2021 New Year's resolutions: Think smaller, work slowly, cut yourself slack, experts say

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Today is typically the day many start working hard on New Year's resolutions, but experts say you may want to take a different approach after a year as challenging as 2020.

Enyioma Alilionwu, owner of AsYouSeeFit Chicago in the South Loop, said if you want to get healthier in 2021, just take it one day at a time.

"Fitness has a lot of different avenues, and especially after a year like this I think it should really kind of spur everyone to start thinking about what fitness means to them, and how they can incorporate fitness into their lives," he said.

Whether it's fitness, finances or something else, licensed clinical psychology Dr. Adia Gooden encouraged her clients to be thoughtful about their plans for the new year.

"We can have goals, and those can be exciting and inspiring and motivating," she said. "And in this time when we are coming off of a really stressful year, we want to have goals that are kind to ourselves, not causing ourselves extreme stress."

Gooden said Americans should manage their expectations for 2021. The country continues to battle COVID-19, and millions remain out of work.

"It's important to be hopeful that things are changing; there's a vaccine, hopefully numbers will go down. All of those things are hopeful, and we want to moderate that hope so that we're not sort of just imagining that everything will change then being frustrated when it doesn't do that immediately," she advised.

Alilionwu said having a positive attitude is key, and he's making that his focus in and out of the gym this year.

"I'm going to take it day by day. I think, for me, this year the commitment, more so than a resolution, is going to be to kind of see what every day has to offer, make the best of it and just don't overthink it," he said.

Dr. Gooden said many people spent time in 2020 reflecting on their values, and they're carrying those lessons with them into this new year.
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