10 Healthy Habits and Goals for 2022
By Ian Andersen
Posted: December 05, 2021
Every time we hang up a new calendar on the wall, we look ahead at a year filled with hope and possibilities. If you’re seeking to establish some new healthy habits or you’re setting some wellness-minded 2022 goals, here are ideas for small changes you can make that promise a big collective impact.
Give meditation a try
Start with a modest goal of meditating for just 10 minutes a day. Meditation can aid self-awareness, reduce stress and anxiety, increase your focus, and help your memory. It’s been shown to provide many physical benefits too, including pain management.
Learn something new
Is there a particular skill you’ve wanted to develop or a language you’ve always wanted to learn? Sign up for a class, go to a conference, join an online community, dig into books or webinars. Intellectually challenging yourself not only keeps boredom at bay, it can give you a boost of confidence and motivation.
Clear the clutter
Is your home or desk chronically cluttered? Get organized. Clean out that messy attic, closet or shed. Start with one junk drawer. If you haven’t used something in a year, get rid of it. If you’re feeling sentimental, take a picture of it before you drop it off at a donation site. Decluttering can boost your productivity, calm surging stress hormones and even help you sleep better.
You don’t have to be great at writing to write – or to benefit from it. And writing can be many different things. Maybe it’s a gratitude journal or a notebook you keep on your nightstand to fill with meaningful observations about your day. Does writing still sound like an awkward or intimidating endeavor? Perhaps you start by jotting down a list of places you want to one day visit and describe what you’ll do once you’re there. Journaling can help you gain clarity about issues you’re facing or release pent-up frustrations or negative thoughts.
Drink more mindfully
The mindful drinking movement is on the march. Optimizing your alcohol habits can help you achieve a range of meaningful health benefits, including sleeping better, having more energy, losing weight, gaining greater clarity, saving money and reducing anxiety. Not sure where or how to start cutting back? Check out our mindful drinking guide or take this quick quiz.
Get into a hiking routine. Go for walks. Join (or rejoin) a gym. Sign up for an online group exercise class. Swim. Check out an indoor rock-climbing venue. Try ballet. Pull on ice skates for the first time in forever. Sign up for an adult dodgeball league. Just commit to getting your heart pumping. There are countless physical and mental benefits of exercise.
Cook more fresh meals
Many people who cook find it therapeutic. And when cooking at home, you’re in complete control of how your food is prepared and the ingredients that go in it. You’re more likely to choose healthier and fresher options than what you’d find on a fast-casual restaurant menu, for instance. And you’ll save more money too.
Decrease the doomscrolling
Between politics and the pandemic, it’s been all too easy to fall into the habit of scrolling our feeds for (frequently negative) news updates. But the constant scanning and subsequent information overload can come with a cost to our happiness and attention spans. It’s one thing to stay informed, it’s another to obsessively read distressing stories. Set some firm boundaries and limit your scrolling time to 15-20 minutes. Don’t read right before bed and opt out of news alerts. You might even try adopting healthy habits such as joyscrolling, the act of deliberately seeking out positive or motivating content.
Say what’s up to your doc
Yes, whether you have health issues or not, it’s wise to see your primary care physician on a yearly basis. Doing so will create a baseline and can help you to manage issues before they become more problematic. You can also use the visit to discuss your health and wellness goals with your doctor, which can add a helpful layer of accountability.
Rethink what it means to reset
Taking vacation time? Sure, plopping down on a beach chair with a piña colada can be relaxing, but consider something more active. Explore the idea of hiking a national park, or going horseback riding on a dude ranch, or cycling your way through a new city.
For many people, the prospect of establishing healthy habits can seem challenging or even impossible. But don’t psych yourself out. The key is to go day by day, bit by bit. Just commit to taking that first step. Go for that first slow jog or pen that first sloppy journal entry. And as time goes on, remember that slow and steady progress is still progress worth celebrating.
- 6 New Year’s Resolution Ideas (Plus Tools to Help You Achieve Your 2022 Goals)
- Dry January: What’s All the Buzz About?
Co-Founder of Sunnyside