New Year, New Goals . . . or Repeat?
Every new year brings hopes for better health, more happiness, and so much more. Our vision for the new year and what we want to achieve looks different for each person. Some may look forward to travel, although that poses some challenges right now. Some have the desire to change their work/life balance. Others are contemplating retirement or moving residences. All of these have huge implications on our lives.
So what are you looking to improve or modify in 2022?
Are your goals the same now that we are two weeks into the new year?
Or have they changed as we left the December holidays behind and went back to our everyday lives? Are your goals for this year big ones, or do you approach it from the perspective of making small increments and continually moving forward? When you think about the goals of year's past, are your goals evolving or staying stagnant and repetitive?
Your Goals Are as Personal As You Are
Let’s look at the goal of achieving better health. Health is such an important part of living a happy and satisfied life, that it shouldn’t be overlooked. But what is healthy to you? One example is when you visit your doctor’s office, the charts they utilize for body mass are kind of depressing. Yes, I’m overweight, but obese?
There is so much more to consider than outward appearance. I had a friend who was considered obese by any of the body mass charts. But when she visited the doctor, he told her that all her numbers were excellent. Looks can be deceiving. A number on a chart might work for one woman but not another. In fact, conversely, I know women who are thin and should be healthy according to the charts, but are actually not in the best health and have health challenges as well.
Popular Goal Setting Methods
There are numerous tips on how to be successful in goal setting. In an article called Tips for Goal Setting, Sara Lindberg shared Edwin Locke and Gary Latham’s 5 Principles of Goal Setting Theory. Let’s look at these with our previous example of achieving better health.
Clarity: goals should be clear and well-defined. In other words, instead of setting a goal to be healthy in 2022, you can set a goal that you want to lower your cholesterol to a certain number or walk 10 miles per week.
Challenge: goals should be achievable but also challenging to you. If you try to do too much, you are likely to become frustrated. If you set your sights too high, you may grow frustrated and give up. Instead of telling yourself that you want to lose 50 pounds in the next year, set a goal to lose 10 pounds by the end of March.
Commitment: you should fully commit to your goals to achieve them. Think about what your life would be like if you achieved your goal. Would you have more energy if you lost 10 pounds? Would your favorite pants fit again? What about the goal has meaning in your life? Let’s face it, a clinical chart is not as motivating as fitting back into your favorite jeans!
Feedback: you should regularly evaluate and reflect on your goals to stay on track. Whether you set aside time to self-reflect or keep track of your progress in a journal, be honest with yourself on what is working and what is not. If your goal was to become more healthy and you chose to achieve that by eating certain foods, but you hate those foods, that is good feedback to give to yourself so that you can pivot and plan a better way to achieve your goal.
Task complexity: you should give yourself time and space to reach complex goals. Don’t make the goals so complicated that you cannot achieve them. This is particularly important when working on personal goals. A complicated diet with elaborate recipes and hard to find ingredients is going to become so daunting that you just give up. Trying to cram an hour long workout into an already packed schedule can do the same thing. Instead, if you have a health goal, reward yourself with simple, whole foods, and fit exercise into your life in smaller increments that are fun and sustainable.
Accountability and Goal Setting
I think the most critical factor in goal setting is accountability. When setting personal goals, we can very easily just let those goals fade into the background and never become reality. Having an accountability partner can help you stick to your goals and have another person to talk to about your progress.
There are a lot of ways to have an accountability partner, including email check-in, zoom calls, face-to-face, or phone call with a trusted person who will really listen.
A great accountability partner will not be afraid to challenge us when we are hitting the cruise button. This could be a friend, co-worker, team member or mentor, or family if they are really willing to be there for you.
My Own Goals for 2022
At Be Well And Renew, my goal setting for 2022 is to make modifications to my work/life balance. One of these areas is to reduce my social media time so I can focus on other parts of my business. Social media is an area where I get caught up and spend time I would prefer to spend elsewhere. As a business owner, social media is one factor, but not the only one. Back to the idea of balance!
It is important for me to be accountable and really pay attention to how much time I spend on social media. I also am committed to serving my clients and have a goal of adding 5 new regular clients to my schedule. When I spend too much time on the social media part of my business, I find myself without time to serve my clients to the best of my abilities.
Whatever your goals are for 2022, I wish you success in achieving them. Be Well And Renew is your source for relaxation of body, mind, and spirit with services and resources that become part of your daily habits to live a happier and healthier life. If you have had success with goal setting and have tips and techniques that have helped you, I would love for you to comment on this blog or share on my social media page. My wish is always for you to ...