Make 2022 the year for you

31 Dec 2021
Julie Graham, CEO of Ingeus’s Employability division, shares her top tips for a positive start to the year.

Let’s face it – January can be a miserable month. It’s hard to feel motivated when the weather is colder, New Year’s resolutions are likely in tatters and your social calendar is empty. Then there’s the Christmas hangover from too much food, drink and downtime; while financially you realise you may have gone overboard in December.

For many, 2021 was a year to park in the ‘never again’ bay. But the good news is that 2022 can most definitely be the year for you, whatever your situation, with some straightforward motivational hacks.
  1. Make daily rituals
Create small routines to help yourself feel good. Set out your clothes the night before, start your morning with some simple mindfulness exercises; or walk the dog in your lunchbreak. Rituals help you to feel more in control and disciplined. For me, it’s making sure that I get a walk in every day – rain, hail or shine!
  1. Move more
Like everyone, I make a concerted effort to offset the excesses of December by eating better and moving more in January. I dust off the cook books and aim for fresh, healthy, home-prepared meals on ‘school nights’, with eating out saved for the weekend.

And it’s important to get your body moving to shake off the sluggish feeling from Christmas. Go out running, walking or cycling in the fresh air or try some free online workouts at home. Make it more structured and enjoyable by using an App like Couch to 5K or by exercising with a friend. Personally I like to listen to podcasts or audio books while I’m out walking, my current favourite audiobook is The Dry, it is set in the region I grew up in.  
  1. Practise self-care
Self-care is a big subject and should never be underestimated. It’s important that you take time out to do the things that make you happy and interest you. Start by planning something to look forward to, such as a night out, a holiday, or a visit to a friend’s house. I switch off by getting creative in the kitchen and cooking something I haven’t tried before.

And rewarding yourself for a job well done is important too: complete a task and plan a small reward to yourself for doing it.
  1. Have fun
If you’re currently working, you no doubt spend a lot of time doing it, so it’s important to have fun. Inject some fun into your day: in light of National Fun at Work Day on 28 January, I’m aiming to make sure there are some fun, and slightly competitive activities, with my team for a bit of down time.

Or, if you’re looking for employment, find fun and creative ways to work on your job search. Make use of the Wi-Fi in your favourite cafe for example, or prepare some job search games.
  1. Learn something new
At work, or at home, put your mind to something new. Boost your IT skills, try a new language, or talk to work colleagues about opportunities to upskill. In 2022, I’m trying to get to know a lot more of the history of the UK as I travel around to different places.
  1. Dress to impress
I dig through the wardrobe for a flash of colour or bold pattern to brighten up dull January days. Even if you’re working from home, try to wear clothes that make you feel how you wish to be: bright and professional. Red is definitely my ‘go to’ colour to brighten my day.
  1. Get social 
We’ve all had to get used to isolating and limiting social contact, but try to be sociable when it’s safe to do so – connect with friends, colleagues and past acquaintances. If you’re looking for work, opportunities can often arise out of these sorts of connections.
  1. Set small goals
It can be daunting to tackle big projects, either completing a challenging work project, or finding a new job, so break it down into manageable tasks to keep up momentum. Focus on something realistic to do each day towards achieving the end result.
Our goals can change throughout our lives so it’s important to review them every now and then. We need to remember why we do what we do, both at work and at home, to stay motivated and achieve our dreams. What do you want to achieve in 2022?

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