It’s officially New Year’s resolution time. And it’s maybe never been harder to come up with a resolution than it is this year.  

Moving into our third year of COVID—like everything about COVID life that has come before—is challenging. With the omicron variant taking hold and cases rising again, we’re not where we hoped we’d be by this point. Everyone seems to be feeling worn out. Tired of all the conflict and tired of worrying about risk and health all the time.  

Adding on all the stress of the end-of-the-year push and the holiday season… it’s a lot! You might be coming off a period of real overwhelm as we move into January. Time management and productivity challenges are definitely coming up for people right now. And they’re going to keep coming up over the coming months.  

Like at the end of 2020, a lot of people aren’t feeling very optimistic right now. Like last year, we’re looking ahead at months of gloomy winter weather and knowing there’s a COVID spike coming. But here’s where things are different now: Last year people were still reeling and adjusting to the realities of the first COVID winter.  

This Year, We’re Older and Wiser

We have…

  • Seen variants swell and fade
  • Learned to make plans again, but to expect they could be canceled at any time
  • Figured out how to take home tests
  • Mastered Zoom
  • Gained a lot more knowledge about vaccine science than most of us ever knew before
  • All been confronted with the reality that there’s a lot none of us can control
  • Continued to run our businesses and keep things running at home too

In other words? COVID life has become normal life, not just the passing phase we had hoped it would. 

It’s not going away. Which means that a lot of the same struggles you dealt with around time management and productivity in 2021 are probably going to come up again in 2022. A lot of uncontrollable external factors are going to make it hard to focus and work efficiently. If you approach your schedule and time management the same way you did in 2021, you’re going to get the same results and have the same frustrations.  

So the questions I ask you are: What are YOU going to do differently this year? What actions are you going to take to make sure that the coming year is an improvement on the last one? What actions are you going to take to make sure you’re living the life you want every day, no matter what’s going on in the world? 

Forget New Year’s Resolutions!

For better time management and productivity, forget New Year’s resolutions. 

I understand why people set New Year’s resolutions. Setting intentions and goals for the year ahead gives you direction and a framework to make sure your actions are aligned with what really matters to you. I am a huge advocate of goal setting. 

But if you’re still reeling to process 2021 and simultaneously dreading how things are going to pile up in January, it’s hard to step back from all the chaos and think about the big picture for the year ahead. You can’t find the time and energy you need to do deep thinking about what you want the next year of your life to look like. So maybe you reach New Year’s Eve and think, “I guess I should at least set a New Year’s resolution to get more sleep/save more money/earn new clients.”  

In my most recent blog, I talked about the importance of setting meaningful goals. Choosing a random New Year’s resolution, or setting yearly goals based on what you think you should accomplish, might be quicker and easier than setting meaningful goals. But it’s worth any effort to create goals that are aligned with the things you value most, and that will help you live the life you want. Taking the time to set those meaningful goals is the first step for making next year a truly wonderful year—and hopefully, better than 2021. 

3 Tips to Make The New Year Different (and Better) 

1. Hold onto any positive habits you adopted due to the pandemic and let go of others. Identify any “survival mode” habits that you adopted because of COVID but not longer serve you and plan to change them. For example, if you started midnight snacking due to stress back in March 2020 and you’re still creeping to the fridge late every night, that might be a habit you want to break this year! 

2. Think about setting big goals. Last year was all about surviving. Your 2021 goals may have been largely about getting through the day. Now it’s time to think bigger and set bigger goals. Still want to start that new business or make that big move? This could be the year.  

3. Access new resources. If you want different results, you need to try different strategies. This year, seek advice from new contacts. Sign up for programs and classes you’ve never tried before. Learn new skills, expand your knowledge base, and stretch your thinking. 

As you look for more time management resources, I’m here to help.  

I know that the start of the new year is always rocky. It can be tough to lock in the positive habits that you want to continue over the entire year. So I’m offering a free webinar to help. Join me on Saturday 1/15 at 12pm ET or Tuesday 1/18 at 1pm ET for Bust Through Procrastination & Overwhelm to Start Your New Year Strong. If you know what you need to get done but you just can’t seem to sit down and do it, this free webinar is for you. Click here for more details and to register

Happy New Year! 

Sarah 

Sarah Reiff-Hekking
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