Many working people have the New Year’s Holiday off, which is the perfect time to brainstorm how to make all of those goals and changes for the New Year actually happen.
Remember that day, less than two weeks ago?
You’re sitting on the couch with cup of coffee in hand, possibly chatting with a significant other or friend about the resolutions you’ve made (or maybe you’ve kept them to yourself so as to avoid feelings of failure should the goals not be met), and you get to the work-related ones. You thought deeply about making positive changes and/or reaching specific goals in your career on your day off. This is easy, you think – I’m going to kill it this year. I’m going to be the best employee, I’m going to meet and exceed every single requirement, and while I’m at it, I resolve to keep a cleaner desk, eat lunch out less, and maybe I’ll even work in a random act of kindness for my co-workers. You were pumped to get back to the office and get started on being a better employee the next day.
Has your motivation fizzled out in the last few days? Are you finding that your work routine has settled back into pre-resolution mode? Try applying these tips, adapted from author Dr. John Norcross’ “Changeology: 5 Steps to Realizing your Goals and Resolutions”:
- Share your goals with others in the workplace. You’ll then have support from co-worker(s), and may stay more focused to avoid failing in front of others. They may even join you in achieving your goals by offering to help with an assignment or project.
- Be specific about what you’re trying to achieve. Rather than resolving to “increase productivity”, aim to improve it by a specific percent over last year’s or last month’s. You will be able to focus easier and monitor your progress more effectively.
- Do your goals match up well with where the organization is going? Resolutions that require a lot of time and effort should resonate with organization-wide goals. Sharing a common focus with colleagues will help you achieve success when it comes to the most daunting goals.
- Be realistic. Let’s say you’re wanting to quit your coffee habit while on the job. If you simply want to gradually decrease your daily coffee intake, that’s a fantastic plan! If you aim to quit cold turkey after drinking an entire pot of coffee before lunchtime for several years, you will likely revert back to your old ways following the first difficult period of adjusting to total decaffeination. It’s not a fun state to be in!
- Don’t neglect regular assignments while focusing on the big goals. Maintain a balanced workload, alternating daily priorities with extra time for your resolutions. Of course, including a resolution as simple as completing daily tasks more efficiently is a great goal as well!
When your routine gets tough and focusing on the goals and changes you’ve set out to achieve feels stressful, just remind yourself that you’re trying to be better. Regardless of whether it’s New Year’s Day or the middle of July, always aim to improve!