Yes, 2022 felt like a long time coming! The past 2 years were almost unrecognisable to the lives we once lived. Perhaps, you were busy ‘getting through it’, but now, after (hopefully) some time to rest, we can reflect on the lessons and begin sowing the seeds of what we learned in 2021 into the next part of the creation called ‘our lives’.
What lessons can you take from the past two years and how can you play your game, your way in 2022?
The New Year is the time where we put ourselves back together. We reflect on the past and we have an opportunity to deliberately take the lessons and shape the life we most want. This is what we invite you to do as you launch your 2022.
What we share today are the conversations we have with business leaders no matter how large their organisation – a great year begins with Wellbeing. Putting the big pillars of your Wellbeing at the forefront of everything. If you’re not well, if you’re not clear, if you’re not focused, it’s impossible to lead others to be the same things. We invite you to use our guidance to set up your 2022. Let us know how you go!
Pillar 1 – Daily Routines
If there was one thing we were forced to do in the last two years it was to change our daily routines. This was often not for the better. Last year it might have involved 12 hour days and a blur between family life and work life. This year it’s time to deliberately disrupt any unhelpful daily patterns and to begin to course correct. Morning time, contrary to popular behaviours, is not the time to roll out of bed and straight onto the computer or reach for the phone and begin checking overnight emails. Mornings are sacred times to establish the most important Wellbeing routines that support clear thinking, good health and great decision-making.
Consider the new disciplines you need to put in place. Waking early, incorporating exercise every day, nutritious breakfast, setting the family up for their days, meditation, and some time to prioritise what’s most important today – both work and life. Don’t underestimate the importance of 90 minutes in the morning to set the tone for the entire day. What do you need to change to be more in control of your first few hours?
Daily routines tend to be at the mercy of the workplace during work hours however, perhaps like many of us, you also developed less helpful routines after work in the time of COVID. Picking up the laptop after dinner, a glass of wine in the evening, less time devoted to enriching activities beyond work and less time spent with friends and family. If you had the chance to recreate life after say 6 pm, what patterns would you like to establish and what do you need to change to do this?
Pillar 2 – Sleep, Exercise and Diet
You might consider these related to Pillar 1. You’re right, they are embedded inside daily routines.
Of all of the Wellbeing pillars, we understand sleep, a good restful and deep sleep to be the primary supporter of Wellbeing.
How would you assess your current sleep patterns to be? What might you be able to change in terms of evening wind down routines to enhance sleep? What gets in the way of you achieving a good night sleep? What role does stress play in affecting your sleep patterns? What is it you’re committed to in 2022 to get a restorative and good night sleep?
Let’s check in on exercise and diet – how did COVID affect your exercise and eating patterns? Do you recognise that you developed some unhelpful habits around exercise and nutrition? Most often, we know that we need to restore positive habits around exercise and food, however we could be our own worst enemies by ignoring what it is that we know we should change. When it comes to changing habits, just start small. It can help when you make a solid decision to just exercise 30 minutes per day, 3 days per week, or focus on clean whole foods. Give it a go for say two or three weeks and see if you feel different when you eat well and move well. What decision or declaration would you be willing to make to feel well in 2022?
Pillar 3 – Interests Outside Work
What are your interests outside of work? How much time do you devote to these each week? We are not necessarily talking about the gym here but activities that enrich our lives, have us socialising in different circles and connecting with a sense of play and fun for the sake of it. Cooking classes, painting, music classes, woodwork, team sport. Working in busy professional roles can develop, over time, a sense of seriousness that can be hard to shake. In cultivating interests outside of work you can counterbalance your mood, expand your relationship circles, and enhance the way you think and move in a changing world.
If you could devote some time every week to something that interested, moved or excited you, what might that be?
Pillar 4 – Re-establish Goals Beyond 2022
We understand that over the last two years we have cancelled more plans than we care to admit. We might have had holidays planned, family events planned, studies planned, and experiences planned, all of which were required to be cancelled – some more than once.
A goal does not need to be a plan. It’s a general direction we head towards in our lives and it can stay open to variation and change.
We want to encourage you to begin thinking about short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals that give you a sense of a longer horizon and something to look forward to. The one thing we learned in 2021 was to keep a sense of flexibility around such goals. We invite you to reconnect with your goals. When we stop creating goals, we can tend to lose hope and find ourselves stuck in patterns of negativity, even depression. What goals move you to a longer horizon beyond 2022?
Pillar 5 – Connect With Your Purpose!
During the last two years you might have found yourself asking the question “what is this all about anyway?” And we do not refer here to COVID. We refer to an existential question around life and what our life is all about. It’s difficult to emerge from the last two years and not have this question circling somewhere in our consciousness. It may not be overt but somewhere inside each of us is a deeper question around the purpose of our life. It’s a worthwhile question because in our view getting to the end of one’s life and regretting the choices we made is an unnecessary outcome.
Sometimes we forget how powerful we are in making choices every single day about who we are, how we show up and what it is that we dedicate our daily hours to.
How satisfied are you with the trajectory you are on and what it is that you get up to in the thing you call your career and or life? How aligned do you feel to your sense of purpose? How clear are you on your intention for life? Is the focus you have week in and week out the contribution you want to make in this, your lifetime?
We understand these questions are deep, but they are the questions we need to ask ourselves to live a life that’s fulfilling and to move beyond treading time each day towards the life that we are proud to call our own.
What game do you really want to play and what role does this year play in establishing the groundwork for that?
Welcome to your new year!