Forget New Year's Resolutions: These 5 Staffers Share What They're Freeing Themselves From in 2021

This past year was *clears throat* a difficult year, to say the least. As we move into the new year and attempt to set new intentions, the challenges from 2020 remain at the forefront. It can feel overwhelming to focus on new goals — New Year's resolutions come with the weight of expectations, and no one needs added stress after last year.

Rather than putting pressure on yourself to fulfill a resolution, we're encouraging you to free yourself from what's no longer serving you. To start these Free February journeys, we looked to our staffers to lead the way. Some decided to release themselves from draining relationships, while others focused on momentary freedoms, such as enjoying a cocktail with ingredients that make them feel good, like additive-free Patrón Tequila. Before beginning your own Free February journey, scroll through to read what our staffers are leaving behind in the new year.


"In 2021, I'm freeing myself from the pressures to change. A new year brings so much talk of resolutions and new goals; how are you going to better yourself? What positive changes are you going to make? And while there's nothing wrong with setting goals and striving to be better, if 2020 taught me anything, it's that sometimes we need to slow down. You can't do it all, and you shouldn't feel like you have to. So this year, I've been learning to enjoy the ride and give myself grace. Whether it's taking the time to do my skin-care routine before bed or being mindful of what I'm putting in my body, I'm excited to live life on my terms while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle."

— Kathleen Harper, style editor, Branded Content


"Last year, I made it my goal to work out daily — but recently, I realized that I wasn't looking forward to exercising anymore. Now, when I'm not feeling up to a tough workout, I'm going to accept that and free myself from expectations that I have to work out intensely every single day. Instead, I'm focusing on staying active and moving my body in ways that feel good. Some days, that might mean a long walk through my neighborhood or a slow, relaxed yoga practice instead of circuit training — and I'm OK with that."

— Annalise Mantz, editor, Branded Content


"This year I'm freeing myself from pointless rules and dated traditions. My boyfriend and I recently took a big leap and moved out of NYC and bought our first house. Because who says you need to be married to buy a house together? After being a renter in tiny apartments for so long, this act itself was incredibly liberating and allowed us to create the home we wanted. We both hated the idea of a "formal living room," so we made ours tropical themed (complete with a giant palm tree lamp), and it's our favorite room in the house. For our first Christmas alone together, we stayed in PJs and made Mexican food and margaritas, with handcrafted Patrón Tequila. I realized we are both natural rule breakers, and we were long overdue for some changes. I've decided to apply that philosophy to 2021 onward. Life is too short to do anything just because."

— Joanna Douglas, executive director, Brandshop


"This year, I'm freeing myself from bad morning habits. No more checking my email and social media the second I open my eyes. No more morphing into my endless pile of pillows until I have to jump out of bed and rush through breakfast. Instead, I'll be utilizing those crucial 20-30 minutes each morning to set my intentions for the day, like meditating before a morning walk, eating a nutrient-rich breakfast, and substituting my first sip of coffee for a glass of water!"

— Thelma Annan, editor, Brandshop


"Not unlike most people, I was slightly relieved when I had the rare chance to spend more time at home last March. I'm a people-pleaser by nature, so feeling obligated to spend time doing things that make other people happy is sort of my MO — at least it was. Now, I've had 10 months to deeply reflect on the friendships I was spending a lot of energy on in the Before Times; many of those people often left me feeling drained and just downright bad. It took me a lot of time to realize that my people-pleasing ways clouded my own judgement, which is why I kept devoting so much time to relationships that were hurtful to my own mental health. So, in 2021, I'm freeing myself of a lot of old friends and even older contacts in my phone (seriously, there is nothing more freeing than deleting 70 percent of what's in there).

I remember spending a lot of time in high school and college believing that the "more the merrier" ethos applied to the friends you keep, but that's definitely not true. Reevaluating your circle and setting new boundaries isn't easy, but figuring out who exactly you want to give all that time and love to is so, so, worth it."

— Samantha Sasso, beauty editor, Branded Content

The perfect way to enjoy Patrón is responsibly. ©2021. Patrón, its trade dress and the bee logo are trademarks. Handcrafted in Mexico. Imported by The Patrón Spirits Company, Coral Gables, FL. Tequila — 40% alc. by vol.