2021 Resolutions: Planning for the world after 2020

A worldwide pandemic, a contentious national election and a renewed examination of racism in America, accompanied by hurricanes, fires and even murder hornets, made 2020 a once-in-a-lifetime year.  “The hardest thing for people to get used to in 2020 was the lack of predictability,” explained Matt Rizzo, CEO and president of A Renewed Mind, a Toledo based mental health treatment center. “While we learned to adapt, the problem was that there was no end in sight.”

But 2020 provided us with some benefits as well – a chance to try new things, to appreciate our family and friends, to be more reflective, more introspective, more grateful. Those new habits can lead to beneficial perspectives for 2021 and beyond. 

Finding gratitude in everything
Gratitude – for love, friendship, traditions, even the promise of a beautiful morning – can result in calm today, and longer-lasting benefits. Gratitude benefits many areas of an individual’s life, including developing patience, improved relationships, self-care, sleep, willpower, reduced depression and improved happiness.  We talked with folks around Toledo who explained that gratitude has been helpful in working through 2020, and the feeling contributes to their resolutions for 2021.

Make time for yourself
New Year’s resolutions for 2021 tend to be more introspective than previous years. Prioritizing family, reading more and perfecting your kitchen skills have likely come from the extended periods of quarantining that marked the last year. In this year, it’s about purposefully finding time for yourself,  as suggested by these Toledoans:

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Matt Rizzo, A Renewed Mind: Spend 10 minutes or more of quiet time each day, to shut things off, get centered and plan the day.


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Tamara D. Willingham, CEO of Tamara TCM Wellness Clinic, Maumee: Resolve to stay healthy, handle pain naturally and be conscious about overall health.

Plan to help out
Volunteerism is a self-satisfying way to help the community. In 2020, new volunteers filled in for traditional volunteers who often were unable to leave the house. The need for volunteers continues this year as programs and services expand. Participating as a volunteer can be a good resolution to continue – or to begin.

Being helpful to others can extend to the animal world. In 2020 dog adoptions soared, first to clear shelters before they had to close, and then to provide individuals with lifetime companions. Those trends are expected to continue in 2021, along with the ongoing need to control animal overpopulation in the area. Local resolutions to meet these needs include.


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Billie Johnson, President/CEO of the Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio (which has provided more than one million meals to more than 30,000 older adults): Create meaningful connections.

Jennifer Herbert, Board President, Planned Pethood (a foster-based animal rescue program finding homes for more than 1,000 animals each year): Actively listen to the community and then act to support the needs and welfare of all the animals.



Seek inspiration in the community
Venturing from home, by car or another form of transportation,  was difficult in 2020 and remains  challenging. Resolutions to adapt can include taking car trips (for an hour or a week) or planning a trip that you may or may not be able to take. 

Locally, many have sought refuge wandering the woods and prairies of our Metroparks, which recently won the national Gold Medal Award for best large park system in the country. 

If wandering takes you indoors, the Toledo Museum of Art offers a safe and healthy setting for exploring the world through art, and the opportunity to find a new favorite work of art with new eyes. 

Resolutions for benefitting the community:

Screen Shot 2021-02-12 at 12.26.35 PMScott Carpenter, Director of Public Relations, Metroparks Toledo: Uphold the trust of the community to deliver on our promises while continuing to provide safe outdoor places.

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Larry Nichols, William Hutton Senior Curator, Toledo Museum of Art: Stay positive because the future will be better, and take the chance to be inspired by art.



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