How to challenge yourself in 2022

What to leave behind in 2021 and what to bring to 2022

2021 is finally coming to an end which is a relief for many. This overwhelming year of lockdowns and quarantining challenged us all. Professionally, many spent time working and studying from home. Personally, our lives have been durably impacted with some of our pre-pandemic habits lost and new ones made. Our daily routine has a direct impact on our stress levels, productivity and our overall happiness and health. This post will give you four compelling ideas concerning what to leave behind in 2021 and what to bring to 2022 to ensure that you will remain challenged this coming year.

1. Reach Out To Your Network 

Our connections have suffered from the prolonged time we have spent apart during this year. Reach out not only to your friends and family regularly but to your colleagues and professional contacts. Make it a goal of yours to contact an acquaintance a week to catch up and not just wait to get into contact with forgotten connections until you need their help. Follow up on engagements and maintain healthy personal and professional relationships. 

Strengthen your network

It is well known that “No man is an island” and the pandemic has well illustrated this. Solidarity has been shown to be lacking in our communities – a value without which public response is rendered less effective. In 2022 re-engage not only with your personal network but also with your community and strengthen this connection. Volunteer on the weekends for instance or contribute what you can to lessen the toll the pandemic has had on minority communities.

2. Cultivate New Skills

Anastasia Soare, one of our speakers at Aspire 2021, shared that learning new skills is critical. She had her daughter work in every department of their business in order to learn as much as possible and get a wider grasp on all the skills needed to succeed professionally.

The succession of lockdowns and increasingly important sanitary measures have drastically changed lifestyles and limited the opportunities once available to us. Confined within the four walls of your house, new pastimes had to be found. Bring this creativity with you in 2022 ! Find new ways to flourish and entertain yourself and create new habits. Leave behind the bad habits picked up this year such as procrastination, endless screen-time hours or binge watching shows on Netflix. 

Pick up reading to expand your vocabulary and horizons and challenge your thinking. No matter how insignificant the new thoughts a book will provide you with, these will nonetheless challenge your thinking and push you to reconsider the beliefs you already hold. The 21 days rule states that it takes only 21 days to form a habit. Use those 21 days to read or to keep a gratitude journal for instance to express what you are grateful for in these agitated times. Leave behind the bad habits that dragged you down and pick up new skills and create better habits !

3. Embrace Uncertainty

Leave behind the negativity and fear that might have dictated 2021. Learn to embrace the uncertainty of these times and make the best out of uneasy situations. Use this as an occasion to radically change your thinking and greet every situation with an open mind. It is important to understand that given uncertainty, any plan needs to be regularly readjusted. This shouldn’t prove demoralizing and justify a lack of preparedness. In fact a plan is always better than no plan at all. Understanding that planning ahead is essential – even if the outcomes will not always be the expected ones – means not abandoning your three-year-plan but also having short-term goals and plans to best confront arising situations. 

4. Be Comfortable With The Uncomfortable 

2021 might have been a slump for many. As shown above, in 2022 you should come to embrace uncertainty but also further this commitment and be comfortable with the uncomfortable. Be a risk-taker this new year. Be that through learning new skills, cultivating new habits but also pushing your limits. Learn to value what makes you uncomfortable in order to rise above this initial discomfort and rid yourself of it. If public speaking scares you, enter a debate competition or audition for a play, or better yet join Aspire Academy this Summer of 2022 to better your leadership skills ! Embracing your weaknesses is the only way to accommodate them.

In 2022 leave behind the habits detrimental to your growth and readopt or embrace a growth mindset. Reach out to your network regularly and make sure to nurture your relationships. Cultivate new skills and habits. Make regular readjustment an integral part of your plans and do not be afraid of change. And finally be comfortable with what makes you uncomfortable. 

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