2020 has been a mess of a year, to say the least. On the bright side–2021 is just around the corner! One of my favorite traditions is of course the classic New Year’s resolution. 

But, I’ve found that making a single resolution for an entire year is impractical. Let’s be honest, how many resolutions have you successfully completed? Instead, I plan my goals in increments of 3 months, or 12 weeks. I learned this practice from Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington’s thesis: The 12 Week Year. 

The rationality is simple; when you have a year’s worth of time to do something, most would probably procrastinate. However, if the deadline is closer, you’ll be more incentivized to do it. Now this isn’t to say that if you adopt this philosophy then all your goals will be accomplished. It simply has helped me, and I hope it can help you as well!

This leaves one problem though… err, actually, four problems. With 12-week goals, you’re going to need 4 resolutions to cover the year. I don’t know about you, but just coming up with one is difficult for me! Don’t worry, below we have a list of ideas that could help inspire you for 2021.



1. Support local businesses more with a tangible plan!


I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone verbally commit to supporting more local businesses, only to then order everything off Amazon. I don’t think this happens because people genuinely mean to neglect their local entrepreneurs in time of crisis. Rather, I think people have developed a semi-conscious habit of just opting in for the most convenience. What I’ve found to be helpful is setting aside a few hours on a single day each week to stroll around the neighborhood and pop into various stores in search of either essential items or new-found luxuries! It’s a good way to blend some healthy walking, and some much-needed fresh air, while learning more about your own neighborhood and supporting local shops.

Also, investing in new hobbies or growing existing ones is a great extension towards local businesses! Whatever your passion is, you can likely switch your sourcing of materials (e.g., yarn for knitting) to a business closer to home, rather than the big-box retailers.



2. Donate to charity, and you don’t need money to do it either!

Look look, I get it. 2020 was a tough year financially for most. If you don’t have any free cash to give to your favorite charities, consider donating a different gift! For instance, you can pitch in as a volunteer to help with an event, activity, or even a new initiative they may be launching. Perhaps you know someone in their industry vertical who can benefit from an introduction. Even just supporting their social channels and spreading awareness is a great way to support a charity! Our own sister company, Bear Givers, hosts virtual art shows for special needs kids. Submitting your own kids’ artwork is just an example of how to support Bear Givers by providing them adorable content, all while giving children something to look forward to! 


In keeping with the 12 week goal, be sure to make tangible plans of how exactly you plan to contribute to avoid the pitfalls of procrastination!



3. Hone your talents while giving the gift of pro bono!


Many New Years resolution blogs encourage you to sharpen your skills by either revisiting a former hobby or starting a new one entirely! While becoming more knowledgeable in any field is always a good thing, what’s even better is pairing your rising talents with pro bono work! Not limited to just law, pro bono is doing anything for free. While you’re at liberty to charge people for the cost of goods, giving away your labor is a great way to help make the world a better place, make yourself better, and certainly make 2021 a better year than its predecessor.

Connect with people in need of pro bono help, or get pro bono help yourself over at Joeprobono.com!



4. Remind yourself of elementary school with reading deadlines!


Reading more is a common resolution. But whether your favorite literature includes sweat-inducing thrillers, tasty recipe books, or brainy nonfictions, the key to actually staying in pace with your reading is setting deadlines! Just as you did in grade school, at least what I had to do anyway, is set tangible deadlines to progress through my reading material. Making milestones for reading X amount of pages by a certain date, or reaching chapter Y by a set week, will help keep you in pace for your deadlines. Plus, reading has been shown to be exceptionally beneficial for the entrepreneur since it forces you to always be thinking of new ideas, lending to an interactive mindset which plays wonders in human-centric design.



5. Perfect your personal or professional pitch!


For a business owner, the statement is obvious: master communicating your company/product in just 30 seconds. But why would an individual need a personal pitch? Well, even if you’re not trying to sell a product or service, you are still a professional in the market. In the eyes of the economy you are a product. Selling why you’d be valuable to a business can increase your professional network, landing you more job openings, clientele for the business you already work with, among other exciting opportunities! Want some pitch tips? Visit our sister company, 30 Second Pitch, to learn more about perfecting the art of the pitch, and hey – maybe submit your own 30 second pitch as well!


So there you have it, 5 resolutions to get you inspired for your own, or steal them all together! While we don’t know what 2021 has in store, we thank you for all your support this year and can’t wait to see you at our in-person events again once it becomes safe to do so. Happy New Year!