5 life-changing New Year’s resolutions for 2022

By Kerri Whelan
January 7, 2022

Making New Year’s resolutions has been a tradition that many of us have been doing for years. We find flaws in our lifestyles and, come Jan. 1, vow to change something: like lose weight, save more money or stop procrastinating.

But committing to the goals we create can be difficult. And they can leave us feeling defeated if we don’t reach them.

As 2021 comes to a close, most of us are already feeling defeated. We experienced another year that has brought so much loss. What we could all use are resolutions for the new year that focus on the good, and lift us up. What kind of resolutions are those? The ones that not only bring happiness to ourselves, but also bring happiness to others.

Here are five New Year’s resolutions for 2022 that will help you better yourself — while helping others, too:

5. Practice a random act of kindness for strangers every day.

You’re less likely to cross paths with strangers during COVID-19. We still pass by each other in places like grocery stores and parks, but sometimes still with masks and social distancing, so connecting with each other is tricky.

But, there are still ways you can be kind to strangers during a pandemic. You can:

—    Let someone go ahead of you in line at the store.

—    Pay for the person behind you in the coffee shop line.

—    Drop off a warm meal to a neighbor you haven’t met.

—    Make cards for your local essential workers.

Even if our smiles are masked, just waving to one another can help someone who might be experiencing hardship feel a bit more hopeful. Your kindness will bring you happiness, too. It’s a win-win.

4. Find a cause you care about and discover ways to take action.

The number of global catastrophes we’re facing can be hard to wrap your head around. People around the world are struggling just to maintain their livelihood, health and happiness.

But when you do find something you want to fight for, whether it be climate justice, trafficking prevention or food security, your action gives you a sense of purpose and helps create positive change for others. You can donate to a charity, become an activist, volunteer virtually and much more.

Unsure where to begin with humanitarian work? Take this quiz to find out which global issue you’re most passionate about and could make the most impact in! Then, you’ll discover ways to use your activism for good.

3. Write letters or send cards to people who feel alone.

The past two years have been very isolating. Especially for elderly people who live alone, children who can’t see their friends as often as they’re used to or people working from home who don’t connect with others as much as before.

A handwritten letter is so much more personal than an email or text. Think about some of the special people in your life, and aim to write them one letter a month. There are also many volunteer organizations you can partner with to write letters to strangers in need around the world.

If you want to write letters or send cards to children in need, you can do that with Plan International USA by becoming a child sponsor.




2. Make time to learn.

So much is happening in our world. If you want to educate yourself, the best way to stay in the know is to carve out time each day to spend reading the news or books, listening to podcasts or audiobooks, or taking an online course.

To get you started, here are 13 podcasts about gender equality. And here are our top 10 book recommendations to inspire you in the fight for girls’ rights, and our reading list on books that explore racial inequality in the U.S.

By listening and learning, you’ll be motivated to wake up every day and effectively participate in the world around you. You’ll feel more confident and more in control of what you can do to create change. And you can inspire the people around you by sharing your knowledge with them.

1. Express gratitude.

Expressing gratitude has been scientifically proven to improve mental and physical health, help you create more relationships, increase your self-esteem and enhance empathy. Gratitude changes your brain chemistry, and it doesn’t come at a cost or require much time. And it’s important to let the people in your life know how much they matter to you. So, no matter what 2022 may bring, expressing gratitude will help you prioritize focusing on all the good things in your life.

Some of the ways you can express gratitude are to:

—    Keep a gratitude journal and share your gratitude with others.

—    Don’t hold back on compliments.

—    Be someone’s support system.

—    Always say thank you.