With 2022 still feeling new and uncharted, there is a high probability that most of us have some form of “resolution” or “goals” for the next twelve months. While motivation is high, things might appear to be flowing seamlessly... But what happens when we meet resistance? What happens when the rhythm and regularity of life catches back up to us? Here are five ways that you can ensure that your goals and objectives for 2022 are sustainable and enjoyable.
Tip 1 - Define success in your own words
When setting your goals for this year, think about what “success” looks and feels like to you. If this year is “successful”, what things must be done or achieved? Take a moment to think or write down some of your thoughts. Really try and create the picture and/or experience of your successful year and place yourself within this picture.
Our emotional attachments to our idea of success often keeps us locked in where are goals are concerned. Define your version of success, and everything else can be worked and developed around it.
Tip 2 - Scale back
You probably have anywhere between 5-10 things that you really want to focus on this year if you are anything like my students! You may want to lose weight, take school more seriously, meet someone new romantically, start a side hustle... The idea of a new year floods us with a “new start” narrative. It is invigorating at first, but this excitement and desire to improve in every way possible, eventually catches up to us... In my case anyway!
I think I have an explanation for why this might be the case. You are typically constructing your goals for the year when you are quite rested and/or actively seeking a restful state of being. Our state of relaxedness often increases how motivated we feel and consequently how much we feel we can achieve. This can often lead to an over-estimation of our ability to stay consistent, which in turn creates a high volume of goals and expectations.
Often, when the reality of life sets back in and we are back in our day to day routines, we may realise that we might have taken on too much. If that is the case, then it can be actually demotivating to think about our goals and ambitions because they may feel too difficult to balance alongside our current commitments. This can lead to an eventual disconnection from our goals, which ultimately leads to us sacking them off.
So, scale back your goals and intentions for the year – protect your ability to execute. Focus on 1-3 goals that really mean something to you, the ones that are most exciting/emotionally weighted. It is really hard to equally distribute effort and intention across numerous goals. It can get exhausting. Sometimes less really is more - so don’t be afraid to scale back.
Tip 3 - Utilise "Accountability Networks"
An opinion! Nobody completes a goal solely by themselves, and if they believe they do, they are probably (on some level) a narcissist (I'm joking, but also kinda serious). Goals are most likely to be achieved with the support and guidance of accountability networks. Within these networks can be mentors, close friends, family, partners... Anyone who has a genuine interest in helping you achieve the goals you have set. Telling others what we intend to do makes our goals and objectives real. It keeps a certain level of (needed) pressure to ensure that we at least give our all to the goals that we have set.
If you are serious about making your goals a reality (which I am sure you are!), it is not a hindrance to let people you know and trust what you're really looking to do this year. Others want you to succeed! Use that energy to help spur you on.
Tip 4 - Schedule in "check ins" REGULARLY
The biggest mistake I see when coaching people is that they usually check in with their goal towards the end of their journey. This is problematic because pausing and reflecting along the way enables you to frequently identify where improvement pathways are. Let’s say you start working towards a goal for the year in January and have your first scheduled check in in September. This gives you only three months to apply any feedback or redevise a strategy to help make that goal a reality. The time frame to pivot/adapt is significantly shortened.
Hold yourself and your goals accountable by setting up consistent check in dates as early as possible to measure your progress against your long-term objective. This is an underrated tool, but it is invaluable. I personally like to check in with my objectives on the last Saturday of each month, but checking in once every “quarter” (three months) is what I usually get my mentees to do to begin with. You may even find it useful to schedule check in dates with your accountability networks as a way of updating them regarding your goal setting journey. What is important is that you are setting aside time to check in and pivot/adapt as early and consistently as possible.
Tip 5 - Develop a consistent personal development routine
I have a question for you.
What things are you doing consistently, and of all of these things, which ones are serving your long term goals and objectives?
It's a deep question, but it is a necessary one.
Success at any level, requires consistent work on you alongside your journey towards your goal. The person setting the goal must be willing to adapt and change to make their goal a reality.
Consistency is a skill, like learning how to cook or speak in public. It can be trained and strengthened, and one way to develop the skill of consistency is to develop a routine for yourself focused around exploring and improving your current skillset. My advice would be to start off by committing to 1-3 elements of personal development that you will strive to do daily – you don’t want to make it too time consuming so that it encroaches on other important commitments, but you want to make it challenging enough that you are forced to adapt in some capacity.
Last year, I started allocating thirty minutes to an hour per day for reading. I still am able to complete this commitment to this day, and not only has it resulted in a deeper understanding of me and my passions, it has instilled a healthy habit where my personal growth is concerned. Achieving your goals is dependent on how much time and love you are willing to put into yourself. "Time" in this context does not need to mean every single moment of your free time. It's about allocating a consistent, sustainable amount of energy that you can commit to yourself that doesn't take away from other important areas of your life. Invest time in your development, and you will see over the course of the year the impact it has on your ability to achieve the goals that you have set.
This article was heavily influenced by a Winsider Podcast episode that is available to listen to now. The Winsider Podcast aims to provide an insight into the minds and practices of high performers to provide clues and pathways for those wanting to change the world.
If there is anything that I have missed or skipped over in this article, please let me know! If you are attempting to learn from me, I would love to learn from you. Good luck with your goal setting journeys this year, I wish you all the best in your endeavors.
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