Resolutions vs nyårslöften

You, who just said goodbye to a particularly difficult year, do you already have your resolutions for 2021? My suggestion: forget about rigid plans and learn to enjoy what is coming.

With the arrival of the new year, so comes the resolutions for 2021. Although there is no clarity about the panorama we will have to face in the new year, from now I will prepare myself to get the best out of the remaining life lessons. I am not talking only about learning from the difficulties we experienced as a society during 2020, but also to everything I have learned while living in Sweden.

You could say that I shifted my mindset from resolutions to nyårslöfte, so I can focus on optimistic promises to myself. When we think about resolutions, it might have a harsh connotation, almost like a restriction or a strict command – and 2020 taught us that life can be very unpredictable and beyond our control. So, I had to design a flexible plan, which could adapt to unforeseen events and surprises along the way. Therefore, I have three main goals that I want to meet and for which I will start working right now.

My most important goal of the year is to obtain my master’s degree. However, the date has yet to be defined. It would be ideal if following my thorough study plan, I could be part of the graduating class in June, but setting a date is not part of my new nyårslöfte. I understand why the Swedish academic system gives three deadline opportunities: because more than a time trial, the important point is to reach the goal. I understand that this could present difficulties due to the expiration date of my residence permit, but if it happens, I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

Closely related is my second goal: to create a professional network in Sweden. I have realized that being duktig is not enough and, in order to get my dream job, I must meet people, get involved in projects, and express my ideas. Instead of stalking people on LinkedIn, I will put myself out there and have fun connecting with communities across the country.

My third goal is to become a livsnjutare, and learn to accept things as they come. Being controlling and impatient, last year was especially difficult not being able to change the circumstances that constantly distorted my plans. Frustration was a constant trigger, but it taught me to love what I have. That is why I have planned to go with the flow of the circumstances that come my way. This year I want to take the weight off the unrealistic expectations of trying to be flawless. I need to understand that mistakes can happen and, instead of fearing them, I want to learn from them.

I have always believed that what does not kill you makes you stronger, and so, I’m starting this new year stronger and wiser than ever. I know now that I cannot change what comes, so in 2021 I will just let it happen.