Ten goals, that seems like a lot, yeah? I know it does seem like a lot, but when you spread everything out over a year, it’s not that much, really. And if it involves things that you like and that have a great importance to you, then suddenly it can make a whole lot of sense to have that many goals. I’ve been setting ten personal goals a year since 2016, so I’ve been learning a lot over that time and adjusting my annual goals to make them much more realistic. Please note that, as always, I’m describing what works for me. Nothing is set in stone, this is just what I do and what I feel happy with. Having said that little disclaimer, let’s dive in! 😉
It’s all about what you want to achieve
First of all, setting goals for yourself is all about having fun. It should be about learning something new, working on (creative) projects and developing yourself. Of course, that doesn’t mean your goals are in no way not to be taken seriously. You obviously want to reach something if you set a goal for yourself. But always keep in mind that this is no longer school and you can choose whatever you like doing when setting your goals. So, the first thing you do is ask yourself this question: “What do I want to do next year?” Anything is possible!
For example: If you always had the intention of reading more books and educating yourself on topics of personal interest, just set that as a goal, for instance: This year I want to read 10 non-fiction books. Remember not to set the bar too high, especially if you’re not an avid reader. Reading might be a lot slower for you at first, so 10 books means you can read less than a book on average per month. One rule of thumb I always use is: It’s better to surpass your goal than to not reach it. So if you find that when it’s June you already finished 10 non-fiction books, you can just keep going. The fun thing is that every book you read in addition to the goal will feel extra great, because you went the extra mile! It’s a fun little trick on your mindset!
Isn’t ten goals a lot?
Yes and no. If you think about it, ten can feel overwhelming at first, but remember that you have a year to work on all those goals. That’s more than a month per goal. Looks less “threatening” that way, doesn’t it? Above all, ten goals is just a number I made up, it’s an amount of goals that feels good for me. If you feel you should have less, or more goals, who am I to disagree? The only thing is that whatever the amount of goals you set for yourself, they should be manageable and realistic. The best way to go about it is making them S.M.A.R.T., which is a pretty good method for setting goals. I usually loathe “middle management” strategies and such, because they feel forced and time consuming, but setting S.M.A.R.T. goals is one of the best methods to ensure that the goals you have can actually be realised.
Whatever amount you choose to set for yourself, just make sure it doesn’t feel like work. Remember that you’re setting these personal goals for fun and to challenge yourself, to learn, to grow, but most of all to have fun while doing it.
So, what should you choose?
That’s entirely up to you, of course. As a writer my goals will be close to my heart. I believe that reading a lot helps you become a better writer, so I always set a goal to read an X amount of books per year. Besides that I also try to set some goals like writing 500 words every day. That may sound like a lot, but this article is already over 600 words. Another goal will be to finish the plot and write the manuscript for my next scifi story. Besides that, I also want to ensure that I keep it up with going to the gym. Physical health is not really a fun goal for me, personally. I don’t particularly like going to the gym, but I have the mindset and willpower to go, because I always feel so great afterwards. Sometimes such goals might feel like work, but one thing helps, you can gamify a lot of these goals. What really helps me is that the gym I go to uses an app that gives you awards for going to the gym. You can’t do anything with them, besides showing them off, but it does help me.
I’m certain there’s a ton of goals you can think of for yourself, but if you’re having trouble coming up with something, here’s a short list of goals you could set for yourself:
- Read ten books
- Learn a new language
- Learn a new skill
- Start a new hobby
- Change your lifestyle to be more sustainable
- Changing your diet to lessen the impact on the environment
- Become more conscious of the waste you produce and find ways to reduce it
- Make your house greener
- Write a book
- Start practicing meditation
There’s tons of things you can do and remember, it’s never too late to learn anything new, or to start changing your lifestyle. Better late than never!
I hope this blog post has been inspirational to you. Will you be setting goals for 2022? If so, which goals are you planning to set for yourself?