How to set goals and achieve them in 2022

At the beginning of every year, most people set New Year’s resolutions. These are promises you make to yourself about things you wish to change or improve on. For instance, your New Year’s resolution might be making more money or doing more exercise and losing some pounds.

New Year resolutions are great, but research shows that approximately 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail every time! And one of the major reasons for this is that many people do not have an accountability structure to sustain the change that they want.

That is why in this blog post, I will show you a different approach on how you can achieve your desired result every time through goal setting.

What is Goal Setting?

Goal setting is the process of creating an action plan that helps you achieve your desired result. Unlike resolutions, goal setting is active and deliberate. It involves different processes that help you decide what you want and how to achieve it.

Furthermore, goal setting is important in every area of your life. Whether it is in business, relationship, or your finances, it is perhaps the greatest factor that will determine your success. What you will be reading in the next few minutes will enlighten you on how to set goals and achieve them always. 

What are the benefits of goal setting?

Before we continue, let’s briefly look at 10 benefits of goal setting.

  1. It helps you achieve your dreams and live a more fulfilled life.
  2. It provides direction and clear sense of purpose.
  3. It provides the motivation needed to accomplish anything in life.
  4. It eliminates distraction and helps you focus on what is important.
  5. It helps you create a system where you can hold yourself accountable.
  6. It helps you achieve any result faster in life.
  7. It helps you overcome procrastination
  8. It gives you control of your future.
  9. It gives you a sense of personal fulfillment
  10. It makes you become a better person.

Now that you know what goal setting is and some of its importance, we should talk about how to set goals and achieve them. But one of the first things you must know about setting and achieving goals is the concept of SMART goals. 

What are smart goals? 

SMART  is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound goals. The concept was formed in 1981 by Dr. George T. Doran, a consultant and former director of corporate planning for Washington Water Power Company in a publication titled “There’s a SMART Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives.”

According to the original publications, this is what the SMART acronym stands for:

  • Specific – target a specific area for improvement.
  • Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.
  • Assignable – specify who will do it.
  • Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.
  • Time-related – specify when the result can be achieved.

However, the concept has been refined over the years, and the most popular meaning right now is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound.

S – Specific

The first letter in the SMART acronym stands for specific. One of the reasons why most people don’t achieve their goals is because they are ambiguous. Every goal you set for yourself must be clear and easy to understand.

So instead of saying, “I want to make more m0ney,” you could say, “I want to make $50,000 this year.”

The first statement is confusing and is a recipe for failure. However, the second statement made it clear what you want to achieve. More money is not specific but $50,000 is.

Now that you know exactly what you want, let’s go to the next step.

M – Measurable

Being able to measure your goals is another important factor that determines whether you’re going to achieve them or not. Having a way to measure your progress helps you stay motivated and let you know when you’re going off-track.

Using the same example of making $50,000 in years, how are you going to measure your progress?

First, you have to break this down to a specific amount every month. For example, you need to make about $4,167 every month to be able to achieve your goal of $50,000 by the end of the year.

A – Achievable

While your goals should challenge you, they shouldn’t be impossible for you to accomplish.

If you want to start making a million dollars every year, make sure you’ve started earning more than $500,000 the previous year. Many people fall into the trap of setting goals that are impossible to achieve. You don’t suddenly go from making $1,000 in a month to making $100,000 in two months.

One of the easiest ways to frustrate yourself is to set goals that you know are impossible to achieve. So start small but dream big.

R – Relevant

Setting goals that are not relevant to you will not only fail, but it will leave you frustrated. Not all goals are important or worth pursuing. Before you set a goal, ask yourself how it may contribute to your ultimate success.

You can’t create a goal to play in the NBA when you’re already 50 years old. It is no longer relevant to you at that point. Instead, look for goals that align with your purpose and long-term plans for your life.

T – Time-Bound

smart goals

Last but not least is that all your goals must be time-bound. A goal without a deadline is a mere wish. And you know that wishes, just like resolutions, do not often come to pass.

Notice how in my example, I wrote that “I want to make $50,000 in one year.” The time factor is important because it helps you break free from the inertia and get started.

Other examples of SMART goals that are time-bound are:

“I want to lose 15 pounds in 6 months.”

“I want to read 10 books in 6 months.”

“I want to write one blog article every week.”

7 steps on how to set goals and achieve them

steps for achieving goals

1. Choose goals that are worthwhile

Perhaps the most important step in setting a goal is to choose a goal that is worth pursuing. Many people fail to achieve their desired result because they don’t find any sense of achievement in their goals.
Don’t choose a goal because of a friend. Remember that goals are personal and their purpose is to move you forwards.
If you’re looking for how to choose goals that are worthwhile, go back to the above example on SMART goals.

2. Write them down

You can’t tell me you have a goal when you have not written anything on paper. I know you have your computers and smartphones, but writing on paper is still the best way to go. However, it is okay if you decide to use your electronic devices.

When writing your goals, use this psychological trick to help you achieve them faster. Write your goals in the present tense. For example, don’t write “I will make $50,000 in one year”, writer “I make $50,000 in one year.” This trick is simple yet effective.

3. Create a clear action plan

How are you going to lose 15 pounds in 6 months?

  • Go to the gym 3-5 times every week.
  • Eat healthy food and drink plenty of water.
  • No food after 7 pm.
  • No soda or alcohol.
  • Get an accountability partner.

Even though this is not an exhaustive list, it gives a clear pattern on what you need to do to achieve your goals. You can follow this strategy for each of your goals.

4. Find a personal motivator

This is one of the most ignored steps in goal settings but it is very important. You need to find your “why” for doing what you’re doing. Why do you want to make more money? This could be because you hate poverty or because you want to buy a new house in a better location. When you attach a reason to your goals, it becomes your personal motivator.

So when you want to give up on your weight loss journey, you remember how good you’ll look in a bikini and keep going.

5. Review your goals regularly

Remember that one of the qualities of a great goal is that it must be measurable. Goals are not something you set and forget about. You ought to review your goals regularly to know if you’re doing okay or need adjustment. Otherwise, you’ll realize at the end of the day that you’ve only wasted your time and achieved nothing.

Go over your goals regularly to see whether you’ve achieved them or you need to put in more effort.

6. Tell someone about your goals

It is easier to default on your goals when you are not accountable to anyone. However, this changes when you tell someone about your goals. For instance, when you involve your partner in your goal to lose weight, they can support you by following you to the gym and ensuring that you eat healthy meals at all times. Just make sure that the person you’re telling your goals is reliable and trustworthy.

7. Visualize the final result

The last step of goal setting is visualizing the final result you want to achieve. This mental exercise can make a significant difference in the results that you will achieve. When you can imagine where you want to be in the future, your mind will automatically create the steps that are needed to take you there.

In conclusion, goal setting is what separates successful people from failure. People who achieve their goals are those who set specific goals that are measurable, achievable, relevant and have a deadline.

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