2021… the year of many stops and starts, of a return to normalcy..but also a new normal, of reconnecting and relearning. 2021 was a year of growth in so many ways. While there may have been a long list of challenges and a longer list of to-dos that you didn’t quite cross off, the beauty of a new year is that it gives you the chance to create new habits, let go of old ones and to reflect, recharge and refocus.
Here are 8 ways to start fresh in the new year.
While it may seem like the perfect time to start that project you’ve been putting off, or to pitch that idea you’ve had swirling in the back of your head, the new year can bring a sense of overwhelm if you don’t take some time to regroup before kicking off a new project. Before diving into something new, it always helps to finish anything you’ve already started and let go of anything that didn’t serve you throughout the year. By making a list of everything you want to wrap up and leave in 2021, you will not only get an extra push to finish things off before the holiday rush, but it also helps you to look back and evaluate what worked and what didn’t.
The classic new year, new me predictably pops up year after year, and while the notion of using the start of a new year to transform yourself is, ideally, an amazing one, it can be pretty overwhelming to make a list of all the things you want to change about yourself. Instead, try picking one key goal that you want to focus on for the entire year. Whether it be a soft skill that will take practice to learn, like setting boundaries, or a more tangible goal like learning how to play the guitar, if you set your mind to achieving one thing you truly care about, you are much more likely to achieve it versus a long list of goals.
Connection is such an important part of our lives, and when you take the time to reach out to someone who has knowledge to share, not only does it give them a little boost but you’ll be surprised how much you can learn when you ask the right questions. Go in curious and dig for those nuggets of wisdom. You’ll both leave feeling recharged.
Now more than ever it is so important to support our local businesses. We've all been hit hard these past two years, especially those of us who are working in the tourism industry. Although international travel might be off the table for a while longer, it doesn't mean vacations are. Try planning a weekend staycation the next time you find yourself drifting off to your screensaver's white sand beach in the middle of an email. Whether it's taking a trip to the nearby mountains that you don't go to nearly as much as you like, or finding a fun winter cottage from a rental platform like Airbnb or VRBO, there are still so many ways to get that vacation you're dreaming of. This is the perfect time to explore our local attractions, the things that others travel to see, but we have never made the time to visit because "it will always be there." You might be surprised what hidden gems are right in your own backyard.
Life is too short, and also too long, to sit in complacency. If something isn’t working for you, take some time to evaluate why and look for some support to take that first step. You don’t have to do it alone and your future self will look back and thank you a million times over for recognizing you deserve better. Trust the process and know that you are never stuck in doing things one way. Keep trying until you find something that does, and don’t forget your support system is there to help you, so lean on them when you need to.
On the theme of setting your future self up for success, taking some time to plan your schedule, and laying out all your projects that are on the horizon will allow you to make meaningful decisions down the road, rather than ones fuelled by a time crunch or a panicked decision. Their failure to plan is not your emergency, but your own failure to plan is probably going to wind up being your emergency.
In the words of the wise Mark Manson, “With great responsibility comes great power. The more we choose to accept responsibility in our lives, the more power we will exercise over our lives. Accepting responsibility for our problems is the first step to solving them.” I’ll just let that sink in.
As many of us know after a year (or more) of working from home, it can be hard to peel ourselves away from our many demanding screens. Greater Good Magazine says taking regular breaks from our screens can have a positive impact on nearly every aspect of our lives, including increasing awareness, improving sleep, deepening connections, improving productivity and our ability to learn, and decreasing our overall dependency on these devices for coping and numbing. Try fitting in a screen break every 2-3 hours, whether that is grabbing some water in another room, going for a quick walk, or taking some time to plan your day or week on an old fashioned paperback agenda.
We are in no way licensed professionals at giving advice, but we hope these tips will help prepare you for all that 2022 may bring your way!