolutions for 2022!

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