Happy New Year!
The presents are opened, the tree is down, and the Champagne has been poured. If you’re like me, you are now looking to get back into work mode; Long breaks make me antsy. Still, now is a good time to reflect on where we have been, where we are going, and how we are going to get there.
The end of one year and the beginning of the next is an artificial break. People tend to view the end of one year as a stopping point and the beginning of a new year as a renewal. New habits begin as the clock strikes midnight, then the countdown begins.
Strava, a health app, dubs January 19th “Quitter’s Day,” and studies have shown that only 9% of people consistently achieve their goals. However, achievements should not be an event but a continuum. Habits built gradually and given positive reinforcement will linger. Most importantly, they have to mean something to you personally.
Most companies create strategic plans, but over 95% never see their full potential. That’s because tasks don’t motivate. They lack an emotional hook to keep you going. It’s mind over matter, and often matter wins.
Some Tricks and Treats
- Bring passion in – Discover your “why.” That “why” must drive excitement for you or your team. The emotion needs to create positive energy to work through the pain of change.
- Make it a challenge – Easy goals aren’t exciting, but neither are impossible ones. Set something that can be a stretch but is still achievable.
- Make it a game – We all love games. If you find a way to gamify the work, you can motivate. We all love to win.
- Keep it clear – Goals need to be succinct. The more specific you are, the greater likelihood you will reach your target.
- Steps matter – When climbing a mountain, the summit is the goal, but it’s the thousands of steps that actually get you there. Looking too far beyond what you need to do now will lead to failure.
- Celebrate the little things – Recognize all progress, not just major achievements. Again, people like to win. Focus on what’s in front of you and celebrate the accomplishments as they come. Over time the milestones will happen.
- Right bus, right people, right seats – Organizational goals require surrounding yourself with the talent capable of accomplishing your objectives. That means being selective about who you bring along for the ride and what you have them do. Surrounding yourself with the wrong people could bring progress to a halt.
This year, instead of an end, or a beginning, focus on the in-between.