2022 is a pretty big deal for a lot of reasons. Many of us are welcoming the new year as a metaphor for hope and promise, but I’m prepping for a year of seismic shifts sure to bring out my inner Momzilla. Four graduations (two college, one high school, one kindergarten), my husband’s fiftieth birthday, our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, and invasive (and maybe lethal) dissection of my small business are all on the calendar. It’s going to be a lot of work, and all of these fall squarely on my shoulders… my tired, weary shoulders.
I have an unhealthy habit of focusing so heavily on surviving that I rarely remember to live. And resolutions for a new year? Those are just more line items on an infinite to-do list. I’m not adding weight loss to my archives of stress-inducing inevitable failures. Saving more money and exercising (hello, I have eight kids) have long since written themselves into the aforementioned annals. So I’ve decided to focus on being a better version of myself instead. Join me in these twenty-two ways (without diet or exercise) to be better in 2022.
1. Be kind. No one likes a jerk, and kindness fits great no matter the size of your jeans. I’ve never felt guilty for being nice to someone. I’ll take the side order of less guilt, please.
2. Say yes. It sounds like the opposite of healthy boundaries, doesn’t it? Say yes to one more bedtime story, one more “just-because” coffee date with a friend, a few extra minutes in bed… yes to small moments of joy.
3. Say no. Now that’s more like it; if it’s just too much, it’s a “no.” I can’t afford to say yes to biting off insurmountable amounts of stress to keep my super mom status. Capes aren’t cute anymore anyway.
4. 15 minutes. That’s just over 1% of a 24 hour day. 15 minutes is mine to start the day. For me, that’s coffee and Jesus. The 1% determines the other 99%, and I plan to use it wisely.
5. Hug more. I love my family, but I’m not always uber affectionate. They need more these days; we all do. Hugs don’t cost a thing, but there’s an invaluable return on investment.
6. Compliment more. A friendly word at the check-out, a text to a friend, or a like on social media could really change the trajectory of someone else’s day and open doors of communication for me too.
7. Complement better. I can be a better wing woman, a yin to a yang, an alpha to an omega. I don’t need to change to be like the people I’m around. I can shine without comparison or feelings of insufficiency. In the year 2022 I will focus on what I bring to the table, not on what everyone else does.
8. Pray more and worry less. Easier said than done, but if life has taught me anything, it’s that I can only control the controllable. Everything else is what it is, no matter how much I stew and fret!
9. Support small business owners. I’ve met a lot of incredibly hard-working, dedicated women over the last few years. Most of them are either entrepreneurs or hold positions in which they positively affect the lives of others daily. Their selfless support has inspired me to do the same for others. It makes a difference.
10. Delegate. Control freak, type A, OCD, you name it… If I want it done right, I need to do it myself… Or do I? 2022 is the year of close enough, and “I can live with it.” If a task can be shared, and quality control is not of paramount importance, delegate it!
11. Eliminate. I spent the entirety of one Saturday dismantling an epic pile of “stuff I’ll get to later” on my kitchen counter. The elimination of that visual stress and clutter was freeing, and intentionally removing visual stress eliminated my emotional stress. Get rid of what stresses you out.
12. Make a list and check things off. As a card-carrying member of the Overly Uptight and Committed Club, I live by lists. When I don’t make them, I forget and I fail. But success isn’t just in accomplishing the tasks; it is also in the satisfaction of crossing things off. Why is that so darn cathartic?
13. Laugh it off. Who am I kidding? This is a tough one for me because I can take myself WAY too seriously. This is the year of letting loose… just a little.
14. Seek to understand. Let’s face it, we could all use a little more prejudgment empathy, couldn’t we? Before I jump on my moral high horse, I am taking a few moments of grace to truly understand from where others are coming.
15. Put first things first. I pretty much do this anyway, but I need the slap on the back to keep it up. This year, I am getting something accomplished before being sucked into the black hole of online shopping or social media.
16. Be happy…TODAY. I spend so much time preparing for tomorrow that I give up on today’s happiness. But, tomorrow never comes. It is always just today. I better look for happiness in today.
17. Choose wisely. Have you ever heard, “You are the five people you spend the most time with”? I think that carries over to the five things you watch, you follow, you read. I need to choose what I allow to surround me more carefully.
18. Appreciate and have a gratitude mindset. Things could be worse, and my problems are first-world ones.
19. Keep dreaming. It’s okay to think big. I’m a natural go-getter, so working toward something audacious and important feels better.
20. Learn. Mistakes aren’t fatal if we learn from them. So, I’ll learn by accident and on purpose. Learning how to approach a situation better or learning a new skill are both growth opportunities.
21. Be brave. I’m more of a cower in fear and avoidance type gal. I don’t intend to slay any dragons, but I know that I am stronger than I care to give myself credit for, and a tiny bit of courage is healthy and worth a try.
22. Celebrate. This is a year of celebrations, after all. If I cannot celebrate myself and the people I love, what is the point of #1 – #21? Bring it on, 2022!