3 Easy Ways to Reach Your Goals in 2022
2021 was an interesting year. I personally found it a year full of challenges, and also opportunities. It was a roller coaster for many of us and highlighted the importance of connection and communication.
Something that really hit home for me over the past 2 Covid filled years, is how important it is to make the most of every moment we have with those we love and care about. And to take a step back and simply breathe.
Now I never take anything for granted and am mindful of all I have. I’ve realised that many of the things I thought were important in the past are really not the most important things in life.
The most precious things to me are good health and happy times with loved ones. What are the most precious things to you?
To have more of those happy times, we must identify what’s really important to us, and focus to ensure the most important things remain the most important things despite inevitable distractions and obstacles.
Too often we set New Year Resolutions at the beginning of each year only to see them fall by the wayside within a few weeks into a new year.
According to a study by Discover Healthy Habits, the most popular resolutions last year (2021) were exercising more and improving fitness (50% of participants), losing weight (48%), saving money (44%), and improving diet (39%).
However, of those who made resolutions, only 35% kept all of them, 49% kept some of their resolutions, and 16% failed at keeping any of their resolutions.
Don’t let your resolutions fall by the wayside this year!
Many of my clients have asked me how they can reach their goals, and I’ve identified 3 easy ways to reach your goals in 2022 that will help to ensure your success.
1. Confirm that you REALLY have the DESIRE to reach your goals in 2022
Whatever goals you want to reach (lose weight, get fit, get a new job, land that promotion, start a business, write a book, buy a house, learn a new skill, take up a new sport …) you must DESIRE it greatly enough in order to keep striving towards achieving it.
Simply setting a goal or resolution isn’t enough
Without a strong DESIRE to reach that goal, it’s easy to deviate towards the path of least resistance if there are distractions.
For example, if you state that a goal is to lose weight and want to but don’t have a great enough DESIRE to do it, then when you spot a tempting almond croissant in the bakery, you may indulge without thinking of the consequences.
If your desire to lose weight is great enough you will have a contingency plan in place to resist that temptation.
That contingency plan could be that you don’t go shopping while hungry, or you have a healthy snack in your bag as an alternative when tempted by a tantalisingly yummy, less healthy, high fat & high-calorie treat.
Desire is what keeps us motivated towards our goals.
Confirm your desire by asking yourself the following 3 questions:
- WHY do I desire to reach that goal?
- HOW will my life improve if I reach that goal?
- WHAT are the consequences if I don’t reach that goal?
Imagine how you would feel if you DIDN’T reach your goal.
Then imagine HOW GOOD YOU WILL FEEL when you DO reach that goal.
Lock in that wonderful feeling and you’ll feel a strong desire to make it happen. Any time you waver, remind yourself of your desire and the feeling of success. It will drive you.
Follow this process for each of your personal, health & fitness, work or career goals.
[At the end of this article I share my personal stories of how I reached my health goals and how I reached my goal to write and publish a bestselling book.]
2. To reach your goals in 2022 make them S.M.A.R.T.
Goal setting is essential to help you stay on track. Setting goals are linked with higher motivation, self-esteem, self-confidence, and autonomy (Locke & Latham, 2006), and research has established a strong connection between goal-setting and success (Matthews, 2015).
When you set your goals, create S.M.A.R.T. goals to stay on track.
They target a specific area for improvement.
They provide an indicator of progress and success for each measurable goal.
Achievable (or Attainable)
They specify the steps you must take to reach your goal.
Realistic (or Relevant)
They state the results can realistically be achieved, given available resources, within a specific time frame.
They specify the target date or general time frame when the result or results can be achieved.
3. Find an Accountability Buddy to stay on track to reach your goals in 2022
“Some people are very accountable to themselves, but not most people,” says Dr. Tim Church, exercise and obesity expert and chief medical officer for Naturally Slim.
“In my years of working with thousands of people, there’s one thing that drives accountability more than anything else: If you want to keep people doing a behaviour, get a buddy.”
By announcing to the universe what you WILL do, it is a commitment to yourself and the world that you CAN do it. By recruiting an accountability buddy to help you, that increases your success rate.
The best way for me to illustrate my 3-step process to reaching your goals and how having an accountability buddy contributes to your success is to share my professional goal of writing a self-help book to benefit my clients and all who need support to take control of their careers and make a successful career change.
In 2015 I decided it was finally time to write my book, Navigating Career Crossroads. My desire was great as I am on a MISSION to make careers guidance accessible and affordable to ALL who need it.
But I had never written a book before and the task was daunting.
I set this S.M.A.R.T. goal:
To write and publish my book
To get the first draft out within 4 months, to find an author/mentor, a good editor, publisher, book cover designer, proof-reader and set up distribution channels
Write 1,000 words per day
Follow the guidance of an author/mentor who has helped thousands of authors successfully write and publish their books. Focus on the end result and the benefit of my book to those I wish to reach.
To get the book published and in the bookstores by the end of the year.
As I needed professional help and guidance to get this done, I was blessed to have the help of Andrew Griffiths, my brilliant author/mentor.
Writing 1,000 words a day didn’t seem too daunting at first but finding the time to sit down and write (or type) was a challenge as I work with my career transition clients and deliver corporate training full time, am a doting mother and wife, enjoy sport and volunteering, and like to enjoy a social life too (not to mention enjoy my sleep!)
The beach or golf would beckon on weekends, dinner party invitations would tempt me too. 1,000 words a day EVERY DAY was proving difficult.
I roped in a few friends and asked them to text me or call me regularly to ask me how many words I’d written each day. My husband also helped to keep me on track, bringing me multiple cups of tea and many words of encouragement, “You can do this – FOCUS!”
One colleague, Bridget Irwin, went a step further. She dangled the offer of Veuve Cliquot champagne to reach 15,000 words, and more when I reached 30,000. And she was as good as her word – it felt good to pop the cork that month!
I didn’t want to let my friends/colleagues/accountability buddies down as I’d publicly made my promise, and their encouragement kept me going whenever I would waver.
I ended up writing over 75,000 words over the next few months and when Navigating Career Crossroads was published it reached #1 on Amazon in 3 categories: Career, Job Hunting and Resumés!
And the 2nd edition, published in 2020, was a finalist in The Australian Career Book awards too.
All that dedication and hard work were worth every second. I could not have done it without the DESIRE, the S.M.A.R.T. goal and my ACCOUNTABILITY buddies.
The same process will help you to reach your personal goals. I followed my 3-step process to lose 10 kilos to reach my health goals.
Personal health/weight loss story:
In 2019 I met up with my brother and his wife in Hong Kong for my 60th birthday and their 30th wedding anniversary. I hadn’t seen them for several years and in the interim, I’d put on a lot of weight.
He and my sister-in-law, on the other hand, had lost a lot of weight and looked incredibly fit and healthy. After a lot of sibling teasing (and a reminder that we have a history of heart disease in the family), I decided I needed to take action.
I set myself a S.M.A.R.T. goal to lose 10 kilos in 10 months.
I was Specific, it was Measurable, it was definitely Actionable, 1 kilo a month was very Realistic and it was Time-bound.
The desire was great because our father, uncle, cousin and grandfather had passed away at the very young ages of 49/50. Our family history of heart disease, high cholesterol and blood pressure is very real.
Also, from a more superficial standpoint, all of my favourite clothes were very tight and there were many beautiful outfits relegated to the back of my wardrobe as no amount of holding in my stomach would allow me to zip or button them up.
I identified that I’d become accustomed to always wearing jackets over everything as I was covering up what I wasn’t happy with.
I decided to pay for the Weight Watchers app as I knew I needed professional help with this. I religiously followed it day by day.
Progress was slow but I followed their food tracking process and began brisk walking for an hour every day. Luckily WW provides excellent accountability support online for the days when I was feeling less motivated.
Every kilo lost motivated me to keep at it, and by the end of 2019, I had lost over 10 kilos. I had not only reached my goal, but I also smashed it!
The feeling was incredible – I was able to walk further without getting out of breath, I felt more energetic, I looked better, my skin improved as I was eating more healthily and all my clothes fit again. And my GP was impressed with how well I passed my annual check-up and blood work.
I felt so proud of myself to have stuck with my plan and achieved the goal.
Not only did I feel good about my weight but I also felt good about other aspects of my life too. It was as if by taking control of my own body I was able to take control of my work, my creativity, my self-belief skyrocketed too. And my experience influenced many friends to also take positive action for their health too.
It was like a ripple effect – more far-reaching than I had expected.
The benefits of reaching the New Year Resolutions or Goals you set for yourself will surprise and delight you. And the sense of achievement you will feel makes it so worthwhile.
It’s now time to identify what’s really important to you and FOCUS to ensure the most important things remain the most important things throughout 2022. Now you know how to reach your goals in 2022, it’s time to take action!
Happy New Year!
For help to stay on track, visit The Careers Academy for accountability support, inspiration and practical advice to land a new job and advance in your career!