12 Ways to Change Your Life in 2022
New year, new intentions.
Whether you’re looking for a change or want to sharpen your current habits, there is always space to both acknowledge your growth and pivot to progress even more.
Below, we’ve highlighted a small monthly challenge or reflection to up your routine and breathe new life into your personal and professional development all throughout 2022 — and beyond!
January — Tackle one thing you’ve been putting off.
Out with the old, in with the new. There’s no shame in bringing some of last year’s to-do list into 2022.
The things we put off can often be the most challenging to complete, and therefore the most rewarding to reflect on.
In your personal life, that could look like
- Making an appointment with your doctor, dentist, etc.
- Booking your self-care days for the year you already know you’ll need
- Clearing clutter that has been piling up on your desk or in a drawer
In your professional life, that could look like
- Meeting with someone you look up to for some advice or inspiration
- Emptying that email inbox and starting fresh
- Finally having that **chat with your boss
We both know it’s time for a fresh start. If you have something you’ve been putting off, now’s the month to get it done so you can move forward with new goals.
February — Reflect on your passions.
The beginning of the year is an ideal time to recalibrate and get a better sense of your North Star.
- What excites and drives you?
- What new passions have you discovered in the past year or what are you hoping to explore further this year?
- Which topics could you talk about all day?
Passions often impact everything we do outside of “working” hours — whether we choose to sleep, binge-watch Netflix, learn something new, or explore. We’re forever influenced by the things we’re passionate about because they keep us more motivated than anything to get up and just live.
If you’re feeling a bit unmotivated in your personal life, now’s the best time to reassess those passions and find space and time for them in your calendar.
Work and passion projects don’t have to be mutually exclusive. By reassessing your passions and focusing your efforts toward them, you may find yourself drawn to teams, companies, or projects that align well with your mission and values.
Or, you can find ways to bring your passions into the workplace by sharing your more personal passions with co-workers or brainstorming with your team or classmates on how to implement something new into a project that excites you.
March — Check in on those finances.
The concept of financial wellbeing is truly underrated. It doesn’t help that it’s also severely forgotten in many educational institutions, so it can be difficult to know if how you’re handling your finances is the best way without a mentor or some guidance.
March is the perfect time to check on those finances — taxes are coming up!
It’s a great month to not only get all that relevant tax information together, but to give your overall financial situation a bit of an assessment.
Some basics to look at:
- Your monthly budget
- Your credit card habits
- Any savings/investments
In a more professional setting as well, it’s critical to reassess finances.
- How much are you spending each year on business- or education-related expenses?
- Are there discounts or free opportunities offered by your school or company you should start exploring?
- And most critically for professionals — am I making a fair salary? How does inflation impact my way of living from my hourly wage or salary? Is it time to ask for a raise or find other sources of income?
If you’re not a numbers person or just don’t want to reflect on how much you spent in a certain period of time, checking in on finances might be nerve-wracking or feel like a burden. A more rewarding mindset is to consider your financial assessment as an opportunity to save more for your long-term goals or those passion projects you outlined in February.
April — Spring clean your online profiles.
If you have absolutely no social media or Internet presence, perhaps focus on spring cleaning that room in the house where a bunch of junk has accumulated over the past year.
And if you DO have social media (chances are you have at least one if you’re reading this), do the same with your profiles. Spring cleaning season is the ideal time to look over your social media accounts, personal sites, and whatever else you might have out there on the Internet to make sure you’re highlighting exactly what you want the world to see, and cleaning out what you’d prefer the world not see.
When looking to connect with others in a professional setting while also personally branding yourself to the world, forums and social media sites like LinkedIn provide the perfect opportunity to do just that.
We recommend keeping your public accounts updated and professional to showcase the best version of yourself. As you continue to learn and grow, don’t forget to add things like
- an updated resume
- new skills learned
- projects completed or in progress
onto your LinkedIn or other professional profile. As a community always on the go, it can be difficult to stop, reflect, and document. But how else will people know about the awesome things you’re up to?
Especially if you’re actively looking for new roles, you’ll want to make sure your profiles are exactly what you’d want a recruiter to see when they go to learn more about you.
New year, new me can apply to personal social media accounts as well. Whether you want to get more consistent with your content OR you want to limit your use this year, set up those social media goals and react accordingly. You got this!
May — Spring clean your commitments.
Now that you’ve cleaned up your social media accounts, let’s kick it up a notch.
Are most days feeling a bit too busy? Are you finding it more difficult to find time for yourself or your passion projects? If you said yes to either of these, it’s probably time to reconsider which commitments you have — or don’t have — on your plate.
Between jobs, internships, classes, volunteering, projects, hobbies, family, social activities, and whatever other habits or projects you’ve created for yourself, the world can’t enjoy your brightness if you’re burnt out.
Personal Commitment Cleaning
It can be difficult to say “no” to any opportunity for fun or growth in our personal lives, but it is critical to assess what you have the time for and what you genuinely want to do. If you’re given the privilege to really choose whatever you’d like to do and explore outside of work, then try not to give others the privilege of taking that time away from you.
How can you say “yes” to the things you want to do and are passionate about without overcommitting to things that don’t serve you?
Professional Commitment Cleaning
Let’s take a look at your work week. Anything you have to do to reach your long-term goals should likely continue, even if they can be challenging. For these commitments, remember your vision and why you started pursuing it in the first place, and we believe you’ll get through anything.
But what about the things you do that aren’t contributing to your growth? If there are tasks that
- you feel can be given to others
- you don’t learn from
- or that exhaust you,
consider chatting to your boss or an authoritative figure about other opportunities to learn and grow that actually excite you rather than drain you.
It’s okay to assess something and decide to let it go. “Growth” does not mean adding onto one’s plate, but instead balancing both adding on and letting go in order to morph into a version of yourself you’re more in-tune with.
June — Consider starting a side hustle.
Starting a side hustle is both a personal and professional goal.
As we approach the start of summer in June, it’s a great time to try something new — especially if you’re a student with several weeks of break in front of you.
Whether it’s temporary or something that turns into long-term extra income, your side hustle should be meaningful to you (check on those passions from February).
It’s not easy to start a side hustle, but there are plenty of resources out there AND you don’t have to do it alone. Find folks in your circle (or meeting someone new) who share your passions and brainstorm what you can start from that.
As long as you see a need to improve the world (make it more fun, more efficient, safer, etc.), then you have a side hustle idea in you. Grab a friend and a drawing board and just TRY. Side hustles will teach you valuable life lessons unlike anything else.
July — Learn something new.
This one may seem obvious, but there is so much power in learning something new that genuinely interests you enough that you actually retain it.
Whether you’re at work or want to learn something new outside of work, there are so many ways to learn:
- Online classes
- Chatting with a peer or mentor
- Observing the world around you
Beyond learning information once, consider how you might be able to retain it. If you’re learning a new language, this might be practicing with a native speaker. If you’re learning an instrument, this may be practicing a little bit each day.
Whatever way you prefer to learn, don’t forget to also find your preferred method to retain so you can finish off 2022 feeling sharp.
August — Meet someone new.
To the introverts or shy folks reading this, hello. This is not meant to scare you away.
Meeting someone new can lead to a thousand different possible paths. Perhaps you hit it off with someone and they’re now a huge part of your life. Perhaps you didn’t hit it off at all and know what to look for (or what to avoid) in the next person you meet.
In a professional space, meeting someone new could mean
- A co-worker you’ve never had a personal or casual conversation with
- Someone at your company or institution who you look up to
- A role model of yours that you reach out to on LinkedIn
- A person in the same club or organization as you that you want to get to know more
In a personal space, meeting someone new could mean
- Hoping on a dating/befriending app
- Finding a pen pal
- Hopping on a Discord channel with likeminded folks
- Finding online groups or community events
Meeting someone new or finding a new group you get along with can be a terrifying thought because you don’t know if it’ll work out until it just does. And sometimes it doesn’t. But isn’t it always worth a shot?
September — Ask for feedback.
Asking others to critique you in any way can be completely terrifying. If you’re nervous about asking for feedback, you’re human.
But just like all difficult and uncomfortable things, you’re extremely likely to grow better from it.
Feedback helps us improve and is a valuable self-growth tool. Seek out people you trust and listen (a mentor, perhaps?) with the intention to grow from the feedback you receive. If your defenses are up during the conversation, you won’t get very far. Put your guard done, perk your ears, and just listen from the people who care about you.
When this concept of “asking for feedback” is brought up, most of us immediately think of this in a professional setting. That is a great place to start asking for feedback — with peers, co-workers, professors, or managers.
Asking for Feedback in a Professional Setting
In a professional setting, consider the following questions
- What is something I can do to become a better team player?
- What sort of knowledge should I learn to better support my co-workers?
- Am I meeting the expectations you had of me at the start of this year/quarter/week?
- Is there anything I can do to make your life easier this week?
- How do you think I can improve the way I communicate with you?
However, the same rules apply for your platonic, familial, and romantic relationships. Be sure to reassess where you want to draw your boundaries and with who the rules apply to. Then ask for feedback accordingly.
Asking for Feedback in a Personal Setting
In a personal setting, consider the following questions
- Do you ever feel like I cross boundaries in our relationship?
- Is there anything I do that bothers you but you haven’t wanted to bring up?
- How can I better support your growth?
- How do you think I can improve the way I communicate with you?
- Do you ever feel bombarded with my presence in your life?
It may almost feel silly to ask such questions, considering the responses may be extremely serious or hurtful. Long-term, however, you’ll thank yourself for having these conversations, even if you don’t like the immediate answers.
October — Leave your comfort zone.
Personal Comfort Zone
For some of us, this literally means getting out of the space where we’ve been learning or working remotely for months. And that’s perfect! Getting outside is good for our overall health and will prevent the cabin fever that inevitably creeps up in this situation.
But outside of getting outside, you know your limits in your day-to-day as well. What is something new that you’re not used to but aligns well with who you want to be?
Perhaps that could look like
- Raising your hand more in class
- Signing up for a fitness group class
- Sharing more of what you create with others
Professional Comfort Zone
There are also definitely ways to leave your comfort zone at work. If you find yourself repeating the same tasks day-to-day, think of ways to change up your routine in a way that helps you and/or your co-workers grow professionally.
Perhaps that could look like
- Speaking up or presenting a demo at a meeting
- Offering to help a co-worker and take some work off of their plate
- Exploring a new technology or process you’re unfamiliar with
- Taking on a stretch assignment with an entirely new team
Wherever your comfort zone lies, it’s okay to stick with it. But growth happens just outside of the comfort zone, so consider exploring the boundaries to maximize your personal and professional growth in 2022.
November — Show gratitude to the people in your life.
When is the last time you really showed gratitude to the people in your life? Most of us probably don’t even think about what we’re grateful for enough, better yet share with others when we feel grateful for them.
This is not meant to be a “mushy gushy” suggestion. Imagine if we lived in a world where verbalizing gratitude were extremely normalized. Does that not seem like a much friendlier world?
It’s perfectly fine if someone crosses your mind and you feel grateful for them or remind yourself of their role in your life and feel grateful for that. When someone does cross your mind, consider
- sharing with them that they crossed your mind
- letting them know you’re grateful for their presence in your life
- sending them an update on your own life and checking in on theirs
- revisiting an update from your last conversation with them and checking in
Who knows — maybe seeing a “thank you for being in my life” or “hey, just checking in” will put you in the top of their mind and prompt them to dive into a more enriching and valuable conversation.
It’s great to acknowledge your family and friends, of course. But consider showing gratitude to professional connections as well, such as your co-workers, mentors, mentees, and supervisors. There is always space to appreciate the people in your life for their various roles and contributions.
December — Reflect on the year.
What parts of 2022 contributed to the person you are going to be in 2023?
As each day passes us by, it’s difficult to remember the lessons, achievements, and meaningful moments of the year. If you have the time and interest, jot down those moments you remember or create a photo album of your favorite moments of this past year. Nothing has to be spectacular, just meaningful to you.
Reflect on what you did, and start thinking about next year.
Do you have any ideas to guide you as you enter the new year?
As you go through the months, we wish you nothing but growth, rest, and lots of time for the things you value most. Time is precious — what are you doing with yours this year to make it the best one yet?
Cheers to 2022 as a year of growth!
Want even more personal and professional development challenges for the coming months? We have some ideas in our previous blog posts: Self-Love Languages, Need to Spring Clean Your Mind?, and 45 Ways to Give Back Virtually.