Plan 2022 for success

Give yourself a chance to succeed in 2022.

🔍 How far have you evolved?

We start our journey by looking back.

Looking back at what goals we set for ourselves.

Looking back at all the small victories that felt like massive achievements.

Looking back at all the tiny setbacks that made us feel absolute failures.

It’s with a fierce frame of mind that we look back at 2021.

We need to drop all of the excuses, all of the reasoning we did with ourselves that allowed us to sleep in and miss a workout.

We need to drop all the fake humility and stand proud of our achievements, even if they seem tiny at times.

The only way to attack 2022 with confidence, is to learn and adapt from what happened in 2021.

So grab a pen and paper, a warm fuzzy drink in a quiet place and let’s start reflecting on your year.

I like to start by going back to my goal list back from the beginning of the year, reviewing if I achieved my objectives, and how far I’ve progressed.

I usually make a list of all of my achievements, big and small, and this has two purposes:

  • It makes me view the year from a fresh new perspective.
  • It boosts my motivation because a lot of the time I didn’t have that idea that I’ve achieved so much.

Do the same exercise, get your list of achievements, understand what you’ve missed and once you’re done, I can assure you that you’ll look at your year and yourself with another respect.

📝 Who’s going into 2023?

It’s now time to think about January 1st 2023.

The person you are today was shaped by decisions you made back in 2020.

The person you’ll be in 2023, is going to be shaped by the decisions you make today, at the end of 2021.

Write down who you want to be in 2023, what you want to have achieved, what your days look like by then.

The better representation that you can have of your 2023 self, the clearer the path you will take in 2022 will be. The easier it will be to define and follow your goals.

Don’t forget to take with you the good habits of 2021 — the exercise, the learning, the self-development — look at your list of achievements and understand what you want to take with you to the next year.

And make sure that you try those goals you’ve missed one more time. If they still make sense it’s going to be worth trying one more time.

⚖️ Calibrate those goals

Now something for you to be aware of.

When you’re defining the path to achieve your goals, you’ll find that writing down that journey sometimes makes you think differently about your goals.

For example, a “Eat healthy/Be fit” goal might be translated into a “Have a consistent seven day/week food journal by quarter 1 with 100% success rate in the last three weeks”.

Why is this change relevant?

Because this way, you reach a level of maturity with your goals that allow you to measure, track performance, and keep yourself motivated.

Always be aware of deep transformational goals like “get in shape”, “quit a certain habit”, etc.

These transformational moments are fantastic for storytelling, but for a step by step approach, one with intent, always go for the easy to measure goal.

When it comes to goals you want: Tough to create, easy to understand their progress.

♻️ Measure, revisit & adjust

Look at 2022 as a challenge, as a fantastic chance to improve and get closer to who you want to be.

You know the saying, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

And just like a marathon, it’s going to be hard, it’s going to require a lot of practice and perseverance, a lot of wins and a lot of defeats.

You need to take advantage of the natural milestones we have in a year:

1 year — 2 halves — 4 quarters — 12 months — 52 weeks — 365 days

When defining your goals, picture where you want to be at each of these milestones.

Make sure that at each checkpoint you stop and assess:

  • how far you’ve progressed
  • how far you’ve evolved
  • what you need to adjust to improve your achievements

The best chance you have to reach your goals, to reach 2023 as the person you want to be, is to measure often, revise your progress and adjust to improve your results.

🛑 There is overnight change, no absolute change and no constant level of performance

There are is overnight change

You won’t go to bed yourself and wake up Cristiano Ronaldo, Michael Jordan or Elon Musk.

My question to you is, what do you think will happen on the night of December 31st?

If you look at your goal setting seriously, you start working towards your objectives on January 1st.

And I wonder how ready are you to turn your life around overnight?

Right, so here’s my suggestion.

Why not start today? But instead of immediately having to deliver many objectives daily, weekly, monthly, all you have is to warm up, get ready and get through the motion.

This extra work will make the world of difference in the way you tackle your challenges, in your motivation and above all in your confidence.

There is no absolute change

One misconception that we sometimes have is that there’s a light switch that you can turn on or off that will make you achieve your goal.

An objective like quitting smoking is something that can be seen as true or false. You either smoke or you don’t. And if you move from one state into the next that’s it.

Objective either accomplished or failed all within a split of a second.

What I found, and yes I have the smoking example as well, is that even though you can quit cold turkey, and it seems like a light switch, you attack the problem daily.

Goals like these need consistent success so you can reach the end of the year as a true achiever.

Why not change a little bit from “I’ll quit a certain habit” to “I commit to not doing X for the last Y days of the year”.

This adjustment changes your goals from an absolute — I will quit smoking (a 0 to 1) — to an objective focused on recurrent consistency.

You won’t perform consistently 365 days a year

One of two the biggest mistakes you’ll do in planning the new year is thinking that your performance will start on January 1st in a peak state.

The other one is thinking that your performance will be constant throughout the year.

Let me share one of my goals for 2021 as an example.

I realised during COVID how much I loved to run, so I set myself a simple challenge: 1200km in a year. That’s roughly going from top to bottom of Portugal and then coming back up.

The math was simple. Run 100km every month, and I was golden. 🥇

Dividing this goal a bit more means a little over 23km a week.

Right, so 23km a week sounds doable.

Considering that, when I started, I was running about 5 or 6km that meant around 4/5 runs a week.

The problems began here.

As I started to notice around month three, spreading five runs consistently throughout seven days and then doing it all over again nonstop quickly becomes a problem due to leg strain, time constraint, etc etc.

The solution? Start running more per workout so I could reduce the number of workouts per week.

By the end of the year, I was doing about three workouts that would amount to over 26km:

The lesson here is, you need to understand that from planning to practice things change.

You need to adapt to your goals, and the way to achieve them needs to adapt to you as well.

📈 1% a day

Finally and this is probably the most important lesson I’ve learnt in the last few years.

Small improvements lead compound to big changes.

If you were to improve just 1% a day, day after day, consistently, at the end of a year, you’ll be 37 times better.

That’s 3700% better compared to January 1st.

1.01 ^ 365 = 37.78

Just focus on getting better at the small things and start compounding your habits.

Slowly but steadily become better.

Slowly but steadily take one step closer to your goals.

Focus on this, and this year will not only be an evolution but a revolution in your life.

Originally published at https://aleadersmindset.com on November 20, 2021.

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My goal is to teach every leader who is still starting their journey, what I learned late in mine. 🚀

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