How to set achievable goals in 2022
At Natura Mushrooms, we often see March as our “reality check” month.
If December and January are filled with inflated ambitions and hope for the new year ahead, then March is our opportunity to check in with an added layer of realism.
By now, we’ve well and truly recovered from Christmas lunch and picked ourselves up from lazing by the beach. Yet there’s still so much time – and hope – that lies ahead for 2022.
So, what better time to check in with our goals.
This article will walk you through…
- Why we believe goals are important
- How to set achievable goals in 2022
- The SMART goals formula (would it be an article about setting goals without it?)
- Our favourite goal setting tips
Why are goals important?
Now more than ever, we’ve noticed a lot of negative connotations surrounding New Year’s Resolutions. Throw them out. They always fail. Why bother.
Thankfully, we’re not here to set optimistic, overwhelming and vague resolutions.
We’re here to set specific, clear and achievable goals.
Because we need goals in life – they’re what move us from where we are to where we want to be. Goals can…
- Influence behaviour change
- Add meaning to our days
- Keep us motivated
- Boost our overall wellbeing
- Track our process
- Reduce anxiety
- Reach our personal potential
- Live happier, fulfilling lives
How to set achievable goals in 2022
When setting achievable goals, they need to align with our personal values.
Because ultimately, our values underpin our goals and determine their success.
For example, say you had a goal to achieve a big promotion at work, which would see you working longer days for a significant financial reward.
But those longer days mean less time with your family, which is one of your core values.
See how they clash?
Not allowing your values to inform your goals can lead you to fumble, or in some cases, achieve your goals but not feel satisfied.
In our experience, we’ve found the best way to see whether our goals are values-aligned is to first define our values, then ask ourselves are these connected?
Setting SMART goals
SMART goals were first developed by George Doran, Arthur Miller and James Cunningham in 1981. Since this time, there’s a fairly good chance you’ve come across them in a classroom or workplace (because let’s face it, they work).
So let’s jump in.
This is all about clearly defining your goal – the who, what, when, where, why. This stage doesn’t need to include the steps on how you’ll get there (yet). It just needs to clearly outline your goal, while avoiding vague and fuzzy language.
Having a goal is one thing. But being able to measure it is another thing entirely. And the best goals are quantifiable. Here are a few simple examples.
Instead of saying…
“I want to read more books” swap it for “I want to read 15 books by December”
“I want to grow my email list” swap it for “I want to grow my email list by 100 subscribers by July”
“I want to learn to cook” swap it for “I want to cook at least two meals a week for my family”
See the difference?
This is the part where we tone down our January goals to more of a March vibe. In other words, the reality check for all the optimists out there.
Always ask whether the goal you’ve set is achievable – otherwise, you’ll be setting yourself up for disappointment.
- Do I actually believe it’s possible to achieve this?
- Do I have the necessary tools, skills and training?
- Are my timelines or quantifiable benchmarks realistic?
If the answer to any of the above is no, then it doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t achieve your goals. It just means you might need to shift it slightly – for example adding more time, gaining more skills or reducing the target.
Take a step back and see the bigger picture. Is this goal relevant to you? Does it tie in with your life and values? Does this SMART goal help you to reach your bigger goals? For example, if your long-term goal is to scale-back your workload to start a family, perhaps aiming for that big promotion isn’t relevant to you right now.
Set realistic timelines on when you want to achieve your goal. This is a vital step – as failing to do so can place your goals on the back burner – leading to dwindling motivation and even frustration. Be truthful with your time. And remember, if you slip beyond this deadline, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed and it’s time to throw in the towel. Keep going.
Our 3 top tips for setting goals
After we’ve defined our goals using the SMART formula, we have three steps we like to follow to cement them even further.
Write them down
Did you know that studies show writing down your goals can make you more likely to achieve them? Yep, a study by Dr. Gail Matthews found that individuals who wrote down their goals on a daily basis were 42% more likely to achieve them.
Create a mood board
A mood board is a collage of images and text with a particular theme. In this case, a mood board serves as an aesthetically pleasing reminder of your goal. Similarly to writing your goals down, viewing your mood board each day keeps you inspired and moving forward.
Speak them to others
Sharing your goals with others can promote a sense of accountability. Especially when you reveal your goal to someone you admire and respect. But this one comes with a warning: we recommend being conscious of who you share your goals with, making sure you choose people who’ll support you, lift you up and keep you motivated.
We hope this article provides a guide for your goals in 2022 (and remember, goals aren’t reserved for January, it’s never too late to start).
At Natura Mushrooms, we’re passionate about all things health and wellness, which includes setting goals for business and life. The ideas we discussed in this article are a reflection of our experience when setting (and achieving) goals.
However, these ideas may not work for everyone, and we invite you to pull guidance from this article as you see fit. If you need further guidance, we recommend speaking to a life, business, or financial coach.