An Introvert’s Wish List for the New Year

An introvert journals by the water

Balance is key to living the most fulfilling life possible while also respecting your introvert needs.

If you like to set resolutions for the New Year, then this time of year can come with a lot of pressure. If you’re an introvert, you might be wondering something like: How do I grow without succumbing to the expectations of an extroverted world?

Sure, there’s the usual “eat better” or “lose weight,” but there are also ways you can better yourself by leaning into your introversion. The following is my list of 10 introvert wishes for the New Year — and perhaps you’ll be able to relate.

10 Introvert Wishes for the New Year 

1. Develop stronger boundaries around your energetic needs.

As an introvert, your strength comes from within — you spend a lot of time getting to know yourself intimately and exploring your rich inner world. You know you need quiet mornings. You know you need “me time.” You know you need to step away from the hustle and bustle of the party (your friend dragged you to) for a moment to take a breath and recharge. So ask yourself: Do you allow yourself to take that space?

This year, resolve to develop strong boundaries around your energetic needs as an introvert — and make sure you enforce them. Take that extra day of PTO after a vacation to allow yourself time to rest and regroup. Turn down invitations to get-togethers if you’ve already had a busy day. Eat alone during your lunch break. Learning to protect your energy can help make this next year even more fulfilling than the last.

2. Get good at saying no (even if it’s hard).

Let’s be real, FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) can be an introvert’s worst enemy. It can be easy to look at your connections on social media and feel like you’re missing out on all the fun by staying in on a Friday night after a long week of work. Even worse, you may feel guilty for turning down an invitation from a friend you haven’t seen in a while when they come to town.

However, learning to say no — and stand by it — is an important skill for honoring yourself and your needs. Introverts are drained by large groups of people and stimulating environments, and they recharge by spending time alone.

So as we go into the next year, resolve to be more discerning about the opportunities and activities you say yes to and open your mind to the power of no.

3. Carve out daily “me time.”

Introverts need time to themselves; it’s not a want, it’s a need. If you live in a busy household — especially if you’re a parent — make a point to carve out some “me time” every day, just for you.

You can use that time to meditate, watch your favorite comfort show, read a new book, express your creativity, or anything else that helps you gather back some of the energy you’ve lost throughout the day. 

Remember, it’s not selfish to send your kids and partner away for a small chunk of time; in fact, you’ll all be better for it! By taking time for yourself to recharge, you’ll be even more present with your loved ones during the time you do spend together.

4. Read more (and schedule it if you have to).

Reading is a favorite activity for many introverts, but are you really setting aside time to indulge in it? As introverts, we have a rich inner world and creative imaginations. Reading a book allows us to let our imagination run wild while still enjoying the peace and quiet. It’s like play, but inward.

So how can you do this? Resolve to wake up 10 minutes earlier to read a few pages in the morning or set aside time after work or before bed. It doesn’t have to be hours and hours. Simply make a point to allow space for reading in your day-to-day life. And, chances are, that 10 minutes will lead to many more…

5. In order to preserve your energy, bring balance to your weekends.

Not every weekend needs to be full of excitement, nor does every weekend need to be spent at home alone in front of your favorite streaming service. What do I mean? Well, balance is key to living the most fulfilling life possible while also respecting your energetic needs.

If you went out to a show, visited a bar, or had a game night with friends one weekend, plan to spend the next one in your pajamas reading a book or playing video games. Similarly, if you know you have a busy weekend coming up that’ll require extra social energy, plan to sleep or binge TV shows the weekend before.

Do you ever struggle to know what to say?

As an introvert, you actually have the ability to be an amazing conversationalist — even if you’re quiet and hate small talk. To learn how, we recommend this online course from our partner Michaela Chung. Click here to check out the Introvert Conversation Genius course.

6. Start a journal or regular writing practice.

Introverts often feel most comfortable expressing themselves through writing. Why not start a journaling habit so you can externalize some of those thoughts and feelings going on inside you? By doing this, you may learn more about yourself, get to know yourself better, or simply feel some relief over getting some of what you’re thinking and feeling out onto the page.

And if you’re a highly sensitive introvert, you probably feel the emotions of others more so than others. So externalizing your inner experience, via journaling, can help you understand and process everything more deeply.

7. Learn a new skill or start a hobby.

Learn something new — and bonus points if it’s something creative. Relaxing into a hobby you enjoy, or expressing yourself creatively, is a sure way to regain any energy you lost throughout the day or week. Plus, being creative or learning a new skill allows you to enter a “flow state,” when you get so into the activity at hand, it just “flows.”

Being in a flow state allows us to quiet our active minds, while being creative engages our senses in a way that’s rejuvenating beyond mindless activities, like watching TV or endlessly scrolling through social media.

8. Take more casual walks and strolls. 

Never doubt the power of a casual stroll. You can go with a close friend or partner, but it’s even more effective to go for a walk alone. In addition to providing you with some alone time and space, it will expose you to the calming and rejuvenating powers of nature and natural light.

By getting active in nature, you create a quiet space for you to process thoughts and develop creative ideas. You can even bring a journal with you or use the Notes app on your phone to jot down any important thoughts that might come up.

9. Get a pen-pal, either someone you know or someone new.

Just because introverts recharge alone doesn’t mean we don’t want to socialize or make new friends. After all, connection is a vital part of the human experience. According to a paper in Nature Human Behavior, loneliness can actually be a cause of disease, or even death, in extreme cases.

If you find it difficult to make new connections in the wild, like many introverts do, consider getting a pen-pal this year. Just like journaling, this allows you to communicate through writing, which is often more comfortable for introverts than speaking. This pen-pal can be an old friend you connect with or someone new, like through an organization such as Global Penfriends.

10. Above all, be kinder to yourself. 

Living as an introvert in an extroverted world can be tough — it’s not easy to have limited energetic needs that appear to run counter to larger societal expectations. 

So if you do none of the other nine things on this list, at least resolve to be kinder to yourself this year and do things that inspire joy. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re late picking up the kids or meeting up with a friend. Feel free to stop by your favorite salon if getting your nails done gives you a pick-me-up. Or if you want to stay in all weekend and hide out from everyone, that’s perfectly okay! And remember, you’re doing the best you can — which is all any of us can do.

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