I don’t do new year resolutions. They often don’t work according to research. They are often punitive (lose weight, exercise more, less alcohol, stop smoking).
This year I’m doing 21-4-21 with a focus on FUN (yes, even during a pandemic). Those who have followed my writing for years might recognize this as I’ve done 49-4-49 and 50-4-50 previously. 49-4-49 was forty-nine fun things between my 49th and 50th birthday. 50-4-50 was fifty acts of kindness to others the 12 months following my 50th birthday.
Christmas, New Year’s and the holidays are now behind us. This year has started out a little turbulent shall I say. We’re half way through the first month. Time is ticking. What’s next for you?
You can set your own direction. You can go with whatever comes along. You could do both or nothing.
Make Lemonade Out of Lemons
So, what are my 21 things you ask? I don’t have a full list yet, that’s part of the fun of this project. My list has to reflect the fact that, for me, this year has started in another lockdown and I want to jump into this project now and not wait for lessening of restrictions.
What I have on my list so far are:
• Assemble a colourful puzzle. I’ve chosen a 1000-piece impuzzlble – it’s not a picture or scene, it’s repeatable pattern of 5 colours making it somewhat hard to figure out which of the 200 yellow pieces fit together. Scientific research proves doing puzzles lifts one’s spirit.
• Knit a snood. My cousin sent me a kit to do just that! A snood is a loose-fitting collar to keep your neck warm. Research from Harvard Medical School’s Mind and Body Institute proved that knitting induces the relaxation response, lowers the heart rate, and high blood pressure drops. Further research shows it induces relaxation and reduces stress and anxiety as well.
• Play in a virtual escape room. I like trying to solve the puzzles with friends that gets you out of an escape room. Apparently, they are offered virtually now so I’ll be finding one to try with some friends.
• Cook 21 new recipes. I have 3 on my list for this weekend from Ottolenghi’s new cookbook, Flavour.
• Participate in a pub quiz. This could be online or in person when permitted. Love me a pub quiz.
• Play Yahtzee with a games group.
• Kayak on the Thames when possible (and frankly when warmer and drier in the UK).
• Climb at Go-Ape, a tree-top climbing course. I have a gift certificate from my birthday last year to still enjoy.
• Do karaoke. This scares my silly and I want to give it a go.
• Find some dance-event like when I did the silent disco a few years ago with my friend from Germany.
• Visit the winter lights at Kew Gardens at the end of this year. Need to book this now was it’s a very popular event and had to close early this winter due to lockdown.
• Walk Hadrian’s Wall. It’s a former defensive fortification of the Roman province of Britannia, begun in AD 122, located in the north of England. It’s 90 miles long, which I’m doing remotely right now, walking that distance over the next 35 days, with the hope to do it in situ later in the year when travel is allowed.
The added benefit of this project is that I’m feeling excited doing the research and planning for the activities themselves. Any ideas you have for me to add to my list would be greatly appreciated, especially for fun things to do early in the year when restrictions will be in place. And if you want to join me for a fun event this year, please reach out and suggest something.
2021 will pass (if you’re lucky; the alternative is not pleasant) like every other year. What would make it fun, satisfying, enjoyable, connecting, exciting, joyful, loving, fulfilling, gratifying for YOU?
Book a COMPLIMENTARY coaching session with me here for support in setting a direction for yourself this year. What would make you more effective and fulfilled at work and/or life?
Photo by Vincent Gerbouin from Pexels