Happy new year! Are you thinking about setting resolutions for 2022? With all the lockdown and pandemic talk (still) happening, this might be more difficult than in previous years. Are the gyms going to close again? Will I be able to start that new food lifestyle? Will I even be able to make it to Tulum this year?
While we all wait for that “new normal,” we have the opportunity to reframe how we experience where we are now. For me, 2021 presented me with the chance to rethink resolutions. I decided to focus on building in more holistic practices rather than individual goals. I swapped out “gym three times a week” with “move daily.” Building better habits into day-to-day activities allowed me to actually hold to my new year’s resolutions. Because of this, I have been happier and healthier this year.
Below are five resolutions worth keeping and implementing into your daily life. There are a few things to remember when setting any resolutions. First, set a limit on how many goals you are looking to make. Next, make your resolutions specific. When I changed my resolution to moving daily, I also made sure to add for a minimum of 15 min a day. For all you fitness buffs, I know 15 min is about half of the recommended movement time, but the pandemic was hard and, I sat a lot. This brings me to the next point, start small.
Very few of us can successfully go from 0 to 100 overnight. By the end of 2021, I was moving for over an hour a day, but I started at 15 minutes. Finally, stay open and get help. Having an accountability partner (or app) helps hold you to your goals. The extra support is helpful when those resolutions start to feel hard. Change can be challenging. Having someone to support you through change is an important aspect of success.
Here are a few resolutions to help you along your journey in 2022. Good luck, you’ve got this!
As I said, this is not a traditional resolution of going to the gym three times a week. This resolution is just about moving your body, even if it is up and down the hallways a couple of times. The past few years have been passed sitting in a chair sitting for many people. It’s time to get active again. The physical and mental benefits of activity of any type are important, but how we get the activity is less important.
My dad always parks in the furthest spot at the store so he can get his steps in. I prefer a dance party in the living room. It doesn’t always have to be treadmills and barbells. The key to this resolution is to commit to moving your body regularly simply. Let the type of movement you are doing evolve as you get stronger and keep going.
Pay it forward
This resolution is all about finding space to give back. The pandemic has been draining for many people. Some of us have experienced it much worse than others. I know that every canceled holiday plan has been exhausting for me. This is why acts of kindness need to be built into your new year. Think about those videos of people buying meals for someone they have never met or pets howling, “I love you.”
Those little moments where you want to say, “aww, that’s so sweet.” Try building in a giving practice into your new year. We need more kind moments to continue through the pandemic. Try leaving a note (or text) for someone you know has been having a hard time. Donate to or volunteer for a local organization. Or call your mom. Whatever it is, everyone could use an act of kindness in their lives.
Do one green thing
Global warming is real. The abnormally hot summers say so. This year, commit to being a bit more green. This doesn’t mean you immediately have to become a master composter. It means trying out high-efficiency bulbs and recycling.
Or it could mean walking to the store (and getting in movement minutes). I am working on switching out cleaning products to eco-friendly products. I also used last year to start a garden. This resolution is about finding a way to get a bit greener.
Start a mindfulness practice
Mindfulness practices are not new. There are traditions dating back thousands of years. This is why I can bet there is something out there that would work for every person. There is enough diversity in practices to create something that feels true for you.
The benefits of mindfulness are endless – stress relief, better sleep, improved mental, physical, and social health, to name a few. For some, diving into a yogic lifestyle and meditation is the way to go. For others, the namastes and cross-legged poses aren’t a fit. Mindfulness is really about slowing down and experiencing every moment.
There are many apps and sites where you can get the how-tos of developing a practice but again, start small. Maybe starting practice for you this year means breathing deeply three times when you feel mad, anxious, or overly excited. For others, mindfulness this year could mean cutting out multi-tasking and focussing in on one thing at a time.
Try something new
Use this year as an opportunity to check something off your bucket list. With businesses reopening and a growing number of online classes from around the world, now is a great chance to learn that new skill.
Consider this your mental workout. Introducing new activities will give you the chance to get to know new people. What is that thing you’ve been itching to learn or try? Write it down, and plan how you can accomplish it this year!