Setting resolutions, goals or intentions might be easy; seeing them through is the hard part. Along the way, we may experience setbacks and challenges or just feel discouraged to carry on. We beat ourselves up for not being disciplined, focused or motivated enough and give up on our goals – at least until the following year.
It doesn’t have to be this way in 2022. These six strategies will guide you in setting meaningful and sustainable goals and help you track your progress – and enjoy the process as it unfolds.
1. Create tangible, sustainable goals
You’re more likely to achieve your goals if they’re clearly defined and deliver tangible results or an “endgame”, says Erlina Sidik, Credentialed Life and Business Coach and Co-Founder of ESM Coaching & Consulting.
Before setting these intentions, Executive and Life Coach Jasrin Singh recommends reflecting on the past year and work out what isn’t serving you, so that you can make better goals for 2022 and chart a clearer course.
How can you make your goals sustainable? Erlina offers these tips:
- Break it down: When you break a big goal down into smaller milestones, it’ll feel less intimidating.
- Start small. Most people don’t follow through on a goal or many don’t even start, because the thought of taking the first step feels scary and overwhelming. So, it’s best to start small and to take small actions every day.
- Celebrate the small wins: This will keep you motivated to follow through with your plans.
- Develop good habits and behaviours. Your ability to achieve your goals relies on your ability to create and nurture good habits and behaviours that support the growth you’re looking for.
- Ask for help and support: Don’t be too shy to request for help in achieving your goals. Surround yourself with supportive people who want to see you succeed.
2. Get emotionally involved with your goals
Before finalising your intentions, Jasrin says to ask yourself a few questions:
- Is the goal for me or someone else?
- Why is the goal important for me? What am I trying to achieve?
- How will achieving this goal impact me or how others see me?
- Am I doing this to get approval from others or for my own wellbeing or as part of a personal dream?
“Then, use some creative daydreaming when writing down and visualising your goals. Get emotionally involved with them and see what emotions come up when you think about achieving them. If it seems too far away and too big, or you’re too fearful, it’s probably not the right goal. If you can visualise it but some fear and some excitement are present, then it’s the right goal.”
3. Stay flexible, and enjoy the journey
“A plan with a timeline serves as a roadmap on how to achieve your goals, but it’s important to be flexible and open to different opportunities that may arise,” says Erlina. “There are often many ways to reach a goal, but we don’t explore them because we’re too fixated on a specific path.”
Sometimes, goals seem daunting, says Jasrin, but every little effort towards accomplishing your goals should count as a success. These efforts are what make the journey meaningful, and your time working towards the goal, well spent.
4. Track your progress and take accountability
“Having an accountability buddy, such as a coach, a mentor or someone you trust, is a good idea,” says Jasrin. This person will hold you accountable to your goals and give you insights when you ask them.
To set yourself up for success and easily track your progress, Erlina suggests creating small tasks and to monitor your progress either manually in a journal or using a tracking app. In addition, you may want to establish a reward system linked to your milestones to motivate yourself towards your goals.
5. Slipped up? Don’t be hard on yourself
Just because you didn’t achieve a particular target, it doesn’t mean you’ll never get back on track, says Jasrin.
“This is where self-compassion and course correction come in. Reflect on why you failed – was the goal so big that you set yourself up for failure? Or was the goal just not right for you? Whatever the reason, accept it, make the necessary changes, forgive yourself and start again or move on.”
6. Make your goals count in 2022
The last two years have been hard for most people. Due to the pandemic, you may not have achieved the goals you wanted. You may have experienced burnout, felt disillusioned or gone through challenging emotional situations that affected your mental health.
Based on these, you may want to set intentions that’ll empower you to live a happier, healthier and more meaningful year in 2022.
According to Erlina, examples of such goals might include:
- Pursuing a career that’s fulfilling and that aligns with your goals and passions
- Creating a healthy balance between work, family and life so that you can thrive instead of just survive.
- Rediscovering your strengths and passions so that you feel authentic and happy again
- Developing the courage to make a life-changing decision
Want more articles like this, and other lifestyle content right in your inbox? Sign up for the eNSman Newsletter – you don’t need to be a SAFRA member to subscribe – and never miss another story!