Happy New Year to all of you fabulous women in retail! I hope your holidays were joyful and relaxing. Mine were, and I was especially grateful for the downtime, which enabled me to spend quality time with my family and close friends. One thing I didn’t do this year, however, was make New Year’s resolutions. Why? Because after two years of a pandemic with seemingly no end in sight, putting more pressure on myself by setting a goal that might not be realistic doesn’t work for me this year.

In fact, Dr. Sophie Lazarus, a psychologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, says we may be better off without making resolutions. In this recent article, Dr. Lazarus says that while there really is nothing inherently bad about making New Year’s resolutions, things can get problematic when they’re done from a place of pressure or obligation.

“What we don’t want to do is set a really large sweeping kind of goal and resolution and not meet it and feel more stressed and discouraged,” said Lazarus. “We sometimes think it’s going to help us get more done or be more productive. I think it really tends to just increase our stress and make things worse.”

Goal setting as a new year begins, however, is very important. So, what if instead of focusing on resolutions we spend our time on reflection as a way to help us set goals? What if we focus on everything we accomplished in 2021 and get a motivation burst from that?

As such, instead of setting goals for 2022, I spent some time putting together a list of things I’m most proud of completing in 2021. They include sending my first-born off to college; helping to safely and successfully launch a live musical theater production of “Grease” in my community this summer; working with our fabulous team to bring live and virtual events back to life; spending more time with my 84-year-old mom; and walking and enjoying nature more.

Looking at what I accomplished last year gave me positive reinforcement and also helped me set the tone for 2022. Ultimately, this type of reflection will help me reach more realistic goals than a New Year’s resolution ever could.

Also, I’m looking forward to accomplishing many more great things with our team in 2022! Heck, we already have a few to share. This week, for example, we’re relaunching our Women in Retail Talks podcast with a new content strategy focusing on female leaders at enterprise retailers. Every other Wednesday, listeners will hear powerhouse retail leaders share their proudest accomplishments, epic fails, major career shifts and everything in between. This week, tune in for a fabulous interview between our senior editor, Marie Albiges, and Sara Tervo, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Express.

Also, this week we’re launching the first installment of our Lessons in Leadership video series. These exclusive, members-only recordings feature executive women from the Women in Retail Leadership Circle board discussing industry best practices, sharing life learnings, and providing strategic tools designed to help you excel as a female leader. Our first episode, which is open to all newsletter subscribers, not just members, features Winnie Park, the former CEO of Paper Source. All future Lessons in Leadership videos, however, will be exclusive to members and can be found under the “For Members” tab on the navigation bar of Women in Retail’s website (specifically within the Exclusive Content menu).

Lastly, we’re working hard planning for our 2022 Women in Retail Leadership Summit, taking place April 25-27! Attendees will experience three days of inspiration, content and connections with our powerful community at the beautiful and elegant Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami. Registration is now open; we can’t wait to see you there!

Happy New Year!