7 women on what they want to embrace more of this year

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From celebrating friendships to making time to unwind in the evening, these are the positive new habits we’re trying to take on board in 2021…

After the last 12 months, you might have found it a bit tricky to summon up the motivation for the usual raft of New Year’s resolutions.

It’s understandable, too, given that resolutions traditionally tend to revolve around giving things up, or doing things less – none of which feels very positive.

That’s why our goals for 2021 are going to focus more on adding things to our lives rather than taking things away – embracing routines, activities or ways of thinking that help us feel upbeat when challenges come our way.

Coca-Cola’s Open To Better campaign is aiming to encourage people to be more optimistic and positive about the future by offering people the chance to customise iconic cans with personalised and positive pledges - with that in mind, we asked a group of real women to share what will be bringing them more joy over the next 12 months. 

Here’s what they said…

  • 1. Friendship

    If last year taught me anything, it’s how important my friendships are to my wellbeing.

    I lost count of how many times I was having a bad day, only for a quick call with one of my mates to completely transform my mood.

    I’m usually terrible at texting back, letting my messages pile up until I can’t ignore them any more, but this year I’m going to make sure I’m a lot more present and available, even if I’ve got a lot on my plate. 

    I’m determined not to take my friendships for granted.

    Lucy, 29, London

  • 2. New hobbies

    OK, so not every lockdown hobby was a hit.

    My sourdough was a flop and I really don’t want to look at another jigsaw as long as I live, but life drawing was a brilliant new creative outlet for me.

    I haven’t taken up a new hobby for ages – probably not since uni – so I’m looking forward to broadening my horizons a bit more in 2021.

    I really want to try pottery next, so I’ve sent away for a make-at-home set. 

    Next stop – my own online store.

    Meena, 25, Manchester

  • 3. Celebrating wins

    My big thing for 2021 is celebrating my wins, even if they’re smaller things.

    Whether it’s having a good day at work or managing to hit my exercise goals for the week, I’m going to try to remember to feel good about those things, rather than moving straight on to the next thing I need to get done.

    I’ve got a tendency to beat myself up if I don’t feel like I’m being productive enough, which is something I’m going to pledge to drop going forwards.

    Lauren, 31, Aberdeen

  • 4. Scandi baking

    I did a lot of baking in 2020, from bread to cakes, but I’ve become genuinely obsessed with making cinnamon buns.

    They make the house smell so good, and they’re absolutely delicious, so now I want to move on to cardamom buns, which are a little bit trickier.

    I’ve also seen a recipe for Swedish saffron buns, so they’re on the list too. I think they’re more of a Christmas thing, but who cares?

    The Scandinavian countries know a lot about putting up with month after month of dark, freezing weather, so if baking a production line of sweet treats works for them, it can work for me.

    Carrie, 35, London

  • 5. More movement

    I’ve realised that for me, trying to cram in a full exercise routine before work is unrealistic, but I’m going to make sure I do some stretching every morning instead.

    Things like hip rolls, cat-cows and glute bridges help me feel more mobile after sleep, and are great when I don’t have time for a full pilates session.

    I’m still going to do the occasional morning workout, but this seems like a more achievable way of making sure I move every day, without feeling bad when I don’t want to get up at the crack of dawn.

    Soraya, 27, Birmingham

  • 6. Screen breaks

    I reckon everyone’s screen time must have gone through the roof since the pandemic first started, but I feel like mine has got out of control lately.

    I’m going to try to stay off my phone from 8pm onwards, which sounds like a little thing, but I think it will do wonders for my ability to relax at night.

    Most of the time I’m not being very intentional with it, and just trawling through my feeds without really thinking about what I’m doing – I’ll still use a screen to watch a film, or a TV show I’m into, but it’s the mindless scrolling I want to chop.

    Baths, books and bed are going to be top of my evening agenda for the next few weeks, at least until the weather starts warming up again and the days get a bit longer.

    Farah, 33, Liverpool 

  • 7. Self-care

    My big goal for 2021 is basically to be kinder to myself.

    Last year was tough on everyone, and the next 12 months are probably going to be pretty challenging too, so I’m going to resolve not to make things harder for myself if I can avoid it.

    So, if I don’t feel like changing out of my trackies all weekend, or I decide I want pizza for lunch and dinner, or I don’t feel like getting on a video call with my mates, I’m not going to beat myself up about it.

    In a nutshell, I’m going to treat myself like I would one of my friends. I think it sounds like a pretty good recipe for positivity.

    Amy, 37, Lewes

So, ready for some more 2021 positivity? Coca-Cola’s Open To Better campaign is designed to inspire exactly that, with a host of ambassadors including Katy Perry outlining their own positive goals for the year ahead. By transforming its iconic packaging to feature a host of positive pledges that people can purchase in store and personalise online, the campaign aims to inspire positivity and to encourage people to be Open To Better this year. To create your own Open To Better pledge can, either for yourself or to gift to a loved one, shop online here.