My Birthday Wish for 2022

My Birthday Wish for 2022 150 150 Jason Lauritsen

It’s my birthday this weekend.

Everyone has a little different relationship with their birthday. Some embrace it and welcome the attention (thanks, Facebook). Others avoid mentioning it because it reminds them of another year gone and opportunities missed.

I’ve always enjoyed my birthday. As someone who is naturally extroverted, I’m sure the attention is part of it. But, as I’ve gotten older, I use the date as a checkpoint and reminder to pause, reflect, and proceed into the next year of my life with intention.

In recent years, I’ve also added some rituals to my birthday. One is to take a day off of work for self-care and reflection (good luck trying to reach me this Friday). Typically this includes heavy doses of art museums, coffee shops and my journal–not necessarily in that order.

It also includes writing this post.

Since we were young, we’ve been encouraged to make a wish when we blow out the candles on our favorite birthday pastry.

I don’t do a lot of wishing as a general rule. I’m more of a planner than a wisher.

But once a year, I allow myself to cast a wish out into the universe with hopes that it touches someone and perhaps changes something for them in a positive way.

My 2022 Wish

This year’s wish follows a common theme in my life recently–the pursuit of greater well-being.

My work over the past few years has been increasingly focused on teaching managers and organizations how to foster a greater well-being for employees.

Personally, I continue to experiment and learn how to protect and support my own well-being to increase my resilience and energy while avoiding future episodes of burnout.

The most important thing I learned in the past year regarding my own well-being is a lesson that seems so obvious. And yet, it is something that has always been so hard to practice.

I needed more sleep. So midway through last year, I started going to bed an hour earlier.

This changed my life in all sorts of positive ways. I feel physically better. My mind is clearer on a day-to-day basis. And, despite nothing really changing externally, my stress levels and emotional well-being have improved.

This shouldn’t have been a surprise. There’s volumes of research and data proving the importance of sleep to every part of our lives.

It’s had a real impact on me. And I know that it would be the same for nearly everyone else who’s not already getting enough sleep. It’s one of the few things in our life that most of us have a fair amount of control over.

Here it is, my birthday wish for this year.

I wish for everyone to find a way to get more sleep every day.

For many people, I’m sure this feels unattainable. It did for me too.

I had a lot of noise in my head about what time you “should” go to bed or get up in the morning.

Once I stopped “should-ing” all over myself, I realized that most days, I spent that last hour before going to bed staring at a television consuming content I didn’t really care about. That hour wasn’t adding any value to my life. It was actually the opposite.

So, I decided to skip it and just go to bed earlier. That’s when things changed. The closer I get to 8 hours of sleep in a night, the better the next day seems to go.

Everyone’s situation is different, and I’m sure it won’t be as simple for most people. Perhaps getting more sleep might mean sneaking a short nap in during the day rather than extending your nighttime routine.

When you let go of “should,” anything becomes more possible.

Let’s make 2022 a year of better well-being for everyone. And, let’s start with ourselves.

 

P.S. Block off a day on your calendar right now to celebrate your own birthday in your own way. You deserve it.

 

***

If you are not subscribed to my email list and would like to receive great content like this delivered straight to your inbox each week, click here to subscribe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.