Are You Ready to Invest in You for 2022?
It's that time of year again. The countdown is on until 2022, making it time to decide on your New Year's resolutions and goals for the coming year. If you're looking for ideas, we have a great list to help you get started, along with helpful tips for following through and achieving whatever goals you set for yourself.
Because our list is rather broad, you'll want to tailor your goals to your unique circumstances. For example, the first idea on our list is to create a budget and save money. That's pretty open-ended. Deciding on the amount to save, how to save it and why you want to save will make your goal more tangible and achievable. More on that later in this article.
Another great tip is to work on goals with a friend, group or spouse—or you could simply talk through your goals with someone. It's an easy way to create a little accountability for yourself.
So, let's take a look at some goal options for 2022.
- Create a Budget & Save Money
- Read More Books
- Create a Wellness/Exercise Routine
- Reconnect or Make a New Friend
- Declutter & Organize Your Home
- Drink More Water
- Cook at Home More Often
- Learn a New Skill or Take a Class
- Spend More Time in Nature
- Complete One DIY Project Per Month
- Improve Your Work-Life Balance
- Reassess Your Job/Career and Goals
- Volunteer at a Local Charity
- Trade a Good Habit for a Bad Habit
- Unplug & Limit Screen Time
- Shop at and Support Local Businesses
- Designate Time for You/Partner/Kids
- Get to Know a Neighbor
- Clean Up Your Email Inbox
- Create a Healthy Bedtime Routine
- Take a Vacation, Even a Staycation
- Be Kind to Yourself
Why Do We Make Resolutions?
Each year, millions of people make New Year's resolutions, whether quitting a bad habit or starting a healthy, new one. This tradition can be traced back to ancient Rome when Julius Caesar established January 1 as the start of a new year.
The Romans named the first month of the year after the mythical god, Janus, who had two faces—one looking back on the past and one looking forward to the future. To appease Janus and bring good fortune in the coming year, the Romans made symbolic gestures such as improving their conduct or forgiving enemies for transgressions.
This practice evolved over the years, from being a primarily religious custom to becoming a widely accepted, non-secular tradition. Now, many of us make resolutions in an effort to improve our health, careers, family life and more.
Of course, following through is a whole different story. According to a recent survey commissioned by Finder:
An estimated 60.71% of Gen Zers, 42.22% of Millennials, 51.11% of Gen Xers, 52.94% of Baby Boomers, and 52.00% of the Silent Gen say if they fold on their resolutions, lack of self-control is to blame.
So, should you even bother to make resolutions or set goals? Absolutely! However, the biggest component of any goal is to set yourself up for success before taking on the challenge. Let's take a closer look.
Get Started by Setting SMART Goals
This framework can help provide the key to your success. Once a business management tool and often applied to career development, being SMART can be applied to your New Year's resolutions. Here's what the acronym stands for:
Specific | Measurable | Achievable | Relevant | Time-Based
Take one of our goal ideas from the list—Unplug & Limit Screen Time. This is a pretty open-ended statement, so apply the SMART goal framework to make it more specific and structured while setting yourself up to succeed.
By the end of the year, I will reduce my smartphone screen time to just one hour each night.
- Specific – This goal isn't just about limiting screen time in a general sense but taking it down to just a small window by the end of the year. You have a specific amount of screen time that you're striving to achieve in a specific amount of time.
- Measurable – Use an app or set a timer to monitor use. If you have an iPhone, "Screen Time" can be found under your phone's settings while a Pixel has a "Digital Wellbeing" app. These options provide ways to monitor, even limit your use of other apps.
- Achievable – If you're the type to scroll social media while watching TV or laying in bed, limiting yourself to one hour a night might not be realistic on day one. Start by cutting an hour, even a half-hour each night, then ramp up towards your ultimate goal.
- Relevant – Why are you making this a goal for 2022? If you'd like to spend more time with friends and family, focus on a hobby, or get those half-finished DIY home projects done, then limiting your screen time is relevant and contributes to other goals.
- Time-Based – Like achievable, setting your deadline to the end of the year gives you the ability to establish smaller goals along the way and gradually progress towards your ultimate goal. Celebrating small "wins" provides added motivation to stay focused.
Finally, Start When It's Right for You
Day one of 2022 doesn't have to be the absolute start date for a weight loss or money-saving journey or whatever resolution you decide to pursue. There's no need to pressure yourself to hit the ground running. Besides, many of us will likely be in recovery mode after a busy holiday season, and that's ok!
In fact, an article from Psychology Today discusses the importance of being prepared before you commit to any goal or change in your life. Basically, it states that if you set the first of January as the start date for your goal or New Year's resolution, but aren't ready to act on it, succeeding will be tough.
Perhaps, January 1 is when you start gathering all your financial info or researching and developing a weight loss plan with your doctor, that's just fine. Once you feel fully prepared and ready to take action, you'll likely have an easier time making a commitment that sticks.
Just remember to keep going. Adjust tactics if needed. And don’t forget to celebrate even the smallest successes!