Welcome to this post which is packed with tips to smash your goals in 2022. Lots of people make New Year’s resolutions but sticking to them can be hard. By now (mid January) a lot of people will have given up.
In the UK, health and fitness top the list for 2022 goals. More people are setting goals this year (16%) compared with 2021 (11%). Find out who is making which resolution in this You Gov feature.
Here are five top tips to help you make progress and smash your goals. All are designed to maintain motivation and maximise your chances of success.
‘SMART’ is a neat way of goal setting, often used in corporate settings. It stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timebound. These are the criteria each goal needs to fulfil, each one is important in it’s own way. You may have a goal of ‘being healthier’ define this using specifics; e.g. to loose weight. How much weight? How soon? Is that an achievable amount in the time frame? How does it relate to other goals? For example, maybe you want to improve your fitness too and as muscle weighs more than fat how will you account for this in relation to your weight loss goal?
Rather than deciding to completely overhaul one area of life over night, try regular micro changes. Say your goal is to eat more healthily, split that into small steps, e.g. cut down on sugar, or eat an extra portion of fruit or veg etc. Then implement a micro change, a couple of weeks later, try adding another micro change.
Breaking goals into small steps makes them more manageable and gives you time to adjust to each change. This makes the changes more sustainable as you slowly create and maintain new habits.
Rewards are a great way to maintain motivation. As you set goals add in incentives for reaching milestones. Make sure the reward does not undermine your efforts. So, if you’re trying to loose weight, don’t use junk food as a reward. Use smaller rewards for smaller goals and bigger ones for more significant achievements. It’s also a good idea to periodically include a reward which supports your goal. For example if your goal is to drink more water each day, a supportive reward might be a new reusable water bottle.
Rewards don’t have to have a monetary value, you might choose to dedicate more time to a hobby, or to self care.
It can make a huge difference if you have support in striving for your goals. Pick a couple of supportive friends or family and tell them about your goals.
Your support system can give you a boost, cheering you on when you’re flagging. They also help to keep you accountable (discuss this with them if it’s something you’d like). Best of all they can celebrate with you when you hit your milestones!
If you don’t have anyone IRL who can help, try online forums for those with similar goals. You can be each other’s cheerleaders and swap tips and advice.
There is a second advantage of splitting your goal into micro changes, it makes it easier to track progress.
Regularly check in with how you’re doing. If you’re doing well, tracking progress shows how far you’ve come and how far to go to your next milestone. Seeing this progress and your goal getting closer is hugely motivational.
Similarly, if things aren’t working, regular check-ins can spot that more quickly. Which means you can make the changes needed to get back on track sooner. Sometimes you might need to make more than one change and it can take a while for a change to take effect so don’t be discouraged.
Making changes in your life is both brave and challenging. So be gentle with yourself. This is especially true if you’re trying to get rid of old habits and create new ones. It can take several weeks to several months to form a new habit so be patient with yourself.
Some days things will go wrong. It’s pretty much inevitable as no one is perfect. Slip ups don’t mean that you’ve failed, they’re an opportunity to reflect and try again. You may need to try again and again and again. The important thing is not how many time you fall down, but how many times you pick yourself up.
Smash Your Goals Conclusion
Do you have any goals for 2022? If so, do you find these tips useful and how do you plan to motivate yourself to stay on track? I’d love to know what you think in the comments below. I wish you lots of luck and good health in 2022!
If you’re looking for other ways to bring balance to your life, check out our Balance page of features.