10 ways to set achievable goals for 2022

mobility personal growth running Jan 19, 2022
person running on the beach

You may start the year with the best intentions to lose weight or get fit, but the truth is many of us put too much pressure on ourselves to reach perfection from the get-go and we give up on our New Year’s resolutions. In fact, a recent US study showed that out of 200 participants who set New Year’s resolutions, 77% only maintained their pledges for one week.

Rather than setting yourself up for failure, consider working towards achievable short, medium, and long-term goals you’ll enjoy.

If you’re attempting a new habit, such as walking or running three times a week, make sure it’s worth it and not something that’ll overburden or overcomplicate your life. In many instances, reducing or simplifying offers more progress than adding.

Here are some pointers on how to set manageable, achievable goals for 2022

1 Start small

In the beginning, try and make your New Year’s resolution a habit or routine, rather than concerning yourself with the results or getting caught up in the excitement of it. Carving out a regular time and space in your life for your new endeavor is essential for longevity and success.

Don’t do too much in the beginning

When it comes to new diet or exercise goals, rushing the process or following extreme plans can raise your risk of injury and contribute to binge eating or falling entirely off the bandwagon. Start small and ensure you make sustainable changes.

Anything worth doing is worth doing for years, right? You have plenty of time to lose weight, get fit enough to do an Ironman or learn to play a musical instrument, invest in cooking courses or whatever creative outlet you desire.

 3 Find your “why” – your motivation

The best motivation is intrinsic motivation. Whatever you decide to do must be for yourself. Don’t create habits or start diets for others or for external validation. Even if no one finds out about it, it should still be worth it for yourself.

Set mini goals and reward yourself along the way. The drive, reward and motivation must be sustainable and come from within. You may find motivation in helping others, doing charitable works in your community, or seeing the bigger picture in life.

4 Have the right support

While it’s important to work towards achieving your goals for yourself, finding the right support network to help you on your journey is key. Exercising with friends, for instance, really works. Why? Because the truth is that exercise is always a little uncomfortable and its almost always hard to get going. This never goes away. In fact, the older you are, the harder it can be to motivate yourself to exercise, even though it’s critical to aging well.

Having friends with shared interests such as the love for walking, hiking or running will certainly motivate you to lace up and head out - together. It’s harder to miss a run if you have a friend waiting for you. And, if you’re going to attempt to run all the way to the top of the hill, you won’t be doing it alone. Remember, it’s important to train for yourself, not your coach, partner or friends.

5 Write in a journal

There are so many benefits to writing in a journal. To document your goals, try writing them down, as well as your aspirations and any thoughts or sources of inspiration. Then, refer to them frequently. You may also want to meditate on your goals and set intensions. Meditation is a powerful visualization tool.

6 Set goals that challenge and inspire you

Don’t set goals which are too big or overwhelming. For example, if you’re keen to start triathlons but don’t feel comfortable in the water, focus on improving that discipline first with plenty of swimming sessions. Let’s say you’re a new runner, try entering a 5k to keep you motivated and work towards a goal.

Not sure where to start? Sign up to the Innerunner Couch to 5K Guide and take the first step. Later you can work towards a 10k, don’t try run a marathon if you’ve never run before.

7 Do something for charity

It’s amazing how fulfilling and inspiring it feels to help others, especially if you sign up to race for a charitable cause.

8 Hold yourself accountable

… Just as you regard yourself for completing the task, what’s the penalty for giving up? This isn’t about feeling deep guilt, shame or regret, but let’s say you’re going to buy yourself a running watch if you finish a 21km race. If you don’t complete the race, rather say to yourself, “I’ll spend that money on my family or put it towards a college fund.”

9 Don’t be afraid to fail

It’s okay to fail, everyone does. Failing doesn’t make you a failure. The wonderful thing is that every day you get the option to start again. Don’t beat yourself up for lapses or mistakes. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. However, it’s important not to aim for perfection, just for progress.


ALSO SEE: How to set up a daily routine for personal progression

10 Enjoy the plateaus

This may sound strange and counterintuitive for goal setting, but when something you’ve set your mind to gets boring or there doesn’t seem to be any improvements, learn to enjoy the process more. Plateaus are an inevitable part of mastery and usually precede breakthroughs. Never quit and give up in a plateau, instead focus on the process. Remind yourself why you set the goal, why it means so much to you and what your reward will be.

Bonus tip 

The carrot works, so does the stick.

Exercise routines or learning a new skill or tasks like writing a book can be really tough to do. Creating intrinsic motivations, rewarding yourself or gaining support from others can all work, but sometimes 'punishment' is a better motivator.

So, if you want to try the stickK, or a punishment for not doing the work to achieve your goals, check out the stickK concept where you can set up a punishment if you don’t stick (pun intended) to your New Year's resolutions. It sounds harsh, but it can be very, very effective.

Good luck and let us know how your new goals is going!


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