Balance and Reduce Stress as a Workplace New Year's Resolution

Ardent Learning

The changes of 2020 had an almost universal impact. Most people needed to make changes in how they worked, lived, and parented, and some had to reshape the logistics of their lives on multiple occasions since March. After a year where many had no choice but to adapt, it’s no surprise that many 2021 New Year’s resolutions have focused on well-being and finding ways to stay resilient and manage stress. We believe this should also apply to your 2021 work resolutions.

The need for social distancing created a shift to remote work that generated increases in screen time, and workers reported feeling a sense of isolation or feeling continually overwhelmed by competing home/work responsibilities. And on the flip side, those working with the public found themselves in increasingly complicated, and often stressful new work environments with consistently changing guidelines. This has all led to workers reporting an increase in performance-impacting concerns such as virtual exhaustion, fatigue, inability to concentrate, and changes in motor performance.

In 2021, learners are continuing to cultivate home offices, as well as developing new and improved ways to feel safe and productive in whatever the “new normal” looks like. For Learning and Development teams, this may be one of the most pivotal times in history when our work resolutions should focus on understanding and assessing where our learners are at. This means not just assessing for knowledge and comprehension of skills or processes, but taking a deep dive into how the learner’s environment or changes in their environment have impacted their physical and mental well-being. Our mission will then be to design solutions that are effective, timely, adaptive, and provide safe conditions for learning.

Changes to Learning and Development strategies through the rest of 2021 should include ways to diligently support the personal well-being of our learners, and ultimately their ability to be adaptable and resilient.

As you consider how you can frame your 2021 work resolutions to support the personal well-being of your learners, consider what researchers shared as emerging insights about the keys to a life of well-being:

  • Positive and Productive Solitude – Rather than being lonely or ruminating on negative experiences, positive and productive solitude provides time for contemplation, reflection, or creativity. To support learner well-being, consider including opportunities for personal periods of positive and productive solitude in your learning solutions or roadmap.
  • Feeling Active – “Feeling Active” is not about how physically active we are, but how energetic, vigorous, and vital we “feel”. Many studies show the “relational energy” between energetic personalities and productivity. Consider how you can design your 2021 learning solutions in a way that drives a level of “contagious motivation".
  • Future-Mindedness – Pursuing happiness is a key to well-being. This includes pondering the things that will make us feel good tomorrow, next week, or next year and creating pragmatic plans. This means thinking not just about what we can achieve in the future ourselves, but what we can all achieve together. Start 2021 out with a focus on well-being by providing avenues for learners to develop pragmatic individual and team goals – ensuring these goals have clear steps to implementation.


We are wishing our clients’ employees a year of positivity and resiliency. If you’re looking for an L&D partner this year to support your strategy and help you define the roadmap for the future, set up a time for a complimentary consultation to discuss your goals.