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Creating effective and achievable New Year's resolutions in 2022

how to create effective new year resolutions

Every year, the hope of a better life in the days to come spurs a majority of people to make New Year's resolutions. However, these New Year’s resolutions often end up being short-lived, making them inefficient ways of creating a lasting change in the long term for many people. Nevertheless, the aspiration to be better and create a better life is one that should not be discounted. The belief that we can be better is what drives most forms of innovation and discovery about the world and ourselves as people. As we start afresh in 2022, it is a time to make resolutions that stick, and to aspire to do better.

Are resolutions helpful?

Most New Year’s resolutions place emphasis on "actions", like exercise, diet, or any other such physical aspect that requires consistent action to get right. However, creating a habit of better thoughts is equally important, especially in times such as these. How we view our goals, aspirations, and the world in general, is an early indicator of our chances of success.

As per a research paper published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, 46% of individuals who made New Year's goals were able to achieve their goals. The study also accounted for people who did not make any resolutions, of which only 4% were able to make positive changes and achieve their goals. The question then lies not in whether or not we should make resolutions, but in how we can improve them to be effective and achievable!

Learning from the past

As the global community has seen, the last 2 years have shown the need and importance of organizational health. If leaders have learned one thing, it is that the resilience and efficiency of an organization are only as strong as the health, well-being and resilience of its team members. The pandemic has driven a mindset shift, showing us all the deeply intertwined connections between individual and organizational health and well-being.

Business leaders today are eager to create a better mindset when it comes to their leadership style. In the current landscape, creating a clutter-free lens for looking at and planning around employee health addresses two critical challenges:

Making effective New Year's resolutions

As we turn the page on 2021 and move forward in 2022, focusing on individual and organizational health goals in tandem will help create a well-rounded workplace. Here are some resolutions that are effective on the individual and company levels. 

Individual goals:

Psychological well-being goals - Psychological well-being includes the ability to express one's feelings authentically, develop healthy mechanisms to help cope with stress and to live life in an emotionally balanced way. Some ways to practise psychological and emotional well-being are:

  • Reducing stress - Practicing meditation or mindfulness through yoga and "mindfulness walks" through the park is a good starting point in managing stress. As per studies conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA), adding meditation or mindfulness to your daily routine can help reduce stress, improve your memory, improve focus levels, create better emotional regulation, and improve cognition, among other benefits.
  • Creating a self-care routine - Taking time out to do things that you enjoy doing for yourself can have tremendously positive psychological benefits. Many of us tend to hold a negative outlook about our surroundings or to be too harsh on ourselves. Positive self-affirmation and positive self-talk can help alleviate these negative thoughts and lead to a better mindset.

Physical well-being goals - Just like the mind reacts well to positive thoughts, nutrient-rich foods give our bodies the energy to keep moving and performing at optimal levels. Choosing homemade meals over easy to access fast food, creating a healthy meal plan, or visiting a certified nutritionist can help keep the body healthy. Some more ways to reach one's physical well-being goals are:

  • Creating a healthy sleep routine - Amid the various tasks and challenges the day throws at us, many of us often forget the healing power of sleep. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) reports that getting sufficient sleep is crucial in helping the body fight infection, improve metabolism, and carry out our day-to-day tasks efficiently and safely. In the post-pandemic world, we simply cannot afford to put our immune systems at risk by not getting enough rest.
  • Taking preventive measures - This includes regular visits to the doctor and other healthcare providers. Regular consultations allow healthcare professionals to provide more effective treatment, and to help you stay healthy consistently. Scheduling an annual health check with the family doctor can go a long way in creating a healthy lifestyle for you and your loved ones.

Intellectual well-being goals - We live in the information age, and are constantly being fed more and more information on a daily basis. However, a lot of the information we are bombarded with doesn't help us grow our mental capacities. Intellectual well-being is more about keeping one's brain active and expanding one's intellectual capabilities. Engaging in activities that allow you to harness your creativity and intelligence can help cultivate your curiosity about the world. This in turn helps build a habit of life-long learning. Here are a few ways to develop a healthy intellect:

  • Exercising the brain - The brain needs regular exercise and training to stay healthy. You can play brain-training games, solve puzzles, crosswords, or even memory-enhancing games to stay mentally fit.
  • Learning something new - The brain thrives on novelty, and this can come in the form of knowledge as well. You can learn a new skill or improve old ones, or take some time out to learn about things that ignite your passion. This way, you can have fun while learning something that could potentially open new doors in the future!

Organizational goals:

  • Encourage better work-life balance -  The hybrid work system and social distancing have led to corporate professionals across the world having to deal with a fine line between work time and personal time. As a leader, encouraging employees to strike a balance between work and play is a crucial aspect of creating a winning work culture in the new year. 
  • Cultivate a sense of purpose - With such a massive perspective shift in the face of the pandemic, more employees across industries have begun seeking a sense of "purpose" from their work. Developing a work culture that shows the importance of the organization's work, and the importance of each employee's role in the company will go a long way in helping employees take on their roles with renewed vigour in the days to come.

In closing

Individual health and organizational health are intricately linked. The growth of the individual produces a positive impact for the organization, and vice-versa. Thus, now more than ever before, harnessing the company’s culture to have a positive impact on employees' well-being is critical. When each team member focuses on their own health and well-being, while leaders work to offer better room for growth, both employees and the organization thrive. Let us create a new year full of growth, productivity, and prosperity, with effective and achievable New Year's resolutions!

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Aditya Prakash Swain is an adaptable and dynamic Digital Media Consultant responsible for content marketing strategy, conducting thorough research on industry-related topics, generating ideas for new content types and enhancing brands digital presence.