By Yvonne Milosevic
We don’t know about you, but here at the Blacklight, we’re so ready to turn the page on 2021. Sure, no one can predict what fresh calamity might lurk just around the corner. But we firmly believe that we can weather any storm that comes our way with the right tools and mindset. These five New Year’s resolutions, inspired by this year’s most popular posts, can guide you toward becoming a better version of yourself in 2022.
Self-Care-Centric New Year’s Resolutions
Resolution #1 Become more open to other points of view.
Part of maturing is realizing that your long-held beliefs may sometimes need a refresh. While certainty makes us feel secure in our opinions, it closes all roads to greater insights. It also makes us incurious, which is not good for anyone striving to live their best life. One way to evade the polarization plaguing our times is to become open to seeing the world through another’s eyes.
As Wharton professor and best-selling author Adam Grant explains in his new book, Think Again, “No matter how passionately I feel about a given issue, I could imagine having grown up in a family or in a country, or in an era, where, because of my experiences and the people that I knew, I might believe different things.
“Considering the possibility that we could hold different views, all of the sudden, it just destabilizes a lot of the stereotypes and prejudices that people hold,” Grant says.
Resolution #2 Embrace the power of daily reflection.
If we’ve learned anything this year, it’s the importance of prioritizing mental health and respecting our bandwidth limits. Adopting author Neil Pasricha’s two-minute daily routine can boost your mood and fortify you to keep calm and carry on. In his book The Happiness Equation, Pasricha suggests we reflect on and write down three things each morning: what you’ll focus on, what you’re grateful for, and what you’ll let go of.
“The difference this little practice made in my life has been incredible,” Pasricha reveals. “Because the truth is, we’re only awake for around 1,000 minutes a day on average. If we can invest just two of them to prime our brains for positivity, then we’ll be helping ensure the other 998 minutes of our days are happier.”
Resolution #3 Try a new way to make your goals stick.
When others start ditching their New Year’s resolutions come February, you can tout your unflagging motivation—courtesy of temptation bundling. Coined by behavioral scientist and Wharton professor Katy Milkman, temptation bundling is when you couple something you should do, like exercise, with something you’d rather do, like binge-watch Squid Games on Netflix.
This commitment device counteracts our human tendency to undervalue delayed rewards and overvalue short-term pleasures. As Milkman explains, “Temptation bundling harnesses the appeal of the here-and-now, making your tough goals fun, not dreaded — and can help you recover wasted time in the bargain.”
Resolution #4 Learn how to boost your resilience.
While we trudge through this never-ending pandemic reality, many of us are living in a perpetual state of “meh.” We need to become proactive to snap ourselves out of this malaise. Put an end to your languishing by following these five steps to increase resilience and joy from London Business School’s Selin Kesebir.
“Happiness is a skill that can be learned like speaking Spanish or playing guitar,” explains Kesebir, an associate professor of organizational behavior at LBS. “It is a skill of the mind; a capacity to shape the way that we see, process and interpret our reality and the things around us. It can be developed like any other competence.”
Of course, we’re not suggesting you become a delusional Pollyanna when you make your New Year’s resolutions. Instead, Kesebir says it’s about “choosing not to focus on the negative at the expense of the positive.”
Resolution #5 Bring more humor into your life.
The stats for daily laughter output are dismal. That’s because, by age 23, our day-to-day experience with humor goes off a cliff. And we don’t recover it until we’re well into our Golden Years. But according to the new book “Humor, Seriously” by Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas of Stanford GSB, “humor is a superpower that’s completely under-leveraged and underappreciated at work.”
Humor strengthens our social bonds and provides tons of health benefits. Feeling at ease in our work environment reduces tension and protects us from stress. We’re also more willing to express new ideas and take risks that lead to creative solutions and increase productivity. Plus, says Aaker, “There is a significant ROI on humor…from a business perspective.”
The trick is to look for the fun in life—not to try to be a stand-up comedian at the office. As Bagdonas explains, “Levity is a mindset. It’s an inherent state of receptiveness to—and seeking of—joy.”
We hope these five resolutions help you kick off 2022 with a solid roadmap for achieving your personal goals. Happy New Year to everyone from the Blacklight!