After the New Year’s dust settles, it can be difficult to stick with your resolutions. In fact, approximately 80 percent of people who make New Year’s resolutions drop them by the second week of February – which is just around the corner!
Even with the best intentions, the majority of us fall back into our old, comfortable habits. If you’ve found yourself in this situation, it’s important to re-evaluate your resolutions and create a detailed plan on how to achieve your greatest goals this year. Here are some of my top tips on becoming, and remaining, a go-getter.
• Avoid general goals. New Year resolutions are typically well-meaning but also lofty and grand, lacking specifics. Whether you’re trying to achieve greater sales or grow your team, it can be difficult to achieve a goal that is too intangible. Rather than simply raising your sales numbers, ask yourself how much – 5%? 20%? Identify how many new team members your business would benefit from, whether that’s 10, 25 or even more.
Charles Duhigg, a behavioral psychologist and author of The Power of Habit, suggests that most people fail to adopt new habits because they don’t understand the structure of a habit. Take time to understand your goal, and how exactly you plan to achieve it. Once you have a grasp on how you’re going to incorporate this change into your life, the more likely it will stick and become a part of your daily routine. For example, rather than simply setting out to be promoted, schedule time to talk with your superiors and outline the steps needed to achieve a new title.
• Focus on progress, not perfection. No one is perfect, yet many New Year resolutions aim for perfection, whether that’s meeting your weekly fitness goals or building your professional skillset at work. Once you get a bit off course, it’s easy to feel as though you’ve already failed and toss the resolution out altogether. To avoid this slippery slope, focus on your progression instead. After all, every path has ups and downs. Remember that challenges take time to overcome and that you are further along on your journey than you were when you started.
• Stay positive. When I ask my friends and colleagues about their resolutions, they often start with the word “stop.” Whether it’s to stop smoking or stop being late, this language frames it in a negative way. Instead, make your goal positive and personal. For example, make your goal to arrive early to meetings. It’s a small, simple change, but it can make a big difference when it comes to sticking to your resolutions.
Studies show that the number one reason people give up on their goals is because they aren’t enjoyable. If you don’t enjoy a change, odds are it will be difficult to maintain it. To make new habits more pleasant, start small and work your way up. Give yourself time to adjust and reward yourself for a job well done.
These are just a few of many tips and tricks to help you stick to your 2019 goals. What are your top tips for maintaining positive change?
Connect with me via LinkedIn or at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your thoughts on this topic.
President, Hydro Systems