Recent news reports about a new variant of the coronavirus may make you think that 2022 is going to be more of the same.
At least, the same as the last two years. Social distancing, arguments about mask mandates, arguments about vaccine mandates, illness or worse.
We can choose to accept that as our fate, prepare for the worst, and just hope something changes for the better. Or we can choose to make 2022 matter.
I choose to make 2022 matter. And I have ways for that to happen, for me and for you.
Why set goals
If 2022 is going to be a continuation of 2020 and 2021 and life is going to revolve around unpleasant subjects because of the pandemic, then why do I need to set goals beyond avoiding catching the virus every day?
The answer is living to avoid something isn’t living. It’s hiding.
If you set a goal that has nothing to do with Covid-19, and which current Covid-19 standards of care and safety cannot hinder, then you have given yourself the push you need to make 2022 a significant year.
Imagine how you would want 2022 to go for you if the pandemic was not a factor. Then, determine how much of that dream for 2022 you can achieve even though the pandemic is not going away any time soon.
We cannot ignore what is going on around us. We can determine how much we are going to achieve despite what is going on around us.
That’s where setting goals comes in.
On a personal level, many people like to create New Year’s resolutions, and they almost always center on weight loss. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve your body or health. The problem is that the resolution may state “I want to lose 15 pounds”, but it doesn’t come with any sort of deadline, or actual plan.
I’m looking for something a bit more concrete.
Personally, Caleb wants to make 2022 the year he applies himself to understanding his current level of math studies. He’s 9 years old and in 4th grade, and he understands this is where math is going to become more complicated. He knows he needs to understand this current level of math, because he has many years of schooling ahead and it’s only going to get more complicated.
“But, I also plan to make a new friend or two”, says Caleb. “The quarantine and social distancing made us all so lonely and out of touch, and I’m now in the mood to become more open to new friendships.” That’s great. You can become friends with someone from 6 feet away.
Where do you desire personal growth? Is it in your academics, or your career, or your friendships?
You want to select goals that require a bit of a stretch and are still achievable. The problem with chasing the impossible dream is that you are not likely to achieve it.
If you have a dream that may seem impossible, the way to achieve it is to set a series of reachable goals that will get you there eventually. That way, even when you don’t get the end result you hoped for, you will have at least accomplished something along the way. You will be better for the steps you took. You will be closer to where you want to be.
Remember to share your goal
The problem with personal goals is that they are, well, personal. It actually might be beneficial to let other people know what you are trying to achieve for yourself. They can provide motivation when they see that you are actually making headway, or when you are letting that goal slip your mind.
New Year’s resolutions often fail because they sometimes seem to exist just to get you through January or February. You want to set goals that will propel you through the entire year. That’s why it is advisable to let others know what you are doing to improve your life. Your friends and family can help you realize that your goal is to make 2022 a memorable year, and 2022 is 12 months long.
It is also beneficial to have more than one goal for the new year. That way, if you hit a roadblock in one task, you can concentrate on a different goal for a while.
Before the pandemic, multitasking was the way to get things done. We have become more narrow-minded as we deal with our Covid-19 concerns, but it might be beneficial to have more than one goal for the coming year. Spread your motivational wings. Improve your life in more than one way at a time.
And those unique goals can be the sort that you share with your family. Whether it is a home improvement or trying to figure out a way to get out of the house for a while, family goals are fun because they are shared. Build that shed for the backyard. Redesign your family room or basement. Clean out the garage. The desired result is to move and to move forward through 2022.
A better year
I want the pandemic to be over, but everything I hear is that our concerns over the coronavirus are likely to stick around for a while. We may be wearing masks over our mouths for a long time to come.
But I am tired of letting the pandemic win. It has stopped us from progressing. We spend too much time holding our breath. We need to break free. To do that, we need to set goals for 2022 so that we can move forward despite the roadblocks that the coronavirus has set in front of us.