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Launching into 2022 - Twenty-Two Tips to Improve Performance & Mindset

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Starting a new chapter—a new semester, a new year (!)—is always exciting! But it can also bring an added dimension of stress, especially when so many things beyond our control seem to be in constant flux.

We all know that getting enough food, rest, and time to recharge are necessary—are essential—to tackle the demands of any given day.

As we enter into the Spring 2022 semester, I challenge you to take note of how often you truly pause for self-care each day. What is one small action you can take today? Below are 22 different actionable ideas, 20 of which I received from a wonderful client and colleague this fall. I now pass them along to you, having added two more pieces of wisdom in honor of the new year.

Challenge yourself to pick just one of these actions, and then focus on that act for the next few days. See if you notice any difference in your daily interactions. Remember that being the best version of yourself will help you engage differently, learn more, grow more, and have a greater impact. You’ll also have energy to change direction when you feel stuck. It all begins with leading your own ship!  

I also invite you to connect with me! LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/kathleencashman-walter or via email kc678@docs.rutgers.edu.  I would welcome a conversation, or just your thoughts.



1. Sleep! Getting enough sleep is one of the best things we can do for ourselves and is not something we can skip if we want to function at the top level.

2. Take time to prioritize. Make a daily list of things you want to get done and name two things

you will get done!

3. Give yourself enough time to get everything done each week. Spread tasks out evenly to try

to avoid those monster days we all get from time to time.

4. Take a break from the computer, TV, and phones. Even for half  an hour.

5. Stop throughout the day and breathe (feel those deep breaths)

6. Eat slowly and chew thoroughly—food is meant to be enjoyed. Also, you will get a more accurate sense of how full you really are. If you’re in a rush, reach for something healthy. And if you’re always in a rush, make sure to pack a power bar. But make sure to eat regularly throughout the day.

7. Try to connect with loved ones every day—we are social beings, after all.

8. Take breaks every day, even if it's just five minutes of your time.

9. Ask for help! We all need it from time to time.

10. Read at least a little each day.

11 Exercise every day even if it's a walk, yoga or stretching.

12. Speak kindly to yourself and realize how far you’ve come!

13. Listen to music, at the gym, in the car, or on a walk.

14. Open your blinds and –weather permitting—the windows, too! Do it for a few days. It's great!

15. Remember your goals and dreams. Spend a few minutes each day thinking about them.

16. Soak your feet or take a hot bath once in a while!

17. Don't be afraid to say no! You cannot always do everything for everyone.

18. Pray, meditate, do yoga, or practice another form of mindfulness.

19. Be positive and keep your focus on the positive.

20. Keep a journal.

21. Mindfully greet each day with energy and gratitude—choosing to see  (and even list out) all the things you “GET” to do…instead of focusing on the drudgery of obligations.

22. Volunteer your time where, when, and if you can. Helping others does wonders for your psyche. 


Kathleen Cashman
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