By: Khushi Popat
Happy New Year! 2021 flew by in the blink of an eye, and now 2022 has already begun. Every year around the first week of January, we all get excited about the new year and make resolutions to better ourselves. However, most of the time, those resolutions don't even last until January 31st. It usually happens because we make resolutions due to peer pressure, and not because we enjoy them. When we do something we don't particularly enjoy, we end up disengaging from it rather than completing it.
2022 is going to be all about the improvement of our mental, physical, and spiritual well-being as well as our surroundings. If you want to improve your quality of life and are looking forward to living a mentally, physically, and spiritually enriching life, then consider adopting these resolutions in 2022:
1. Compliment at least one person every day
People often say “what goes around comes around.” It is time to put this theory to the test in 2022. This random act of kindness makes yourself and others feel better. If you find it difficult to speak to new people, start with complimenting somebody in your inner circle and then slowly branch out. Don't push yourself; let it come naturally to you. The kindness that you send out into the universe will come back to you in immeasurable amounts!
2. Write one thing you like about yourself
Mirror mirror on the wall, who's the prettiest of them all? Me.
Self-love is the most important kind of love. Write down one thing you like about yourself every day to gain confidence. It could be something about physical beauty, an act of kindness that you did that day, etc. You should also set up date nights with yourself to pamper yourself. Watch a nice movie, drink a glass of wine, or do a facial massage and enjoy your time alone. You are your best company.
3. Cut out negativity
Your vibes attract your tribe. If you want to be surrounded by cheerful people, you need to be cheerful yourself. In today's world, negativity has become second nature to most of us. It is hard to find people who have an optimistic outlook on life and choose to look at the bright side. Be around people who value life, don't gossip or criticize, and believe the glass is half full to be happier and attract positive energy. It isn't hard to be positive, but it is your choice every day. Choose positivity and happiness over negativity.
4. Express your feelings to the people you love
If there is anything we have learned because of the pandemic, it's the fact that life is unpredictable. You never know what is going to happen, so carpe diem every moment of your life. Enjoy quality time with the people you love, express your feelings, and create beautiful memories that will last a lifetime.
5. Step out of your comfort zone
How often have you hesitated to try something new because you were scared? We hesitate to try new things because of the comfort zones that we create for ourselves. We get scared to step out of our comfort zones because they offer a sense of security and stability. Pushing our boundaries can make us feel vulnerable and afraid to face the future. However, to explore our truest potential, sometimes it's important to step out of our comfort zone and push our boundaries to the maximum. Do things that make you afraid, try out things you wouldn't otherwise, and live your life fearlessly.
6. Learn a new language
For all the linguaphiles out there, the beginning of the new year is the perfect time to learn a new language. If you are planning on taking a trip to a foreign destination in 2022, it would be best to learn the native language of that place.
You can take online classes on language learning apps like Duolingo, Busuu, or Babbel. If you like learning in person, you could sign up for a class in your city or community library and add one more language to your list!
7. Spending some time outdoors every day
Courtesy of COVID-19, we spent 2020 and a majority of 2021 indoors. Hopefully, 2022 is different and we can safely spend time outside. Going outside allows you to breathe fresh air, reduce stress, boost your immune system, and get your vitamin D.
With our busy lifestyles, it can be difficult to take the time out of our schedules to be outside. However, you can easily spend time outside by doing some indoor activities outdoors. Instead of having your breakfast inside, you can have your breakfast in your backyard or on your balcony. If you regularly exercise or meditate, do it in a nearby park or a beach. There are many easy ways to spend time outside without clearing out your schedule.
8. Develop some new hobbies
Are you somebody who gets bored very easily? If so, this is the best resolution you can make in 2022. Developing new hobbies like painting, finding new sports, arts and crafts, learning the guitar, etc, is a great way to make 2022 productive and fun. You engage all parts of your brain. Plus, it is a wonderful conversation starter; you get to share your experiences with all the people you meet!
9. Create a weekly cleaning schedule
Did your mom often ask you to clean your room, but it was your least favorite chore? If so, did you ever wonder why she asked you to? A clean and clutter-free house helps maintain good health, brings you peace, allows thoughts to flow naturally, increases productivity, and reduces stress. Cleanliness is often neglected because cleaning or organizing is time-consuming and tiring, but it is worth the benefits. Clear out the things you don't need once every few months. Also, set aside a day of the week to clean. Wash your bedsheets and pillowcases, clean your utensils, and deep clean your house. It takes some time and energy but will leave you satisfied in the end.
10. Get regular health checkups done
The saying “health is wealth” has never been more accurate. Because of the pandemic, we have realized that we took our health for granted. However, simply realizing it isn't enough. We need to take measures to improve ourselves and live a healthier lifestyle. One crucial way to do so is to get checkups regularly. Doctors advise annual full-body checkups. Don't forget to attend those appointments to keep an eye out for any diseases creeping up and ensure you remain in good health.
11. Volunteer whenever you can
Is there a cause you are passionate about but don't know how to help out? Volunteering is the best way to support a cause. Help a shelter or organization whenever you can. Time is the most important gift you can give to anybody. Volunteering not only benefits the organization you are supporting but also benefits you. Meet like-minded people and socialize, become more confident with tackling issues, have fun, and give back to the community. If you are a student, it also looks great on your resumé. This new year, find a cause and volunteer at a nearby group.
12. Be more present
STOP being on your gadgets 24/7 and enjoy the world outside your screen. We live in a beautiful world with trees, mountains, beaches, lakes, rivers, birds chirping, and other people. It is nice to pause for a second and absorb the surroundings you are in. Listen to the child giggling on the swing, the old couple talking about life, and the teens blasting music in their cars every once in a while. Be more present in the smaller moments and enjoy the various little moments of happiness life offers you!
13. Clean out things you don't need
Minimalistic lifestyles are all the rage right now. It means living with fewer things and still being satisfied. Minimalistic living has multiple benefits: you save money, have less clutter in your house, and you help the environment. With the increasing popularity of tiny houses, this lifestyle is ideal.
14. Have more meals with your family
Family is one of the best gifts life can offer us. They share your happiness, stand by you when time gets tough, and love you unconditionally. Lately, the significance of family has been vanishing; people aren't making the effort to keep in touch with their loved ones because of their busy lifestyles. Meals are the perfect way to spend quality time with your family. If you have a good relationship with your family, host meals with them regularly and help cook. It isn't time-consuming because you would be doing so anyway, and now you can do it with your family.
15. Maintain a healthy work-life balance
You know the saying, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy?” As humans, we often tend to focus on work because it helps us achieve our materialistic dreams. We forget that if we spend the entire day working, we lose out on precious time we can spend with our family. Maintaining a work-life balance is necessary to reduce stress, improve our mental and physical health, have better relationships with people, increase productivity at our workplace, and make us happier in the longer run. Spending quality time with your family and friends by playing board games, watching a movie together, cooking together, or going out will rejuvenate you and also make you happier at your work. If you are a workaholic, actively try maintaining a balance between your professional and personal life this year!
16. Make more environmentally conscious choices
We don't call our planet Mother Earth for nothing. Earth is our mother and provides oxygen, shelter, nutrition, and medicine. For the past couple of years, the health of the planet has been degrading rapidly. As reported by the US EPA, the ozone layer is depleting because of the release of chlorofluorocarbons. We have been making choices that are leading to the degradation of our planet, and it's time to reverse those changes. Improving the health of our planet is in our hands and we can make choices that could improve the health of our planet. Using compact fluorescent bulbs instead of regular LEDs, driving electric cars instead of gas-powered vehicles, reducing air conditioning wastage by using fans, maintaining your refrigerator's temperature, eating organically, and buying recycled and reused products are some ways you can contribute to reform our planet and make it a home for us and other organisms.
17. Get good, sound sleep
A night of good, sound sleep is the secret ingredient in the recipe of a happy person. Sleep is miraculous, and we don't fully understand its benefits all the time. According to the Mental Health Foundation, it has helped with mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. Undisturbed sleep also leaves you energized and leads to a productive day.
To sleep well, you can exercise and tire yourself out, meditate before bedtime, avoid using electronic gadgets at least one hour before bed, read a book, and listen to soothing music or white noise. Sleep well and improve the quality of your life!
18. Write down your goals
Have you recently heard people talking about the power of manifestation? Manifestation means bringing something tangible into your life through attraction and belief. Writing is a great way to manifest something into existence; write down your goals to remind you of your progress and the amount of work you need to put in. Your goals seem real after you write them down. After accomplishing a goal, crossing it from your list makes you feel satisfied and productive. For the new year, write down your goals and manifest them into existence.
19. Have a healthy breakfast in the morning
Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a soldier, and dinner like a pauper is what they say, right? That’s because breakfast is the most important meal of the day. According to Better Health, breakfast boosts your energy levels and restores your glycogen level for the day, gives your body the nutrients it needs in the morning, reduces the risk of any illness, and sharpens your brain. Also, believe it or not, eating breakfast in the morning helps control your weight because you are less likely to grab unhealthy food after having a heavy breakfast. The best thing to have for breakfast would be to have some fruits that are packed with nutrition like avocados, bananas, or berries. You can also have eggs, oats, Greek yogurt, and a cup of coffee. Breakfast can be healthy and tasty at the same time!
20. Avoid using your phone in the morning
How many of us are guilty of checking our phones first thing in the morning? I'm sure a majority of us are. In the digital age, our lives revolve around technology. It may seem impossible to not look at your phone the first thing in the morning, but it can be done and it will positively affect your mood throughout your day.
A study by the University of Gothenburg in Sweden had a group of young individuals, aged 20-24, respond to a questionnaire and do a 1-year follow-up. During the course of the study, they experimented with different exposures to use of mobile phones in the morning, and the results showed that when you use your phone within 15 minutes of waking up, you are more likely to be stressed throughout your day. It also leads to an increase in symptoms of depression in young men and women. Using your phone before being fully awake also hinders your brain's ability to prioritize your tasks and thus, leads to an unproductive day.
Little things like setting an alarm on an alarm clock instead of your phone, going on a walk after you wake up, or making your bed and getting ready, will help divert your attention from your phone.
21. Read a spiritual book every month
Spirituality involves the feeling or belief that there is something greater than yourself. Spirituality and religion are often confused. While they aren't polar opposites, they certainly aren't the same. Religion is based on the lives, teachings, and beliefs of a historical figure, whereas spirituality is based on the practical application of the teachings of a founder. Spirituality enhances a sense of individuality, mindfulness, and unity. Reading a spiritual book every month increases your knowledge, improves your quality of life, and lets you live a happier life. It's great because this way you also inculcate the habit of reading into your life. Read spiritual books and embody the teachings into your daily life to live a happier and free life.
22. Start your day with gratitude
“Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more" - Melody Beattie, an American author of self-help books .
Gratitude can do wonders in your life. It changes your perspective and shows you that you can be happy even in the smallest moments. Beginning your day with gratitude allows you to start with a positive state of mind and continues that emotion throughout the rest of your day. Be thankful for the sunshine, the peaceful sleep, and the people around you. Practice gratitude and make yourself the happiest you've ever been!
New Year's resolutions aren't hard to keep up with if you choose resolutions that you would enjoy doing and are realistic. The key to fulfilling them is by starting slow and understanding that this isn't a race. The outcome of these resolutions is your growth as a person; not a gold medal. Consider yourself as your only comparative measure and take up goals that you want to work on. Appreciate yourself for reaching milestones and progressing towards your goals, and strive to be a better version of yourself this year!