Start the New Year by celebrating your success

Yup, whether you ran your first virtual 5K or just learned to cook tofu, you did it: You got through 2020. Here’s what 10 WW members are proudest of achieving—and what they’re excited to build on in the year ahead.

Remember last New Year—back in the Before Times, when “social distancing” wasn’t even a phrase? Maybe you kicked off 2020 with an intention to eat more veggies or try a new exercise trend. Chances are, “effectively cope with personal upheaval during a monthslong pandemic” wasn’t on your list of healthy goals (or predictions).

With so many life plans blown off course this past year, many of us had to adapt and manage in unexpected ways. But before we all move on, let’s take a sec: There’s actually value in honoring those feats to welcome 2021. As members recently shared on WW’s digital community Connect, reflecting on personal resilience and celebrating the healthy successes we were able to achieve in challenging circumstances can help us greet the new year from a place of empowerment—and keep us moving forward toward positive change.

10 members on the successes fueling their spirit for 2021

The early months of the COVID-19 pandemic were especially tough for some in the WW member community. “I used food as a comfort for all the stress, worry, and canceled plans,” writes Laura M. of Forest, Virginia. But with summer came a shift in mindset. “In July, I decided to take some control back,” she continues. “I started tracking and walking; I joined a virtual meeting. I feel so much better. I’m focused on gratitude.”

Retaining a sense of personal agency in 2020 was an important success for Pamela F., as well. “I joined WW in March,” writes the Federal Way, Washington-based, member. “I couldn’t control what was happening outside my home, but I could control what I did for me. It has been all about self-care. This is the best decision I’ve made for my health!”

Margaret D. of Iowa City, Iowa, is kicking off 2021 with a host of skills acquired during her stay-at-home months. “I have learned so many things: ordering groceries and meals online, new apps like Zoom and WhatsApp. I have learned to sew masks of several types,” she writes. “I joined a parking lot Zumba class, which is now a parking garage Zumba class. I had my first virtual doctor appointment. I learned to cook tofu. Always something new.”

Member Mercy D. of Flanders, New Jersey, has no trouble recalling her own 2020 successes, which include running a virtual 5K and homeschooling her kids for the first time. “I have an ongoing list!” she writes of her wins. (Note to self: Take notes on self.)

Along with a new sign-making hobby and the enviable triumph of decluttering her home, member Sandra E. of Silver Spring, Maryland, is entering 2021 with relationships that deepened during the pandemic. “I spent more time with my husband than ever before,” she writes. “I learned to appreciate how important family is—and perfected the air hug!”

As member Alicia M. looks back on the past year, she’s celebrating her ability to pivot for the new normal and build healthy habits around her current reality. “The gym didn’t feel safe to me anymore, so I took up running outside,” the Redding, California-based, member shares. “This past weekend I ran a 10K.” She also became a “much stronger kayaker.”

Coincidentally, kayaking was a respite for member Alissa L., as well. Each month during the pandemic, the Superior, Wisconsin, resident paddled on Lake Superior—that is, when she wasn't off on white-water rafting, hiking, and skiing adventures. She’s starting 2021 having “established and maintained an at-home exercise plan that is working for me.”

Figuring out healthy home-based strategies was a proud achievement that Jan H. will be bringing into the new year, too. “I decided no virus was going to run me off the rails—no way!” she writes. “I learned Zoom, worked in the yard, cooked up a storm of healthy meals, found interesting people on Connect, took day trips with my hubby to walk at the beach, did Pilates, and maintained my weight.” She also came to understand that some days are harder than others, explaining, “There were emotional ups and downs along the way, but all in all, most of the time I feel grateful for the opportunities we have at hand.”

In that vein, members like Carrie P. of Pepperell, Massachusetts, are thankful just to have spent 2020 in good health. “That in itself is an accomplishment,” she writes. #Fact.

Member Elisabeth M.’s biggest 2020 success could serve many of us well in the coming year and beyond. Writes the Franklin Park, New Jersey, resident, “I made a genuine commitment to be the best version of myself I can be.”

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Erin Quinlan is WW’s features editor at large, based in New York City.

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