It’s time for our annual goal-setting post! We’ve done this every year since 2017 (catch 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, and 2017, here.) You might say we’re goals experts. Looking back at last year’s list, I’m pretty proud of how that list helped me stay true to my goals and what I wanted to do. It’s taken me many years to understand how to set realistic goals and to decide what goals are worth setting.
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Many of these are all macro goals (vs micro goals) that you’ll need to be realistic in your timeline with using SMART goals or another goal setting method. SMART goals is a tried and true method that has you set measurable goals and a realistic goal by setting a specific goal. One of the best practices to setting achievable goals is using the smart goals method.
We prefer goals over new year’s resolutions. New year’s resolutions tend to be lofty and unattainable, which is a great way to set yourself up for burnout and discouragement. Setting goals and reaching goals are two completely different beasts. You don’t always need to set new goals either. You can keep working towards goals you already have in mind. You can work on quarterly goals, you can set monthly goals, business goals, career goals, there are a lot of different approaches to setting a “good goal.” What matters is what’s right for you in the present time.
This year’s goal list is really focused on inward expansion and growth — or in other words, on personal growth goals. As I get older, I realize that most of us in our early and mid twenties spend a lot (read: too much) time thinking about things other than ourselves. But your twenties are about investing in yourself. They’re about betting on you. It’s about making the best choices and positioning yourself for growth that will make the rest of your life open doors you never even imagined would be in front of you. Let’s dive in.
Setting Your Goals
If you want to reach your goals, you need a method of focus and planning that has built-in tracking, motivation, and above all, encourages discipline and consistency.
When setting your goals, I highly recommend using a planner that allows you to prioritize the most important items on your daily and weekly to list. I recommend the Day Designer for this as it gives you space to not only design your day as the name suggests but to also effectively plan for and execute your goals.
Research shows you’re more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. It helps you commit to your goals more deeply in a way that help you follow through.
The Daily Mini Planner is pictured here but they also have undated planner options that make a great choice for longevity’s sake.
What I like about the Day Designer is that you can name you top priorities, list our your daily schedule, jot notes on the side for your important goals, and write down your dinner. There’s also a handy notes section at the bottom if you need to expand on anything. I also like that there is a space for “due” so you can remember any important due dates and a “dollars” section so you can focus on your financial goals. It’s a wonderfully useful planner that blends together a daily schedule with effective goal setting. Check out Day Designer here.
22 Goals To Set in 2022: Goal Ideas For Growth
Choose to purchase more meaningful gifts.
Gift giving is something I love to do. As I’m getting older though, I realize more and more than it is truly the deep, meaningful gifts that I love and cherish the most.
Something like custom products and personalized gifts, such as pins and commemorative coins, can be such unique and personal tokens of the events and holidays you’re celebrating today.
Plus, they are also worth collecting because you can add custom elements which makes them even more memorable.
Upgrade something you’ve been needing to for a long time.
This one is heavily inspired by something I need to upgrade: my computer. It is my primary tool I use for my job yet it’s very slow, the keys stick, and it doesn’t hold much charge anymore. It slows my work down and has become a source of stress lately.
I think most of us have something in our lives we know we need to upgrade but keep putting off for one reason or another. Now is the time. You are allowed to get new things.
I personally also upgraded my cookware earlier this year to Caraway and I’ve been blown away at how much my desire to cook has changed because of these pans. The main reason is that they are so easy to clean that I can cook pretty much anything and clean up still only takes a few minutes. Cleaning up after making a meal is one of the reasons I wouldn’t experiment in the kitchen. I was a huge sticking point and something that made me get in my own way. This one small change truly changed the game for me. I have the full set and would buy it again 10x over.
What will you be upgrading?
Do something nice for yourself everyday.
A lot of us spend a lot of time doing things for other people. We give outwardly a lot. But how often do you give inwardly?
Something nice for yourself could be something small like buying high quality coffee for your morning cup. Going on a long walk. Budgeting extra to treat yourself to something. Cleaning your kitchen top to bottom.
It can look like a lot of different things and really depends on what you consider to be “nice.” So do something nice for yourself on a daily basis. This is one of my big personal goals for the year.
What nice thing will you do for yourself today?
Invest time in something you enjoy doing.
Raise your hand if you have a hobby. A true hobby. Something that you spend time doing for no purpose other than enjoyment.
Do you have one?
My biggest hobby is reading. I write about reading every year – it’s very important to me to say the least. This year I spent more time reading things I wanted to read – even just romance novels for fun – than things I felt like I “should” read. It was refreshing. I personally subscribe to Book of The Month (and always ask for gift cards to here for Christmas/my birthday) and love that I can get new release books for reasonable price through them.
I’ve always wanted to learn calligraphy, learn sign language, practice crafts – these are things I’ll be working on in 2022. Learning new skills is one of the best ways to spend time in the upcoming year.
What do you enjoy doing?
Commit to exercise.
This always seems to be one of everyone’s new year’s goals, but I cannot emphasize enough how important exercise is to leading the life you want. It’s not about it being good for your body or achieving a certain look or whatever… exercise is truly best for your mind.
Every time I have felt stuck in my life, the key to getting me out of that rut was exercise. Moving your body gets your blood flowing to your brain. It wakes you up. It clarifies. It strengthens. So keep your body moving and add a healthy intake of different vitamins like vitamin E gummies which help energize your body.
I’ve recently jumped on the biking train and I love it more than I thought I would. It encourages me to push myself and I actually really enjoy doing it and following the trainers. They keep my motivated and accountable. I didn’t know I needed that.
What exercise do you love?
Keep a plant alive for an entire year.
Y’all, I set this goal last year and CRUSHED IT! I currently have three living plants in my house and I am stoked about that. I almost can’t believe it.
I love plants but don’t understand them. I feel like I’m always doing the wrong thing with them. Just me?
Pick one plant and nurture it for a year. If I can do, you can do it.
What plant will you pick?
Don’t be passive, be active.
Do you passively move through your life? Do you take ownership of your decisions? Being passive can look like saying, “I’ll workout tomorrow” almost everyday.
It can look like not knowing what choices you want to make for your future. Or it could be feeling at a loss for what decision is best for your children. Not knowing what you should be saving for.
Being passive can show up a lot of different ways. Be active in your own life. Take ownership of your decisions. Do the hard work. Even if it means dismantling things you’ve though about yourself for years. You are the only person living your life.
How will you be active today?
Delete the Instagram app from your phone.
Now, you don’t have to do this for the whole year, but do it for at least a week. Both myself and Marina have done this recently and it has freed up so much space mentally and in our daily lives that it is shocking.
We both love connecting with others on Instagram and run several businesses on the platform so for us, it’s not just about personal use, however, it is eye-opening to see how much we unconsciously reach for that app. Social media can be a great tool but also overwhelming and distracting.
It’s okay to walk away. It’s okay to spend less time on your social media life and more time on your personal life.
Can you delete Instagram today?
Pay off a debt.
Many people in their twenties have debt – especially student loans. If you do, know that you are not alone. I had debt too (about $25k of it), and I made it a priority to pay it off in my early twenties. The longer it sits there, the more interest it accrues and the more you end up paying over time. I’ve written about the changes I had to make (read: sacrifices in my eyes) to pay off my debt. And you don’t need financial advisors to achieve this goal.
When you’re making this changes, it can feel like they’re going to be forever. But they’re not. Getting rid of your debt as quickly as possible will improve your overall quality of life.
This is one of the best financial goals in my opinion, right up next to saving your emergency fund.
How much can you transfer to a debt now?
Go somewhere new.
Up until a few months ago, the last time I went somewhere “new” was December 2019. As someone who loves to travel and go new places, not being somewhere new for over a year was hard for me mentally and creatively.
There are plenty of ways to get out and see somewhere new, even if it’s not far from you or just a day trip! Go experience the world and learn from it. It doesn’t matter where you go, the important thing is that you do go.
Where is first on your list?
Donate to something you care about.
I’ve shared before that I’m more of a one-off donate-r than a recurring donate-r. However, this year, I started a monthly donation to Together Rising, an organization that “support[s] families and individuals through direct grants of funds or goods and organization grants to partners on the ground.”
After learning about this organization and the people they help, this felt like the place I wanted to donate to monthly. Pick somewhere that matters to you and set up a recurring donation!
If you can’t donate financially, consider volunteering time or donating goods!
Where do you want to donate to?
Make some non-toxic swaps.
This was a journey I unexpectedly found myself on in 2021. I read a few things that shocked me (like fluoride is neurotoxin and some things marketed as “baby food” actually contain more additives and artificial ingredients than the “adult” version). And “natural flavors” on a label can include upwards of 100 things (including MSG), that don’t have to be properly disclosed in the food we eat.
This really bothers me. And it’s not an area in my life I want to be passive in anymore.
We are surrounded by largely unregulated and under-researched ingredient use. I encourage you to do more of your own research into the ingredients in the products you’re using. You would think that these ingredients would be “safe” but many of them are known to be endocrine disruptors (they interfere with your hormones and therefore your body’s natural processes).
What swap will you make first?
Be more creative.
Make a capsule wardrobe.
Shop with more small businesses.
Set a goal you’re scared to achieve.
Invest in good bedding.
Change a bad habit.
Ah bad habits. And it’s not the Ed Sheeran song I’m referring to… even though that is a bop.
I mean the habits you know are not serving you. Where you neglect things in your life that you want to change because you can’t face the actions you need to take to see change.
This might be trying to exercise instead of binge watching tv on the couch. It might be letting go of a friendship. It might be spending your whole paycheck right after it’s deposited in your account.
Our bad habits are the things that keep us from seeing the most change in our lives. And it’s not that making the change is hard. No, that part is simple enough. It’s avoiding slipping back into your bad habit that’s hard.
What habit holds you back?
Don’t watch TV.
For some reason it almost shocks people when I tell them I don’t really watch TV. Occasionally I will put something on if I have a moment, but most of the time I’m prioritizing other things in my life.
You have a lot of time for other things you want to do when you don’t turn on the TV. That’s all I’m saying.
What would you do if you weren’t watching TV?
Think about what you truly want in life.
When you sit down and reflect on what you want to achieve by the end of your life, what tops that list? Being true to yourself? Earning a prestigious award? Doing ground-breaking research? Being a good friend? Finding happiness in the small things?
Are you living your life for what you actually want or for what you think you should want? Are you thinking about your long-term goals or short term goals? Are you looking for leadership roles in your life? Do you want a fresh start? Ask yourself these deep questions and start taking small steps to get to where you want to go.
What do you really want in life?
Stop living life for your fantasy self.
How often do you say things like “when I lose 10lbs,” “when I move to New York,” “when I get that job”?
Reach, plan, and strive for those goals but don’t abandon yourself as you are right now. Live more presently. Live more imperfectly. You are more than your accomplishments. We are all wonderful just as we are.
How are you going to embrace who you are in this moment?
I hope this list of goals inspires you to be embrace who you truly are in 2022. Set the right goals and reach them, but stay true to yourself for the best year yet.