So far, January 2022 feels similar to January 2021. Just when we thought we were coming out of the pandemic, the holiday season took a negative turn with a resurgence of COVID hospitalizations. We’ve made so much progress yet, it can be frustrating when another outbreak hits. This uncertainty also continues to affect our businesses. Through the course of 2021, the US has faced a widespread labor turnover (often referred to as the Great Resignation), a nationwide burnout phenomenon, supply chain issues, as well as political turmoil. Not to mention, the pandemic is still ongoing.
But even with these challenges, we are looking to 2022 for an abundance of opportunity and a chance for growth. Even in the midst of many challenges, it’s possible to grow, learn, and even use these challenges as an advantage.
With this perspective in mind, it’s not a far leap that with goal setting, and a healthy mindset, we can make 2022 our best year ever.
Celebrate Wins from 2021
Humans tend to disproportionately focus on negative experiences, so it’s important to celebrate wins, both big and small. Taking time to reflect on the successes of 2021 in the Year 2022 can have a big impact on perspective, motivation, and attitude going forward.
Studies have shown that celebrating small wins frequently can boost mood and morale in unmatched ways. In one such study, researchers examined 12,000 diary entries from 238 employees across seven companies. They found that those employees who reflected positively on their days experienced more motivation, and performed better at work the next day.
By reflecting on our Monday wins we perpetuate positivity into Tuesday and Wednesday. This means that the time we spend monitoring and celebrating our progress makes it easier to repeat patterns of wins in the future.
Focus on Your Goals
Having a reliable goal setting process is one of the most valuable tools we have for creating an extraordinary year in 2022. Though it can be tempting to set several ambitious goals, judiciously selecting which goals to pursue is one way to prevent goals from competing against themselves.
To avoid getting overwhelmed by too many goals, follow this process:
Goal Setting Process
- Decide the domain in which to set goals: Personal, professional, and business are popular starting points for goal setting.
- Select an area and category within the domain: For personal, an area is health and exercise is an example of a category.
- Select a subcategory: Not every category has one but in the example of exercise, weight lifting and cardio are both subcategories.
- Prioritize: Which of these goals once accomplished will give you the most fulfillment? By giving each of your goals a priority ranking (no ties!), you are creating a road map of how to best spend your time and avoid overwhelm.
There is only so much time in a year, so focus on achieving the goals that will have the highest impact on improving the quality of your life. Properly prioritizing yearly goals (and the time required to accomplish them) is absolutely essential to success.
Make SMARTER goals
To get serious about pursuing a goal, make sure it is a SMART goal. SMART goals are defined as:
- Time bound
Instead of simply setting a goal like “to make more revenue”, the specificity demanded by SMART goals may convert the goal into “double the company revenue by the end of Q4”. Whether the goal is accomplished will be abundantly clear.
SMART goals also make it much easier to track the progress being made. It’s easy to see the gap in reaching the goal six months later when it’s measured, specific, and has a deadline.
However, at Arootah, we set even SMARTER Goals. People who set SMARTER goals achieve success because they prioritize the actions needed to carry out their plans. Every base is covered in order to make the necessary change needed to achieve the goal.
Here are SMARTER GOALS:
Your probability of success goes up exponentially when you write down your goals. An easy way to up your odds of success is to write your goals down. One Harvard Business Study found that the 3% of their graduates who actually wrote down their goals ended up earning 10x the amount of the other 97% put together.
Goals must be challenging. Your mind naturally wants to grow and learn new skills. Set the bar high and watch yourself get excited to work on your goals.
- Periodic Review
Keep looking at your plan. The saying, “out of sight, out of mind,” holds true. Actually PRINT OUT your plan and keep it on your work desk, refrigerator, or bathroom mirror. Save it as your phone’s background image. Set calendar reminders. Never ignore what is important to you.
Get participation or Buy-In from the team. Many overlook this step because it looks obvious; however, many plans fall apart when not everyone on your team is committed to the goal. Whether this is your professional team or your team for your personal goals, get everyone involved excited about the future result.
Hear what you are doing well or wrong from somebody who didn’t set the goal. This objective check point gives you a new perspective. They might see something you are missing that can help you progress.
Set up an accountability strategy early. When you start working towards your goal, obstacles will pop up (otherwise the goal isn’t challenging enough) and accountability keeps you on track. The best one? COACH!
- Reward / Punishment
Optimize your twin motivators of pain and pleasure. When you make progress, reward yourself! When you fail, punish yourself with something like extra push-ups. Keep disciplined because if you reward yourself (like going out to a nice dinner) when you should be staying in and working your plan, then you lose out on the self-accountability that can help you succeed.
A goal without a plan is merely a dream. Setting up an organized, written, and thought-out plan is your roadmap to success. Think about every action you need to achieve that incrementally puts you closer to what you truly want. Sequence and prioritize those actions to optimize your plan.
The hardest part of making moves towards your future is getting started. When crafting your plan, set “start-lines” at a reasonable date that gives you enough time to complete the work. Each action in the plan needs an intentional time to start or else it may never happen.
You need a strong WHY to overcome obstacles. When the plan gets challenging, your purpose is what will give you the motivation to persevere. Getting clear about why you want this future and what it means to you will keep you pushing forward. Get excited about your future. If you succeed, what does this goal mean to you and your quality of life?
Every goal begins with the mission and every mission begins with a purpose. The purpose fuels us to accomplish the goals we need to in order to make the mission a reality. Whether for an individual or an organization, all motivation comes down to identifying a purpose linked to values.
What is the real purpose behind setting the goal and how does this purpose align with our values? Will accomplishing this goal make a difference in the world? Is there a more extensive vision attached to this goal?
If the purpose behind a goal isn’t intrinsically tied to an individual’s strong values, they will not find the goal fulfilling. Working in alignment with strong values is an excellent way to make 2022 an impactful year.
Aim for Progress, Not Perfection
Despite careful planning, there is always a chance that this year’s goals will not come to fruition. Does this mean that all that work was for nothing? Absolutely not!
Whether or not your 2022’s goals become a reality by 2023, you can always reflect and learn from your progress. This reflection and learning means that you can still leave 2022 with growth, confidence, and fulfillment regardless of the status of your goals.
In other words, having a good year is not always black and white. Taking the time to focus on progress over perfection and the lessons learned along the way ensures that each year will be more successful than the last.
The Bottom Line
Goal setting, supplemented by a healthy mindset, can make 2022 the best year ever. Without a strong plan, a goal could easily end up in the graveyard of New Year’s Resolutions.
Having a good year depends on outlook. Despite the challenges of 2021, many organizations and individuals are choosing to focus on what they’ve learned rather than the challenges they’ve faced. This makes it easy to see an abundance of opportunity as they head into 2022.
Since this is one of our favorite topics, we invite you to join us for our goal setting workshop: The 2022 Goal Setting Webinar Series: Your Roadmap to Peak Performance
We’ll discuss everything you need to set big goals for 2022, as well as several other resources you can use to make your year a success.
What’s on your horizon for 2022? Are you trying any new goal setting tactics this year? Let us know in the comments!