The Best Way to Build Your Goals in 2022

Updated: Jan 5

Some years, it's easy to set goals.

Other years, it can be really hard to see the path ahead in order to decide where to set priorities.

Regardless of how difficult your situation is today, the only way to move toward your hopes and dreams is by taking action. You won't know the correct actions to take if you don't sit down, define your most important goals, and find the steps you need to take to get there.

It's easy to talk about setting goals, but when you're looking at a blank page, it's often confusing to decide where to begin. I'm taking the time to write this because I've been there. 2021 was an incredibly difficult year for me in terms of goal-setting.

At my age, I should have been a digital native. However, I had never fully incorporated technology into my life. In truth, I don't love it. Call me old fashioned, but I'd toss my computer out the window if I thought I could get away with it.

Before 2020, I did what I had to with technology in order to utilize necessary tools. However, I probably fit better in the "digital immigrant" category and I was reluctant to add any layer of tech that wasn't absolutely vital.

When life moved online, I struggled.

Because of that, when 2021 started and life continued to favor the online relationship over the face-to-face relationship, I had a difficult time formulating what I wanted to (or even needed to) do in order to grow personally and professionally over the year.

Thankfully, I had learned about SMART goals and I was able to find one or two things to write down in order to focus my energy on progress for the year. Looking back now, it was these goals that got me through the frustrations of learning how to navigate the world of online community.

What are SMART goals?

Back in 1981, a man named George T. Doran wrote an essay titled "There's a S.M.A.R.T. way to write managements's goals and objectives." In this essay he explained that goals need to take a certain shape if they're going to actually be helpful and actionable.

If you use this SMART model as an outline, you'll be able to set some life-changing goals regardless of the difficulties you're facing during this season of life.

S stands for Specific:

Your goal needs to be specific if you want to see progress. You have to really narrow down exactly what you want to achieve and be precise. If your goal is too broad, it will be hard to pin-point the action-steps that will get you to success.

M stands for Measurable:

Your goal needs to be measurable if you want to be able to track your progress. If you can't look behind you and see how far you've come, it's easy to give up or lose focus. Make sure that you can keep track of your forward momentum by finding goals that you can measure.

A stand for Attainable:

If your goal is unrealistic, you'll burn yourself out trying to get there. Before you set your mind on a goal, make sure that you are in a season of life and have the resources you need to achieve that goal. If you've never run more than a mile at a time in your life, don't set a goal to run a marathon in 3 months. Your goals need to be accessible and attainable.

R stands for Relevant:

If you look forward 5 years or 10 years from now, do you have any idea where you'd like to be? Is there a direction you'd like to see your life move? You need to have an idea of where you hope to go so that you can make sure that today's goals line up with your future dreams. If you dream to maintain a healthy body in retirement, setting a goal to win three hot-dog eating contests this year would not contribute to your overall goal of health and wellness. That may be a stretch, but I think you get the picture. Set goals that are relevant to your big-picture life.

T stands for Time-Bound:

Your goal needs to have a start date and an end date. If you leave your timeframe open-ended, you'll struggle to realize success.

If you follow this model, even when life is frustrating or confusing, you'll be able to find focus and momentum by writing your goals and measuring your success. Remember, writing your goals at the beginning of the year is far better than setting resolutions. Resolutions can get you through to about June, but SMART goals can transform your life well into next year.

Case in point: I have a blog now.

Stay focused, your future is worth it.


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