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How to Set Goals You Can Actually Achieve

The Lumes & Me Podcast

23-01-2022 • 11 mins

How are you getting on with the promises you made for 2022 last week? I hope you’re smashing through them like you hoped you would. If you are, that’s awesome but if you’re not then I hope this week’s post will help.


Honestly, as I typed out my goals for 2022 in the last post, a part of me REALLY wanted to put in a 3rd goal purely out of force of habit but I had to fight every urge in my deepest waters to hold back. In fact, some of the western world’s greatest thinkers on human nature & habit formation always say start small so you can build as you go on. If your goals depend on you assuming you’ll magically become a brand new completely different person on January 1st then they’re doomed to fail.


I once set a Jan 1st goal to start running 5k every day from nowt. The first day I ran was stresssssssssful. Everything jiggled, my knees screamed and my lungs handed in their notice. The second day was no different so I figured I’d do what I usually do to make things I don’t want to do more appealing. Add data. I spent a small fortune on Nike run tracking gear which in the early 2000s consisted of an iPod Nano and an arm tracker connected to a pebble sized bit sitting awkwardly in your trainers. I ran a few more times with the data which did not help the way I thought it would. So I gave up.


5k a day was a terrible goal for someone who has never run before. At the time, I never bothered to think about why I set that goal and what I was trying to achieve. In hindsight this was likely because I wanted to feel strong and healthy like almost everyone else who sets weight based resolutions. A more realistic achievable goal should have been based on who I was, not who I wanted to be. If I could go back to the noughties, I’d tell young Lumes to walk for 5 minutes a day.


Great goals should feel too small, so small your mind tells you it’s too easy and not worth doing. Well, if it’s so easy then go actually do it.


Why did you set the goals you set last week? Why do you want to change the life you had in 2021 or last week or yesterday? Why do you think achieving those goals will bring value to your life?


What I like about the 2 commitments I’ve made to myself for the year ahead are they use skills I already have but would love to use more so they can improve. My why therefore is because watching myself grow as a person fulfills me. It’s not even necessarily about the end result for me (i.e. I’ve no clue what I’m going to do with 365 pictures of varying quality haha). It’s the process of going from doubting myself to backing myself.


What’s your why from today?


Any setbacks in your resolutions so far just tell you the goals you’ve set for yourself could benefit from a review now that you know what makes a great goal:


Figure out your ‘why’ for each goal you’ve set. Don’t be afraid to go deeper. If you need help with this, get in touch. I can help.
Make it small enough so it seems easy peasy and easily achieved because small wins are more motivating that big fails (i.e. instead of starting a new restrictive diet, commit to adding a handful of veg to whatever you’re eating)
Can you create new habits AND new space in your life? Doing both from scratch when you did neither yesterday is super hard. It’s like moving to a new country to do a new job for a new company. It’s not impossible but it does require you to give everything you have to make it work. Are you doing that now? If not, then pick one.



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