A goal is an excellent planning tool that provides a target to aim for. Having a target ensures that we focus our energy on the right area.
As we approach the end of 2021, it is an excellent time to consider your goals for 2022. What are your big goals? New beginnings, including new years, come with a boost of motivation we can harness to increase our chances of achieving our goals.
If you plan them right, with realistically small steps, and surround yourself with the right people, you can plan, take action and achieve your 2022 goals.
New Year Motivation
Every Monday, every birthday, every new year, we experience a tiny fresh start. A feeling that this time accounting period (week, month, year) can be different. We expect more from ourselves and feel more empowered to see our success rather than past failures.
This motivational spike is incredibly potent as we enter a new year because we are starting a considerable new accounting period. Having an entire year to achieve our goal allows us to dream big and then look at what actions we need to succeed.
Successfully achieving these big goals starts with planning.
Plan your 2022 goals
Start by thinking about where you would like to be at the end of 2022. Are you looking for employment? A new group of friends? Perhaps you would like to finally complete a course of study that you have been delaying? Focus on the most important goal you have right now.
Now, make your goal SMART:
- Specifically defined
- Relevant to your values
SMART goals are more likely to succeed because they include a detailed plan. For example, if you are keen to work in IT and have found the right course that you know only takes six months, you have a relevant and time-bound goal. But it is big, so let’s break it down to more defined, attainable goals. Perhaps, study two hours Monday – Wednesday every week, or four hours every Sunday afternoon. Now you have an attainable goal that is measurable and specific.
However, even SMART goals are not going to achieve themselves. Luckily, there are some tricks you can use.
Achieve Your 2022 Goals
If you can get 1 percent better each day for one year, you’ll end up thirty-seven times better by the time you’re done – Atomic Habits, James Clear
In his book Atomic Habits, James Clear talks about habit stacking and the remarkable results of simple small changes over time. Habit stacking uses an existing habit as a trigger for a new one.
For example, if your goal is to exercise more, maybe you made it SMART by saying, 5000 steps a day, measured by my apple watch. Now, you could habit stack by saying, every time I go for coffee, I will walk to the coffee shop just a little further down the block.
Even when making small changes, it is essential to be specific. For example, ‘I will walk to Michael’s Coffee Shop’ will be more successful than ‘I will walk further for coffee’. The aim of habit stacking your small changes is to avoid making the same decisions every day. Less choice means more headspace for action towards achieving your goal!
Surround Yourself with the Right People
Like habit stacking, surrounding yourself with the right people can help you achieve your 2022 goal with greater ease.
For example, if you want to get out of debt or save money – spend more time with friends who meet in a park rather than a restaurant and also value saving money. Spending time with people who share your values or current priorities will make it easier to stick to your plan and achieve your goal.
The people around us are the most significant influence on our behaviour, attitudes and results. So think about the people you most admire or aspire to be like in your life, and take action to spend more time around them – Especially the ones who most align with your values and goals.