Do you achieve your goals each year? Why not? Well, for me to achieve goals they have to be mine, well defined, and tied to my schedule. To make a bold goal achievable just follow these five steps for 2022.
Step 1. Make sure you understand why you are setting this goal.
Setting a goal suggested by someone else who thinks it is a good idea is destined for failure. And when you fail at a goal, you are less likely to set good goals for the following year. So make sure the goal is yours or that you understand why the goal is important to you.
You need to think about and understand why you want to achieve this goal.
Step 2. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals.
SMART is an acronym to help you think through how you need to state the goal for you to succeed.
S— Make the goal specific. Saying you want to lose weight or be healthier next year will fail because it is ambiguous. You can’t get there because it is undefined. A smart goal would be specific. “I want to lose 20 pounds by December 31, 2022.”
M- Make the goal measurable so you will be able to see your progress and know when you succeed. I want to lose weight in 2022 isn’t a measurable goal. The goal doesn’t answer the question of exactly how much weight do you want to lose.
A- Make the goal achievable. Nothing defeats the purpose of goal setting quicker than making a goal that can’t be achieved. For example, I weigh about 225 pounds. If my goal was to be a new weight of 160 pounds, although that is achievable, it is unreasonable. So, be sure that it is not only achievable but that it is also reasonable. I might set as a goal for next year of losing 20 pounds. But this might be unreasonable for me. This is why you must know and think about the goal you are setting and make it reasonable and achievable for you.
R— Write a goal that is realistic. This is a critical part of your goal setting. Realism is necessary if you want to set achievable goals. For example, if I set a goal to lose 40 pounds next year, it isn’t realistic. Losing 20 pounds is a stretch for me. Think about your goals when you make them are they realistic and achievable or stretch goals and unlikely to be achieved. Whichever way you set them, make sure you aren’t setting yourself up for failure and guilt.
T— To meet the criteria discussed above your goal must be time bound. If I say I want to lose 40 pounds, it is unclear when I want to achieve the goal so it doesn’t make sense. I might achieve it if I wait long enough, but I am unlikely to achieve it in 2022.
STEP 3 Develop a plan to achieve each of your goals.
A goal without a plan or a definition of the steps you need to take is unlikely to be achieved. Once you develop each of your goals. Identify the steps you need to take to achieve those goals. You have to fit these steps into your daily life. For example, if you are working 40+ hours a week and you have a goal of writing a novel in 3 months then you have to make sure you have the time and skills to devote to your writing; otherwise you have set a goal that isn’t achievable or realistic.
Step 4 You must regularly review your progress. A weekly or monthly review is essential to see how you are doing on each of your goals. To achieve the bold goals you are setting you must put in place a system to review your progress. It could be as simple as weighing yourself at the end of each week. However, once you see how you are doing you have to adjust your plan to ensure you are doing what needs to be done to achieve the goals.
Step 5 Reward yourself along the way. Psychologists have shown repeatedly that if you reward yourself as you complete each step you will be more likely to stay on the plan. So not only must your goals be specific but your steps within the plan need to be specific as well. If you set a goal of losing 20 pounds by December 31,2022 and steps are to lose 2 pounds a month then at the end of each month that I lost 2 or more pounds I would reward myself. The reward encourages me to stay on the plan and achieve my goal.
So those are the steps for SMART goal setting that will make it possible to achieve your goals in 2022. But here are a few pitfalls to watch out for:
- Don’t overload yourself with goals. My current thinking is that I will have three goals that I focus on before I make my next three. If I try to make goals for the whole year at one setting then it is hard for me to track all of them.
- If you are working 40+ hours a week, you must be realistic and set only a few goals to work on outside of work. Your time is limited, especially, if you have a family.
- Don’t beat yourself up and burden yourself with guilt if you don’t make a goal. Analyze why it happened, adjust and get back on track. Unfortunately, life happens and our best laid plans require adjustment.
To close this out, here are my three goals for the beginning of the year:
- Setup my freelance writing business and get three clients by March 31 with an income of $2000 per month.
- Write 500 words per day for my blog, newsletter, medium posts, and clients. This will give me a goal of 15,00 words for the year.
- Improve my health and energy levels by setting aside 30 minutes for exercise and strength training.
So to see where I am at the end of each week I have to track five items:
days I exercised,
Words per day.
The number of times I exercised for 30 minutes a day.
“You have to be able to get up and dust yourself off and always be going forward.” – Rita Moreno