It’s one thing when you’re done setting goals for 2022. Now you need to actually work on them. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” This means that writing down your goals is only one part of the process. The next step is creating actionable steps that will help you achieve your goals. Otherwise, they’ll remain a wish. If you really want to accomplish your goals, you need more than the goal itself. You need a plan and you need to hold yourself accountable.
When setting goals for 2022, it’s important to give each goal a deadline. Deadlines are a great way to hold yourself accountable. Think about deadlines you’ve had in the past. Perhaps it was studying for a big chemistry test or delivering a work project on a certain day. Those deadlines gave the task at hand importance. You made sure to focus on them more.
Even if most of your 2022 goals are personal, assigning deadlines will motivate you to work on them. Let’s say you want to start a side hustle offering consulting services for small businesses. You want to launch your website and start booking clients on June 1. With a date in mind, you can now schedule the tasks that will get you there on your calendar.
Come June 1, everything you need to do is done and you can start booking clients. This is why giving each goal a deadline is important but remember to be realistic. Don’t try to accomplish every single goal in the span of a month. You’ll only burn yourself out.
The next step is breaking large goals down into manageable tasks. Let’s keep going with the consulting business example. Your deadline is June 1. Now you need to figure out what you need to do before that date. You need to:
Breaking goals down into smaller tasks helps keep you from getting overwhelmed. It also gives you an overview of how much you need to do to accomplish a goal. As mentioned before, assign each of these small goals a deadline. Strive to complete one a month. This way you’re constantly moving forward.
When setting goals for 2022, remember that you’re one person. Trying to cram a ton of tasks into a single day or even a week won’t bode well for your mental health.
Now that you have your goals broken down into smaller tasks, it’s time to schedule them on your calendar. Give yourself leeway here and don’t plan too far ahead. If it’s January and you schedule yourself to do something on July 8 there’s a high chance it won’t happen. Why? Because you have no idea where you’ll be come July.
Schedule no more than 2-3 months out at a time. Work in quarters. 90 days is far easier to manage than 120. And know that something you scheduled on your calendar next week could be moved. Emergencies happen. Life gets in the way. Accept now that tasks will need to shift around. Once you do you’ll be less stressed when the time comes to actually reschedule them.
When the day comes that a scheduled task is on, do your best to honor it. Treat it like a meeting with your boss. If you give your goals and their tasks the due diligence they deserve you’re more likely to accomplish them.
It’s inevitable that when setting goals for 2022 you’re going to write more than you’ll be able to do within 12 months. That’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with ambition. But it can lead to overwhelm and stress if you’re not careful. And so the best advice you can take from this post is to finish one task at a time.
Yes, you’re eager to get your goals done. You want the adrenaline rush of feeling like you did something amazing. And you’ll get there, but you need to take it slow. If you try to do too much at once you’re going to produce sloppy work and that’s the last thing you want.
So when working on your goal-oriented tasks, do one thing at a time. This is especially important for tasks that require a bit more detail. For example, you want your consulting business website to look professional. If you rush through it there will be mistakes and people will notice. Don’t soil your reputation before you even begin.
One of the hardest things to do when setting goals for 2022 is figuring out the best way to track your progress. How you track your goals can vary depending on the goal itself and how you personally manage the process.
One way you can track your goals is by using an online program like Trello or Asana. Trello’s checklist feature gives you a percentage bar so every time you check a box off, it increases. It’s a great visual way to see how you’re progressing. Of course, you can also use this method in a good old-fashioned notebook.
Your primary focus when tracking progress is to ensure you’re doing what you promised yourself you would do. David Allen, the author of Getting Things Done, recommends doing a weekly review. This, he claims, will allow you to see what you still need to do and if there is anything you can either delegate or delete. However you choose to track your progress make sure it’s a way you’ll be comfortable with.
Accomplishing goals on your own is fun and all. But when you have an accountability buddy, your chance of finishing all your goals goes up. This is because we thrive on other people’s success. Say you and a friend both have big goals this coming year. They don’t have to be the same, but you know having a supportive friend at your side is beneficial.
Schedule a weekly or bi-weekly check-in with each other. Meet up once a month and go over your progress. Show your work if you feel comfortable. An accountability buddy is there to support, encourage, and push you. When choosing the person for this role make sure they’re not someone who’s going to agree with your excuses. Yes, life happens, but if you’re adamant about finishing a goal, your buddy can give you the extra push you need.
So pick wisely and make a plan to be there for each other. Challenge each other. Not only will the two of you accomplish whatever goals you have, but you’ll be better friends because of it.
Finally, when setting goals for 2022 it’s important to every now and then reevaluate them. Meaning, you should ask yourself once a week or once a month if a certain goal is still worthy of your time and energy?
Say one of your goals is to update the landscaping in your backyard. You plan to do it in the summer. But before that, you’ve discovered a few other things in your home that need your attention. You decide to postpone your landscaping goal until next year.
There’s nothing wrong with pushing a goal back or deciding it doesn’t suit your need anymore. In fact, you’re going to find a lot of goals you wrote down won’t align with your values or timeline. That’s okay! Better to know before you start than deciding halfway through.
So make a plan to sit down with your goals every week or every month and ask yourself: Does this still align with my values? Do I have the bandwidth to take this one on this year? Can this be moved to another time? Is it worth my time and energy? Talk it over with your accountability buddy and get their opinion. While goals are often personal, there’s nothing wrong with getting a second opinion.
Are you done setting goals for 2022? What are some you want to accomplish over the next 12 months? Do you prefer resolutions or goals? Is one of your 2022 goals to get more organized? I can help. Contact me today and let’s talk about ways we can get your life organized in the new year.
Wishing you a gentle 2022!
Photo: Dawid Zawila
December 29, 2021