As we near the end of January, how many of us can say we’ve stuck to the resolutions we made at the start of the year? Even though it’s only been three weeks, the diet may be a little less vegan, the gym regime a little less vigorous and dry January might not be quite so dry. According to a survey from Bupa in 2016, 43% of people who made a New Year’s resolution broke it in less than a month.
Resolutions are hard to keep. Changing behaviour doesn’t just happen overnight. For the change to become a reality, it requires more than just willpower alone. For a greater chance of success, help is needed for other sources. Joining a club, signing up to a challenge or just entering in to an agreement with a friend, can all make a significant difference and help the resolution to stick.
When it comes to setting and achieving goals and objectives in the workplace, using the same tactics can really help to make a difference. Here are four tips to follow:
Make it a habit
Quitting smoking isn’t difficult just because nicotine is addictive. Smoking is very often associated with other habits that people enjoy, such as the first cup of coffee in the morning or an evening glass of wine, to unwind after a busy day. To kick the habit successfully, routines need to change, and different habits need to be formed. When it comes to your work objective, don’t just look at what you need to achieve in that goal, look at the bigger picture and what other behaviours or changes you need to address to make it possible.
Make it social
Telling other people about your resolution makes it real and brings it to life. Announcing to the world on Facebook or Twitter that you will run that marathon or lose that stone in weight puts a stake in the ground, a marker to live up to. There is a certain pressure, an incentive to make it happen over and above your own desire. In the workplace, sharing your goals with team mates or peers can have the same effect. If your colleagues know what you have to achieve, there is an extra incentive for you to do well and meet those aims. Working collectively on goals, creating objectives that are known to those you work alongside, will make it that bit more important to reach them. Of course, you could also carve your goals into a stone tablet for everyone to see.
Make a commitment to it
Going one step further than just sharing your resolution is joining a club or organisation. Becoming part of a collective, means you have the help and support you need to make it happen and provides an even greater level of commitment to your aim. In the workplace, this extra commitment could be taking a training course or entering a mentoring programme. Seeking out those that have the knowledge you need to help you achieve your goals means you are on the right track to acquiring the skills you need. Working collectively, sharing those goals with others, also means you have support and help on hand from those around you who understand what it is you’re trying to achieve.
Make it manageable
Wanting to run a marathon when you can’t jog around the block may not be the most realistic of goals. It’s great to have a long-term objective, but achieving this in one, big jump might not be possible. Instead, aiming to complete a 5K as a first step is a much more attainable goal. In the same way, breaking goals down in to manageable steps at work makes them appear less scary and far more achievable. Ambition is important but having a goal that seems impossible is far from inspiring. It is demotivating and can have a detrimental effect on overall performance. Ask yourself: what’s the first step you need to take in order to get started on your goal. If it still seems too challenging, ask yourself what step you need to take before that one. Keep going until you find something you can do right now.
Setting the right goals is half the battle. It sets you up with a clear plan for the year ahead. It’s worth taking the time to think them through with your managers and peers, creating objectives you can see through and enjoy a successful year.
Thanks to The Appraisd Team for this guest blog
Note: Appraisd is a fantastic online performance management system I have deployed in the past with great results – check them out if this is something you are interested in. You can read more about my experience implementing their product in my blog ‘The Truth About Ditching the Appraisal‘