Did You Make a New Year’s Resolution?

atomic habits book

So here we are, early in the third week of 2022. How’s everyone doing on their resolutions? After the tumultuous end to 2022 – the rise of Omicron, changes to travel plans, cancelled or postponed family gatherings – did you even make resolutions this year? Maybe you considered some commitments, or decided to make a few everyday changes? If even these seem like a lot, I’ve also loved seeing the trend of picking a word of the year; thinking big picture and asking yourself “What do I want to contribute?” or “What matters most to me?” 

This year, I’ve set some broad goals for myself. I want to get outside every day. (It got weird there for a while in December! When it’s cold and it gets dark before 5pm and you live in an apartment in Philadelphia and work from home, it’s possible to go for days without venturing outside, I discovered. Yikes!) Related: I want to be more intentional about moving more a few times a week. I want to read more books and spend less time scrolling Instagram. I want to “meditate” more, or at least use the Calm app every day, even if just for a couple of minutes. And I’m looking for more ways to get involved in Philadelphia civic engagement or local non-profits.

I haven’t actually opened James Clear’s Atomic Habits yet, but my personal philosophy regarding these goals is to keep them small. Even two minutes in the Calm app counts. Some days I might be able to spend longer, and that’s great. A walk around the block counts as getting outside. I don’t have to make it happen before noon, and I’m not beating myself up if I don’t get 10,000 steps every day. My goal is only to exit my apartment, get on the elevator, and walk outside. And I’m not aiming for 6 or 7 days of exercise a week, or a full hour a day. I’m just trying to add in more movement that works for me. And I haven’t removed Instagram from my phone, but I have been leaving my phone charging in the kitchen overnight instead of next to my bed. If I can’t fall asleep, or wake up early, I’ve been reaching for my Kindle instead of Instagram, and that’s been feeling pretty good!

In all of these cases I’m tackling something small, and hoping to get in a groove. Calm lets me track how many days I’ve used the app, and it’s rewarding seeing a “streak” develop. I also keep track of my workouts, reading, and getting outside in my planner. Just a simple checklist/habit tracker of sorts, but again, seeing those checks add up is a nice tangible indicator of my progress.

Maybe some of these tricks align with those in Atomic Habits? I’ll circle back when I finish it – even if it takes me a little while to make my way through. It’s on my list!

What are you committing to this year? Have you identified any strategies that work for you? I’d love to hear all your good tips and tricks! Leave a comment on LinkedIn!

-Mylène Kerschner, Research and Consulting Manager