New Habits to Make in 2022

New Habits to Make in 2022

As another year gets underway, many people look for ways to change and improve their lives. While New Year's resolutions have a reputation for being difficult to stick to, there are ways to make lasting changes in your life. 

When creating new habits, think small. Simple habits are easier to stick with, and you won't have to overhaul your entire life. Whether you want to improve your health, get more organized or make the world around you better, here are some new habits to try for the New Year and tips for sticking to them.

Healthy Habits for the New Year

Drink More Water

Make a Meal Plan

Start a Gratitude Journal

Find 15 Minutes for Exercise Each Day


Take a Daily Walk

Healthy Habits for the New Year

Many of the most popular New Year's resolutions focus on improving your health. People resolve to lose weight, work out more and eat better. If improving your health is one of your to-dos for 2022, starting these new habits in the new year can help you achieve your resolution.

1. Drink More Water

Up to 70% of the human body is water, and it's tough to function when you don't have enough of it. You're likely to feel tired and sluggish. Drinking more water is definitely a good habit to start.

While you might have heard that you should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily, the truth is, you need more to thrive. Women need about 2.7 liters of water a day, and men need around 3.7 liters. 

If you're not getting that much water, there are simple changes you can make to drink more, like:

  • Put a glass of water by your bed and drink it first thing in the morning.
  • Set a glass of water on the table when you eat your meals and drink it during the meal.
  • Tuck a bottle of water into your bag and set a timer on your phone to remind yourself to take a sip every hour or so.

2. Find 15 Minutes for Exercise Each Day

Exercise is a good habit to have for your overall health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week, like taking a walk or using the elliptical at the gym. If you prefer your workouts with a side of sweat, you can get away with 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity weekly. Think Cross-Fit or training for a marathon.

You don't need to join a gym to squeeze in your new exercise habit. It might be easier to make space for a workout if you skip the gym. You can find plenty of short workout videos on YouTube, ranging from high-intensity workouts to yoga. Riding your bike to work each day is another way to fit exercise in seamlessly. 

If you need accountability, find a friend to work out with you. You can do a short workout together over Zoom if you can't meet in person, or meet up at each other's homes to do some yoga or an aerobics workout. Other options include going for a run, biking or hiking with a friend.

3. Make a Meal Plan

Meal planning offers so many benefits. It can eliminate the temptation to order takeout or go to a restaurant when you don't feel like cooking. It helps you save money by minimizing food waste. And, it helps you save time, as everything is prepped and ready to go. 

It can be helpful to ease yourself into meal planning. Set aside a couple of hours a week to review sales flyers, check your pantry and look for recipes. Keep the recipes simple, and don't be afraid to repeat the ones you love or that are easy to make. Try to choose recipes that repeat ingredients so you have less to buy and less to prepare.

After you've done your shopping, get ready to prep. Chop up the vegetables you'll need, portion out breakfasts and lunches, and batch-cook certain meals, such as soups and stews. If you make extras, you can freeze them to reheat and eat when you've got a lot on your schedule.

4. Meditate

A regular meditation practice can help calm your mind and improve your focus. You don't need much to meditate. A sturdy cushion and a quiet corner will suffice.

To get started, carve out 15 minutes to meditate, either daily or every other day. You can decide to meditate first thing in the morning or right after coming home from work. If 15 minutes sounds like too much, try five or 10 to get started.

There are different types of meditation. It can be helpful to try out a few to see which one works for you. During a guided meditation, a teacher will lead you through the steps of meditating. During zazen meditation, you sit in a particular posture and focus on breathing. 

Remember, there's no wrong way to meditate. If you need to stop after a few minutes, that's fine. If you find your mind wandering, redirect your focus.

5. Start a Gratitude Journal

Taking the time to remember what you are thankful for helps improve your overall sense of happiness and well-being. One way to connect with what you're grateful for is to start a gratitude journal. 

Your journaling habit can take one of many forms. You might want to write a list of five things you're thankful for daily. Write in your journal immediately after waking up or just before you go to bed.

Another option is to journal once a week. Before bed on Sunday, reflect on the past week and write a paragraph or two about the things you were most thankful for. 

6. Take a Daily Walk

Taking a daily walk helps you meet the exercise recommendations for the week and gives you time and space to reflect. It can also help you get out into nature, relaxing you and improving your well-being. 

You don't have to walk for miles to enjoy the benefits of a walking routine. And you don't need to go to great lengths to get your walk. Take a walk around the office building on your lunch break, get off of the subway or bus a few stops early and walk the rest of the way, or take a stroll around your neighborhood after dinner.

Set a reminder for your walk, if you need it. For instance, you can program a reminder to walk after dinner or before breakfast into your phone.

Good Habits for the New Year

Along with improving your health, you might want to change your lifestyle in the coming year. The following good habits list can help you feel more organized, save more money and reduce your eco-footprint.

1. Practice a One in, One out Rule

Having too much stuff can make you feel stressed out. While doing a deep declutter might be called for in some cases, one way to cut back on the amount of stuff in your home is to make a conscious effort to replace, not add, to your collection.

Adopt a one in, one out rule to keep your possessions manageable. The rule is pretty simple. If you buy a new pair of jeans, donate or sell a pair that no longer fits you or that you don't really like anymore. Some retailers have trade-in programs that give you a discount when you bring in an old pair of jeans and buy new ones.

Curbside recycling programs make it super easy to recycle. It's just up to you to remember to sort the recyclables from the rest of your trash.

2. Recycle Daily

From empty shampoo bottles to pasta sauce jars, recycling gives many objects you would normally toss in the trash a second life. Curbside recycling programs make it super easy to recycle. It's just up to you to remember to sort the recyclables from the rest of your trash.

One way to get in the habit of recycling every day is to make it effortless. Put a recycling bin next to the trash cans in your home to keep yourself from mindlessly chucking an empty soda can or water bottle into the trash. Just as you might have multiple trash bins in the home, it's a good idea to have multiple recycling bins.

Also, keep in mind that recycling can go beyond sorting your bottles and cans from the trash. You can also recycle e-waste, like old TVs, computers and phones. Recycling electronic devices protects the environment and gives valuable components a new lease on life. 

3. Make a Budget and Keep Tabs on Your Money

Making a budget can help you reach your financial goals and avoid overspending. Be sure to be flexible with your budget, too. If you make a budget and don't look back at it ever again, it won't do anything for you.

One way to keep tabs on your money and stick to your budget is to carve out time in your schedule for it. Set aside 10 minutes a day, such as during your lunch break or after dinner, to focus on your budget. Record any new purchases or bills, and make sure your income still matches up with your spending. 

Your daily budget check-in can also help you realize where your money goes and how much you actually spend on certain purchases. For example, you might discover that you spend $50 per week on coffee or $100 per week on takeout lunches. Once you know that, you can make plans to cut back to help you reach your money goals.

Read Daily

Another way to cultivate a reading habit is to decide to read a certain number of pages or chapters per day. You might read one chapter or 10 pages of a novel daily, for instance. 

4. Read Daily

If you love books but find it hard to set aside time each day to read, cultivating a reading habit this year can help you enjoy your hobby and make headway on your to-read list. To get started, make a list of the books you want to read this month. Keep the list modest, such as two or three titles. If you're not much of a reader yet, commit to reading a single book this month.

Then, decide how much time you can devote to reading each day. You might have an hour or two each day, or you might only have 15 minutes. Next, choose when you'll read and block that time on your calendar. You might read for 15 minutes first thing in the morning or spend 30 minutes before bed reading. If you commute to work by bus or train, dedicate your travel time to reading.

Another way to cultivate a reading habit is to decide to read a certain number of pages or chapters per day. You might read one chapter or 10 pages of a novel daily, for instance. 

5. Buy Pre-Owned When You Can

Buying used saves you money and helps you save the planet. Get in the habit of looking at pre-owned options whenever you need to purchase something, whether it's a smartphone, furniture or a piece of clothing.

Since you might not always find what you need right away when you look for pre-owned items, start a want list. Write down the object, the price you're willing to pay for it and the condition you want. Also, make a list of places that sell pre-owned items. Visit those places regularly when you're on the hunt to increase the odds you'll find what you're looking for.

It can also be helpful to be more flexible when looking for pre-owned devices and other objects. You might not find the exact model or the exact color you want, but you're likely to find something similar. In some cases, you might get a great deal on a newer model than you originally wanted.

6. Save Money

You can adopt several small habits to help yourself save more money. Buying pre-owned is one way to reduce your spending. So are meal planning and making a budget.

Once you've found ways to reduce your spending, get in the habit of actually saving the money you aren't spending. The easiest way to do that is to create an automatic transfer. Decide how much to save, then have that amount automatically sent to a savings account after payday.

When you're saving money, it helps to know what you're saving for and how much you want to save. Set a goal, even if it's a small one. You might choose to save $1,200 extra in 2022 — you'll need to set aside an extra $100 monthly to do so.

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*This advice offered in this article is for information and entertainment purposes only. Please consult doctor before starting any exercise program.