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5 Reasons for Not Making 2021 Resolutions

Geraldine Markel, PhD

January 15th, 2021

No new resolutions! Here’s why:

  1. “I have Corona Virus Fatigue. I want to get out of here!”
  2. “Working remotely, we’re all stressed to the max. My team is spending too much time on Zoom and not enough time finishing projects.”
  3. “Parenting and remote learning are exhausting. There’s not enough time in the day.”
  4. “I’m staying up too late, needing to unwind after the hassles of the day.”
  5. “I’m not acting on my good intentions when it comes to exercise and healthy eating.”

Do these statements reflect your state of mind?

If you are nodding yes, then you are not alone. A recent report indicates stress is high due to the pandemic, and the coronavirus’s adverse mental health effects will be serious and long-lasting (

In January 2020, the headline of my blog was “Forget New Year’s Resolutions! I Need to Get Back on Track” ( Rather than listing numerous New Year’s resolutions, readers were advised to continue any productivity habits that previously helped them. Some of the productivity tips offered were to: get adequate sleep, eat healthier foods, exercise regularly, schedule medical/dental appointments, and practice gratitude.

However, the 2020 onset of Covid-19 hampered the efforts of many otherwise high achieving professionals to stay on track. Productivity lagged. Did you ever dream that last year would be so disruptive and chaotic? 

Except for the vaccine, 2021 seems even more unsettling and uncertain than the previous year. Those involved in work/life activities report feeling lethargic, unmotivated, and distracted.

Rather than being on track, they feel they are in survival mode. Therefore, it is more important than ever to focus on self-care. When you feel a greater sense of personal health and well-being, you have the mental and physical energy to combat turmoil.

Science supports this approach, as illustrated by two experts. First, Sanjay Gupta’s newest book, “Keep Sharp: How To Build a Better Brain at Any Age,” explains why fatigue and stress contribute to low mental alertness and resilience. 

Second, Tara Parker-Pope recommends basing this year’s routines in last year’s most successful habits (

Start to mobilize your energy by reflecting on the lessons learned from 2020. For example, ask:

  1. What were the most productive and positive aspects of 2020?
  2. What were the lessons learned?
  3. What are the positive, productive routines to maintain?
  4. What are the best methods used to refresh, rejuvenate, and replenish mind, body, and spirit?

Certainly, self-care needs to top your list. Visualize when and how you best took care of yourself—and its effect on productivity. Continue these routines and schedule them throughout your day. Set alarms to remind you to relieve your eyes and mind from digital overload. Consider reaching out to others to take breaks together. Also, don’t ignore the benefits of exercise and humor. 

Exercise is long-recognized as a basic necessity of a productive life. Centuries ago, Plato wrote, “Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save and protects it.”

A healthy dose of humor also contributes to your well-being, motivation, and stress relief ( What can you do to find a laugh a day? Some of my family and friends send humorous videos and cartoons to bring smiles.

Whether leader or staff, working on-site or remote, evidence-based strategies help you survive and hopefully, at a later date, thrive during 2021.  ( 

We can’t control most of the external circumstances we face, but we can commit to taking care of ourselves and those we care about. As you reach in, to tap into your spirit and strengths, then reach out to others to help and be kind. As Mark Twain said, “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear, and the blind can see.”

Contact Dr. Geri for continued discussion and ways to support healthy changes in your lifestyle. You can gain a better work/life balance. Are you interested in greater satisfaction and productivity? Contact Geri at: