Updated: Dec 26, 2021
Time required for each: only a few minutes a day
Still shopping for a New Year resolution?
Choose from this bunch of easy-peasy habits you can follow daily in 2022, based on what has worked for me in 2021.
Of course, you can personalise and tweak these ideas to your liking. These are simply a blueprint for you to follow.
So, here’s my list of top 10 must-follow New Year resolutions for you.
If there’s one thing, only one thing, you can do to boost your productivity and get sh*t done, this one will help you the most.
Planning your day the evening or night before not only fills your mind with clarity, reduces your stress levels, and helps you sleep better. It also makes you more focused when you show up to your workspace the next day.
It’s literally what my doctor has ordered me to do, so you surely stand to win with this one.
Time commitment needed: 5–10 minutes post-dinner or before bedtime
When your therapist tells you that your daily journaling practice is the best thing you’re doing for yourself, that’s all the argument needed in favour of this powerful (and free) therapy.
Besides, I end up jotting down tons of ideas in the process.
I’m completing two years of journaling at the beginning of 2022; you can read all about my experience here.
Time commitment needed: 10–30 minutes first thing upon waking up
After you “pour from yourself” during your work hoursā, it’s time to fill your cup.
Ensure you get your daily dose of reading, movie-watching, and motivational talks. Here are 7 TED-talk recommendations of mine.
Devote your weekends to hobbies, learning new things, and R&R.
Create a playlist of inspirational songs that immediately fire you up.
Ask a family member or friend to participate in a brainstorming session with you, where you bounce off ideas with each other.
And squeeze in some Artist’s Date activities once a week. I’m yet to do this one regularly, so I’m making that a goal for the coming year.
Time commitment needed: 5–60 minutes anytime in the day
Eating on time
I know of too many people who’d rather give themselves acidity while pretending to be busy and important than follow an eating routine like normal, healthy folks.
I also know of some who won’t let others eat until they finish their work.
As someone who has been struggling with acidity for what seems like an entire lifetime, I’m telling you the slogging and slavery aren’t worth it.
Please eat on time, relish your meals, and save your life. Switch off all your gadgets while eating. (I keep my phone in another room when I’m at the dining table.)
And yes, tank up on 3 litres of H2O per day.
Time commitment needed: 15–20 minutes per meal
Scheduling passion before paid work
This may not appear important to you, but trust me, it is.
If your workplace or clients dictate the first sacred hours of your day when you’re supposed to be working towards realising your dream, when will you actually get around to doing something to realise your dream?
Reserve your peak energy for your own dreams instead of others’. It's even easier if you have a WFH lifestyle.
It’s a bitter lesson I learned a few years ago, which is why I would write my book PiKu & ViRu during my commutes to work and before any work would come to my desk. (Buy/download, read, and review my book here if you haven’t yet; it's FREE on Kindle Unlimited. Please ensure you drop a review after you read it.)
I now prioritise my screen- and fiction-writing immediately after breakfast. It’s an hour I guard like a hawk.
Time commitment needed: 10–60 minutes per morning before work
Cutting down on social media
Let’s face it: social media has become boring now. Yawn.
Yet, it manages to take us down virtual rabbit holes through those sneakily designed timelines whenever we log in.
It’s rare to not end up with FOMO or negativity after a session.
In short, it’s a colossal waste of time—a good way to blow up and squander all that productive time on something unproductive.
At the same time, social media is an indispensable part of our lives, especially when it comes to keeping in touch with our friends and promoting our works and businesses.
The key, thus, is to maintain a balance and be disciplined about its usage.
That’s why I’ve dedicated only one day a week to social media use.
Even then, I have a strategy for my navigation.
The result: less time spent scrolling and more on getting some actual work and reading done.
Facebook and Twitter also have scheduling tools, so I make the most of them during this time.
The idea is to get smart with your scrolling, make a plan for it, and stick to it.
Time commitment needed: once a week
Wrapping up work early
Working late hours is a sure-shot recipe for a bad back, messed-up mental health, strained relationships, and an unhealthy heart.
It’s high time we stop glorifying this dangerous habit and normalise leaving as soon as our work is done.
So, let’s devote a New Year resolution of ours to this cause by signing out early.
The goal should be to get the task done in the least amount of time, not show off the number of hours we slog to come across as “hardworking”.
My spondylosis diagnosis has only made me rue the lack of assertiveness to leave work on the dot during my jobs.
Don’t make the same mistakes as I did. Log out of work early.
Those employee and “performer of the year” awards are just not worth it.
Time commitment needed: Not time—just some balls
You can’t skip this one (pun unintended), no matter how busy you are.
And *breaking news*, you don't need a gym membership for it.
I devote an hour at least five days a week to my workouts, which range from walking and jogging (cardio) to yoga and pranayama. These help me move my body after so much time writing on my computer during the day, and I feel fit, fresh, active, and energetic.
My fitness goal in 2022 is to increase my strength- and weight-training routines, so one of my New Year resolutions is devoted to these.
Time commitment needed: 30–60 minutes in the morning or evening, plus Vajrasana for 5–10 minutes after meals and short bursts of walking and stretching during work hours
We frequently check on our loved ones’ well-being; do we ever check ourselves for our own?
Set hourly reminders to ask yourself how you are feeling.
It’s the best and simplest act of self-love and self-care you can extend to yourself.
If you aren’t happy with your current life path, please feel free to pivot.
I even tell myself “I love you” twice a day, without waiting for anyone else to say it.
Also, talk (in your head or on a page) to a higher power or source you believe in; it keeps you brave and humble.
Time commitment required: If an hour a day isn’t feasible, just once in the morning and once before bedtime are enough
Building your “machinery”
I’m not asking you to invent a gigantic contraption straight out of a science-fiction movie :D
The machinery I’m referring to is the one comprising your entire life in script or blueprint form.
The components can include personal principles, tenets, famous quotes, life lessons, therapy insights, etc.
Consider it as a constitution for conducting your life. The moment you’re faced with a brain-racking situation, refer to this plan and you’ll instantly know what to do.
The machinery also acts as your algorithm when it comes to attracting opportunities and certain kinds of people.
For instance, if, as per this machinery, watching movies up to the end credits is an important quality for you and you also seek this in your life partner, you’ll know that one of your first few dates has to be at a movie hall. That’s how you can see whether the person you’re with stays back to watch those parts and show their respect and gratitude towards the people painstakingly involved in the filmmaking process.
Of course, the plan is subject to change as per life situations—though certain principles are bound to remain intact and rock-solid.
Time commitment required: 10–30 minutes any time in the day
Bonus: Introducing yourself to everyone at an event
Once the world goes back to normal and safe, try to accept those event invites that come to you.
Don’t just sit there in a corner of the venue, though, glued to your phone.
Introduce yourself to everyone there.
By “everyone,” I mean everyone.
I did this once and ended up working with Preity Zinta.
It’s a different thing that it happened in a dream ;)
The point still is that introducing yourself to others is a good way to work those courage muscles and shed the fear of embarrassment.
I saw a friend do this at a workshop I attended a few years ago. She introduced herself to everyone there and eventually bagged a role in a popular web series!
All she did was say her name, that’s it.
It was a great lesson I learned from her.
That’s why I’m recommending this goal to you for your New Year resolution. You never know who may lead you to what.
Again, this goal is subject to the pandemic situation in 2022. If it’s still unsafe to get out there, better to stick to e-introductions by way of pitching, cold emailing, etc.
Time commitment required: As long as the party lasts :)