Ensure 2022 is Your Best Year Yet!
It is indeed that time again: Time to set your annual goals!
For most of my clients, goal setting is a welcomed activity that allows them to reflect on the successes of the last year and envision where they want to go and who they want to be in the next year.
For other clients, goal setting is met with a long, sad groan.
No matter which camp you fall into, a goal setting practice is one of the most powerful tools you possess in your professional and personal toolbox.
Goal setting requires intentionality around how you will focus your energy in the next year. It requires you to be present in the current moment, rather than sleepwalking through your life. It helps you focus your energy in finite, constructive ways, thereby increasing your odds of success.
The steps below will help you get started on your 2022 planning. And, to make it even easier, you can download a simple worksheet here:
2022 Goal Planning Steps
Start with the End in Mind. Stop and think about where you want to be at the end of next year. Think about all the elements of your life - career, family, education, health, travel, culture, recreation, artistic, physical, service. What are your dreams for the next year? What do you want to list off as an accomplishment at the end of 2022? If you have larger, multi-year goals, are there smaller goals you can set for this year to move the larger goal forward?
Set 3 - 5 Goals. With a clear destination in mind, pull yourself back to the present day. How can you articulate where you want to be in a year in the form of a goal? For example, if I want to grow my business, then I need to think how I might define that success. Would it be securing a specific number of new clients or a target revenue number - or both?
What would you consider "success" over the course of a year? Try to aim for 3 -5 goals. (By selecting at least three goals, you have the freedom to focus on multiple areas. If you have more than five goals, you may become overwhelmed or lose focus.)
Get Specific and SMART. If you have ever worked with me, then you know I like specificity. With out specifics, goals become mushy and much less helpful.
For example, saying "I will be successful in 2022" is interesting, but how will you know if you hit your goal? How will you enlist others to help if your destination is so squishy? Instead, consider framing your goals around something you can measure, like a revenue or new client target, total number of days at week that you leave at 5pm and don't check your email, or number of hours you aim to sleep in a night.
I encourage my clients to consider making their goals "SMART:" Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound.
Hint: if you have a goal that is hard to measure, trying using a ranking scale about how you want to feel or be after the goal is meet. For example, if you want to work on self-confidence, think about where you are NOW on a 1 - 10 scale. If you were to improve self-confidence over the course of a year, what number would you expect to land on in December 2022? Using a scale helps you track progress over time and note when you are stuck or falling back.
Leverage the Power of Ten. Once you have your goals, you need to think about what Action Steps you can take to move forward. I like to enlist the Power of Ten when considering behavior changes. It is nearly impossible to make and sustain a 180-degree behavior pivot in a single moment, but you can get there if you start with a smaller 10% change and build. What small steps can you take to get closer to your desired end state?
Leverage Your Tribe. When it comes to meeting goals, we often cannot do it alone. Leveraging friends, peers and others as supports and accountability partners can vastly increase your odds of success. Think about who you can enlist to help you stay on track, remove barriers or perhaps join you on your ride!
Schedule Check-Ins. and Pivot When Needed. No one is perfect at goal setting (if you are consistently perfect, you are with a magician or not setting challenging enough goals). So, I encourage my clients to schedule and hold sacred 15 - 30 minutes each month to review their goals and make any necessary pivots. For example, if you want to work out 4 times a week and you have not touched the Peloton by mid-February, you need to ask yourself what is getting in your way and what small changes you need to make to increase your odd of success? Wear your gym clothes to bed? Change the timing of your workout? Create an incentive if you hit your goal four weeks in a row?
What you are trying to do here is check in each month and make small pivots more frequently so that you are not six months into the year and you have to make a big pivot to meet the year-end goal.
But what if I find myself totally off course from my goal? I don't want to feel like a failure. Occasionally I have a client that is resistant to goal setting because they either don't know where they want to go, or they're worried if they set a goal and miss it, they will feel like a failure.
If you're feeling rudderless or unsure of where you want to go, when perhaps 2022 should be a time of focused reflection on what you really love, value and want to do/be. If you are stuck in a job, relationship or health state you loathe, then 2022 could be a year where you take focused steps toward a different state of being.
If you are worried about failure, join our not very exclusive club. Rest assured, many of us will set goals that we will then miss by a little... and sometimes a lot. (Think about all the goals we set in 2020 that had to be reworked after March 2020!)
A goal of goal setting is to set directionally correct goals that you work intentionality around achieving. If internal or external forces cause your goal to go off course, consider how to adapt your goal to remain directionally accurate... or consider if you had the right goal in the first place. Part of the journey is learning all that you can on the journey. Take the lessons learned from this year's goal setting and apply them to next year!
Good luck! Happy goal setting!
Nicole Provonchee is an executive coach and strategist that works with women leaders and women-led teams across the nation.
After 20 years climbing the corporate ladder, Nicole started Bright Blue Consulting, where she can combine her skills as a coach with her practical experiences as a leader and executive.
Nicole is a sought-after speaker and can bring her "get out of your own way," self-advocacy, communication, and healthy conflict skills workshops to your organization or company.