Welcome to 2022 – Are you ready to set some GOALS?
Well, I survived 2021 by the skin of my teeth and I hope you did too! May this year bring you peace, clarity, love, and happiness!
Are you a resolution maker or a goal setter?
Like many people I tend to end the year with a rush of thoughts about what I have successfully achieved in that last year and what I have quite frankly failed at. I’m not a big fan of the word fail but let’s be honest, sometimes there is no avoiding it. As a result, there are just some things that make you feel like a total failure in life.
How do you turn failure into success?
Most importantly, the trick is to not let those things get you down and to find a way to be ok with failure. We are not superhuman, and sometimes there will just be things that are not going to happen. It is up to you to choose whether to persevere and figure out how to get it done or whether you allow yourself to let go of that particular task or idea.
Meanwhile, as we scrambled our glasses and bottles of fizz together to pretend that we are excited about what the year ahead may hold, it is ok to also feel the fear. Let’s face it, 100% of the population will hope that 2022 will be better than the horror show the last two years have been right?
The Million Dollar Question?
How on earth do we make positive changes that are manageable, maintainable, and that hold the secret to living a more successful and happy life? Sadly, the reality is there is no answer. There is no one size fits all, no checklist that will get you through to supreme happiness. But fear not, there are simple steps that we can all take towards that better place, that place where we feel in control, where we can visualise the year ahead, and where life feels that little bit easier.
Here are my 10 goal setting steps to a new organised you!
#1 Want The Change
First of all, you need to want the change. There is no point in setting goals if you have no interest in following through on them. Know who you are as a person and who you want to be. Most importantly, be willing to put in the effort, have faith in the process and have confidence in yourself. You can do it!
#2 Identify Your Goals
Make sure your goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. In short, there is no point in me saying I want to be the next woman on the moon, because realistically that won’t happen. Setting unrealistic goals only leads to demotivation, setting you up for failure. Keep your list short and only set goals that you can realistically achieve in the next 6-12 months. (Unless you are a mega forward planner, in which case you may have 1/2/5-year goals. This is great! But don’t forget about them!) I recommend sticking to 1-5 goals depending on how big they are. Top Tip: identify what success looks like to you. What has to be done to be able to say you have completed this goal?
#3 Break It Down
Now you have identified your goals, break them down. Go through each goal one by one and break them down into small chunks. Firstly, decide when you want to have achieved this goal by – this month, in the next 3-6 months, this year. Looking at each one ask yourself what steps need to be taken to achieve this goal.
– Do you need to have more money… what will you do to get more money?
– Do you need to travel somewhere to do this… where do you need to go and how will you get there?
– Do you need to learn a new skill… where can you learn this skill and when can you be confident you know what to do?
– Do you need someone else to do something to allow you to achieve this… who needs to do it and how can you get them to do it?
You see where I’m going? By answering the smaller questions, you can start to build your path towards the end goal.
It is important to identify any contributing factors that may hold you back from completing a task or a part of the task. For example: maybe you need to do some building work, but you are waiting on a quote from the builder before you can start. When you know what is holding you back, you need to decide if there is an alternative option or whether this goal is just not achievable now. If it is the latter, you can put it on a list to do ‘someday, maybe.’ (Someday, maybe is a term you will likely hear me use a lot. It is one of my new favourite phrases! For anyone who has not heard this term before, it refers to something that you want to do, but don’t need to do it right now but equally you want to remember to do it at a later date, ‘someday, maybe’.)
#5 Block out time
Ok, so now you have identified your overall goals, and the steps you need to take to achieve them, look at your calendar and block out time to do each step. Time blocking is a useful skill that allows you to have increased focus on the task at hand, leading to a more productive session. In addition, it can be useful to mark this time out in our calendar, giving yourself the permission to solely focus on this particular task for that period of time. For example: Tuesday 9-10am – make calls to kitchen suppliers to arrange appointments for design process, Monday/Thursday/Sunday 7-8pm – Fitness Routine. By doing this you are holding yourself accountable for completing these tasks in their allocated time slot. As a result, you are more likely to successfully tick them off your list.
If for whatever reason you are unable to complete the task, make sure you reallocate a time somewhere else. You don’t want to forget to do it. Bear in mind, as a population we tend to overestimate what we are capable of and underestimate the amount of time it will take us to do something. So, err on the side of caution and always allow yourself more time than you think you need. The more you practice time blocking, the better you will get at estimating the amount of time it may take to complete a task. (Check out Clockify as a tool to help you track how long tasks take. http://www.clockify.me) Don’t forget to schedule in breaks, again, we are NOT superhuman!
#6 Keep Track
Setting goals may seem easy, breaking it down may feel a bit trickier, blocking out time may feel scary, but none of these steps are of any use if we don’t keep track of what we are doing. With everyone living busy lives these days, it is so hard to retain all the information we are given on a daily basis.
Keeping track is a very easy habit that allows you to never get lost in your goals. Whether it is a notebook, journal, whiteboard, or a digital app (personally, I love https://todoist.com/ and https://asana.com/), as you work through your steps make a note of what you have completed and what is still to be done. Most importantly, enjoy the amazing feeling of ticking things off that list and watching yourself progress along the steps, edging closer and closer to the end goal!
#7 Celebrate small wins
Undoubtedly, it can be easy to get bogged down by to do lists and thoughts rushing around our heads about what comes next. Make sure to celebrate the small wins. Reward yourself. Whether it is some down time, catching up with friends, getting some fresh air, it is important to acknowledge the progress you have made. It can also be a great motivator to know what your reward will be at the end of the task. For example, maybe when you have finished decluttering and decorating the living room, you will be able to get that new sofa you have wanted for so long!
#8 Know when to quit
The word quitting is always drenched with negative feelings, but maybe it is ok to quit.
It takes a stronger person to acknowledge that a task simply cannot be completed, that help is needed, or that they just need to let go of it because it is just too much. I go back to my earlier thought that we are not superhuman. We can only do so much. Therefore, if a task is taking too much physical, emotional, mental energy and it is not adding value to your life, then letting go is OK. Give yourself permission to quit. Be proud that you have had the strength to acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses and prioritise your sanity! Well done!
#9 Be Accountable
By using time blocking you can be accountable to yourself but by being accountable to others, you can get the emotional or practical support you may need to help you power through to the end result. When we set goals, it is often a lack of motivation that slows us down. So, share your goals with, friends, family, colleagues, the kids, let them as you how you are getting on with them, if there is anything they can do to help. It may feel scary, you may dread having to tell them you haven’t been progressing but know that they will want to support and encourage you to be successful. The power of others to help you stay motivated can be a powerful thing! And hey – how great will it feel to tell them all that you have achieved your goal!
Things change, circumstances change, people change. It is important that as the time goes on that you allow yourself, every so often, to reassess your goals and the steps needed to complete them. Depending on the size of the goal, you may want to reassess weekly, monthly, or quarterly to make sure that you don’t need to adjust your plans to ensure you arrive at the final destination. Top Tip: block out time in your calendar for reassessing too!
Finally, when you get to that magical day when you have achieved your goal, look back at the steps you took to get there, acknowledge the work you put in, the things you learned and what you might do differently next time. By learning from life, we have the opportunity to become more awesome tomorrow than we were today.
The sky is the limit, so go be the new, organised, awesome you!
Now you know what steps you can take to successfully set your goals for 2022, what will they be? Comment below to share your goals with us and we will help cheer you along to success! And hey, why don’t you set a reminder for the 31st Dec 2022 to pop back to this blog and let us know if you were successful! Good luck!