The Last Two Years Were Out of Control. Here Are 22 Ways I’m Taking Control in 2022


Did anyone else see the recent Instagram challenge? Post a picture of yourself in early 2020 before you knew what was coming.

Our family celebrating our daughter’s birthday in 2020, right before the world shut down.

I couldn’t even begin to imagine the changes in store for us. The sheer scale of the pandemic. The feelings of loss, grief, exhaustion, sadness. And of course, the realization that so much is out of your control.

For the first time, I felt really sad this January 1st. 2021 was supposed to be better, but it just wasn’t.

Despite the challenges, we’ve experienced so much growth and transformation during these past two years. As moms, we rise to the occasion. We saw what’s most important. We asked for help. We took care of our families. We took care of ourselves. We found a new normal. The road may have been rocky, but we did it.

2021 was a huge growth year for us. We even added one more to our family! Photo credit: Lindsay Weber Photography.

Maybe that’s why I’m not making a new year’s resolution this year. I’m taking 2022 day-by-day. And each day, I’m choosing to focus on what I can control: myself.

In honor of 2022, here are 22 little things you can do to feel more intentional, present, and in control:

  1. Honor your values. Whether you’re aware of it or not, your core values are behind the decisions you make every day. Defining what values are most important to you can allow you to control your thoughts and focus your decisions. Your values can also help you chase away that pesky mom guilt too. If you haven’t thought about your values before, Psychology Today’s 6 Ways to Discover and Define Your Values is a great place to start.
  2. Breathe or meditate. Slowing down, even just for a few minutes of your day, can help you feel more in control and more deliberate with your actions.
  3. Declutter something that’s been bothering you.
  4. Control what content you consume by unfollowing social media accounts you find draining or uninspiring. Or do a total social media detox altogether.
  5. Prioritize rest and sleep in, take a nap, or go to bed early.
  6. Check something off your to-do list. 
  7. Move your body, even just for 10 minutes. Take a walk. Do yoga. Dance around your living room.
  8. Set aside time for yourself. 
  9. Notice your thoughts. When you hear your inner critic, ask yourself what your best friend would say instead.
  10. Control your time by turning off push notifications on your phone from apps that might be sucking your time.
  11. Say “no,” to something that isn’t necessary, doesn’t serve you, or doesn’t bring you joy.
  12. Trust your gut.
  13. Tune into your feelings and name them. Think about why you’re feeling this way and what would make you feel better. Do that thing.
  14. Find healthy boundaries. Healthy boundaries come from knowing yourself and what you need. Being true to your boundaries is hard work, but it can help your relationships thrive. Here are The 6 Types of Healthy Boundaries You Deserve to Have (And How to Maintain Them).
  15. Get rid of clothes in your closet that don’t fit you anymore. Buy new ones that do.
  16. Call a friend. 
  17. Do something kind for someone else or support an organization you care about.
  18. Simplify your email inbox by unsubscribing to emails or newsletters you no longer find useful.
  19. Ask for what you need. We know mamas carry a huge mental load. Asking for what we need, whether it is a little break, a chore, or something else, puts you in control and “brings the invisible to light.” @mylovethinks on Instagram has lots of helpful tips for asking for what you need and managing the mental load.
  20. Plan dinners for the week with simple foods, premade components, or prep multiple meals using recipes from a book like Cook Once, Eat All Week by Cassy Joy Garcia.
  21. Know you’re not alone. Motherhood in the pandemic era can be lonely but know you’re not alone. If you need help, there are so many friends, family members, neighbors, services, and community helpers you can call on. It’s okay to ask for help.  
  22. And if you’re not sure what to do first, drink a glass of water. You probably need some.

So, whether you’re making big new year resolutions or you’re just over it, you’ve made it this far. Take a moment to celebrate who you are and what you’ve overcome. You’ve got this.