As we wind down 2022 and look the year ahead, many of us are setting goals for the New Year, both personal and professional. Setting goals is simply the best way to give purpose to your year, your work, and your personal life. But defining and achieving them is harder than it might seem.

Here are three tips to conquer your goals in the coming year:

Think about your “why.”

Before you actually go about creating and setting goals, you need to think about your “why.” What’s the purpose of the goal? Why do you want to accomplish what you’re looking to achieve? Do you want to advance in your career, or make more money? Do you want to feel better about what you do, about the difference you’re making for other people? Aligning your goals with your “why” is an important step toward your success.

Make goals SMART.

Follow the SMART framework when goal-setting to make it more likely you’ll follow through and accomplish what you set out to. When setting SMART goals, make them:

  • Specific: Vague goals aren’t very likely to be met. Make your goals as specific as you possibly can.
  • Measurable: You need to be able to know whether you’ve been successful, so make your goal measurable or quantifiable in some way to track your progress.
  • Attainable: Be realistic about your goal. There’s no sense in setting a goal you know is impossible – give yourself a challenge but be realistic.
  • Relevant: Connect your goal to the bigger picture. How will the goal improve your life?
  • Time-bound: Set specific dates to track your progress toward reaching your goal. Goals with no endpoint are just ideas.

Don’t be afraid to fail.

If you never fail, do you ever really learn anything? When setting goals for the coming year, keep in mind that it’s okay to make mistakes and even fail entirely in some cases. Goal setting is important, but you shouldn’t live and die by the success of them. Give yourself a little grace and recognize that you may not achieve every one of the goals you set out to – and that’s okay.

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