2022 has arrived and people were the least enthusiastic I have ever seen going into a new year. As a society, we are feeling a little defeated.
During a time when everyone says, “why bother?” I say that is when it’s more important than ever. It’s easy to do things when everything is going great but when things are looking muddy is when it’s really useful to buckle down and set some intentions.
I always use the word intention instead of resolution because the word resolution is implying you can fail and I don’t like to ever view a year as a failure. Without recapping the past two years in detail, there are some shared struggles that make it difficult to imagine a year of positivity ahead. But let’s remember that diamonds are made under pressure and this is a great opportunity to reset and separate yourself from the past two years of trauma.
As we start to think about what lies ahead there is a lot to consider but the most important thing is, are we working towards an honest happiness? Before setting intentions be sure to establish what is important to you, candidly. Then it’s time to pick some intentions that are realistic and will help you work towards your true goals.
TIP: Set goals that are sustainable. Goals that have a roadmap. A goal without a plan is just a dream and if you don’t stick to a plan then it’s just a nice thought.
1. Pay more mind to neglected relationships
Tension between groups of people are higher than ever and I think it has made people almost scared to reach out to friends. Either because they know they are unvaccinated or maybe are unsure of where they stand politically and are scared to find out and get pulled into a debate- it’s made the world very isolating. Let’s just go ahead and ALL accept the responsibility here. We can do better about reaching out to our friends. Too many of us wait for others to offer out a hand but aren’t willing to do it themselves. Do you ever text someone you know you can’t see just to be friendly? Have you chatted to with your family lately without it being to thank them for a gift or a favor they did for you?
This year, how about we all do better about talking with our friends about the little things. It doesn’t have to be an hour long chat every time but getting a meme from a friend when we were feeling lonely can change the whole vibe. Be that friend that sent the text, made the call or actually followed through with plans.
Remember to water the seeds you plant if you want them to flower.
2. Go outside more
Anyone else slip back into being indoors a lot? It happens slowly and before you know it, you’re inside every single day. Find a chance each day to escape outdoors. A walk. Sit outside to read. Eat a meal outside. Have your phone call outside. Take your hobby outdoors.
It’s a go-to solution for so many problems people are seeking medication for. Tired all day? Go outside. Traveling a lot? Go outside to reset your circadian rhythm. Not sleeping well at night? Go outside more during the day. Feeling your mental health going south? Sit with the trees. Having a spiritual crisis? The outdoors are your guide. The studies between the outdoors and mental/physical/spiritual wellness has numerous and all say the same thing- GO OUTSIDE.
3. Establish a cell phone “check-in” point
This might be the most foreign concept on here. Set-up a cell phone check-in point at your home.
It’s heavily accepted that increased phone usage in a home is linked to an unhappy household. The thing is, to just say you’ll use it less isn’t good enough. It’s addicting. It’s been proven to cause withdrawl, the link is THAT heavy.
This is solution I propose that is realistic enough it can work for ANY household. Use a basket check-in point. Your check-in basket will be in a room that isn’t the main common space- so maybe the kitchen or a secondary living room, where everyone will place their phones during the week after they come back home from school or work. The phone can still be accessed whenever, but you must stand by the basket to use it. It makes it just inconvenient enough that you’ll start using it less and less overtime until it become second nature to only check it when you actually have a reason to.
Doing something like this should significantly decrease the amount of mindless scrolling, half-listening, and overall procrastination around the house.
4. Do more things that make you get “in the zone”
“The American way” is a punchline used much too often to describe being overworked in someway. Sometimes we are putting the work on ourselves though. Spend less time on toxic situations or on things that don’t hold any real value to you and more time doing the things you lose track of time doing.
Those moments where you catch yourself checking the clock and thinking, “holy cow, I can’t believe it’s already __o’clock!.” Do that. Was it when you volunteered to help someone out? When you made something for someone? Maybe it was when the family did something together? Or it could be as simple as your hobby. Time isn’t infinite. Make more time to do the things you can get lost in and feel good about and drop the things that make you feel nasty. The only thing stopping you is the next choice you make!
5. Find ways to bring loved ones into a hobby you enjoy, occasionally.
It’s human nature to want to connect and a great way to do that with someone you love is by sharing a hobby. We get so possessive over things. It starts with “mine” when we are 2 years old and never stops. It doesn’t even occur to most of us to invite our spouse or children along to do our hobby because it’s our escape. You don’t invite them every time but giving someone you love a better understanding of something YOU love is an easy way to strengthen your ties but also a fun way. Next time you want to get overly excited about it, their eyes won’t glaze over with boredom.
6. Create less waste
So broad. So necessary for everyone one way or another. To make this a reachable goal, narrow down this meaning to something that works for you. What do you have excess of? Trash? Environmental waste such as water or gas? Maybe it’s something like subscription services. Cut back!
This year, stop buying things just because. Make purchases with meaning. You work hard for your money. Make it work for you. Go paperless. Get a free compost bin from the city. Get reusable bags. Start looking into sustainable brands. Being a young adult is realizing you don’t have time for everything but being an adult is realizing you didn’t need it all to begin with.
7. Demand your worth
Somewhere along the line we all started settling for less. No more.
This year choose to demand your worth. It’s going to mean something different to everyone. If you’re questioning if someone is valuing you, isn’t that already a red flag to explore?
8. Be someone who initiates things
In 2022, be the person who initiates things.
We love to point fingers when it comes to why something isn’t happening but if we first take a step back we would quickly realize there is something we could be doing on our end- isn’t there?
If you’re wondering why you haven’t seen that friend in a while- ask them to hang out. Follow through. Set up a meeting with your boss to talk about your hours/pay/work/vacation time, don’t wait on them to set up a performance review. Ask that person on a date. Whoo them. Start that club. Start initiating things to create your own opportunities.
9. Find YOUR balance
Balance is low-key on my vision board every. single. year. It’s hard to do and any time you’re starting a new challenge, you have to find a whole new balance again.
But here is the thing- it’s not cookie cutter and it’s NOT about evenly splitting your time to everything. A balanced schedule for one person spending X days in the gym, X hours sleeping, X days doing fun stuff with family, X amount of money on gifts each holiday – it’s not for you to paste into your life.
Hope you’re up for a lot of trial and error with this one!
10. Leave less tasks unfinished
I call it “the hollywood effect” because in TV shows and movies conversations are always cut short, people leave with doors open, or tedious tasks seem quick or aren’t shown at all (because who would want to watch that?)
But now, it’s pretty normal for things to just not get finished. It’s a bad habit that starts to creep into other areas of life if you’re not careful. This can be anything from actually getting your dirty clothes into the basket or as deep as tying off loose ends in your personal life. Let’s stop leaving things unfinished. If you want to achieve your big goals, you should be able to finish up the smaller ones.
11. Enjoy things more
Simply take the time to enjoy more. A lot of the problem today is people aren’t present in the moment. A child screaming and playing with a toy is annoying if you’re on your phone trying to watch a TikTok but it’s fun and an “awe” moment if you put it down and watch them discover a new concept.
Enjoy your morning drive with music (ALT AZ 933) you love. Enjoy the evenings at home by not wishing you were on vacation as you scroll Instagram and look up to see the people you’d take a bullet for a remember why. It wasn’t for sitting on the couch so well. 😉
Find the joy.
12. Listen to your body
It isn’t a secret. Your body wants you to know how to run efficiently. It’s talking to you. Listen. It’s telling you when to let go of stressors. That you need more water. That you shouldn’t eat that type of food. And if you really listen, you can get more in touch with your heart. That’s when you’re going to be able to calm your anxieties and let your passions take lead.
This year let’s do the things our body wants us to do- even though sometimes your plans for the day say something else.
13. Break routine more often
We discover the most about ourselves outside our comfort zones. Start doing things that break your routine a bit! If your routine is to never plan anything, try mapping out a week and seeing how it goes. If you plan everything to a “T” then try a week with no plans. Switch up the time you typically do something to experience a different flow or just do something a little “extra” to your character.
You can’t get a different outcome playing the same moves. If you want something different to happen this year then you need to do something different.
14.Intend to try
Intend to try. What does that mean? It means to put some actual effort forward. Not to plan to do it the next day just to wake up and decide you’re already defeated before even leaving bed.
It is really hard to find fault in someone who is trying. Just get up, put two feet on the ground and get it a whirl.
15. Revisit your intentions monthly
The first of the year is so exciting and everyone is asking if you have resolutions so they are fresh on the mind. Come March or April it can be hard to even come up with what they were. Write them down- or if you’re me, make a vision board! (See below) Then every month, pop back in on them. Remind yourself what you want to do and see if you’ve come up with a way to get there. Are you currently working towards one? A gentle self-reminder to get back to it. Also, a moment each month to pat yourself on the back for what you have accomplished. Definitely something to celebrate.
Another “New year new me” chance is upon us. As cliche as it, the notion is all in the right. Nothing wrong with embracing the idea of a fresh leaf.
Check in with yourself and see how you can adapt some of these intentions to move forward into the new year with a new attitude of gratitude and an intention to choose HOPE.