This year, I resolve to be a little less awesome. It’s getting excessive. The tradition of making resolutions dates back millennia, but the Ancient Romans decried January the time to exercise more, spend less, etc. January is, of course, named for Janus, the protector of doors and new beginnings. He was also a two-faced god – and what could be more fitting? We make resolutions and break them within the day. Becoming less awesome is, therefore, not very likely. In business, the New Year can provide the impetus to refocus, reenergize, and renew our commitment to health, to growth, to better performance and productivity. How can we make sure our resolutions stick?
To give New Year’s resolutions a fighting chance:
- Don’t wait until January. Say you are going to quit smoking. You can’t wake up one day and say, “Ok, today’s the day.” Your first nicotine craving will weaken whatever resolve you have, and if you have any friends at the end of the first day, they will urge you to get some gum or a patch or to go far, far away from them. You need to prepare for this goal – and for any other goal in life that matters – so you have the tools and mindset for success.
- Enable employees to own their resolutions. Your people need to own their own programs for the New Year. Maybe, in December, you start talking to them about setting new goals and figuring out what they’ll need to do to achieve them. They can think about it in December. In the first days of 2014, they can come back and have a session to share their ideas for tackling the New Year.
- Tie it to group initiatives. It’s often easier if your employees have a base from which to start. A group goal – whether losing weight or spending 10 hours a week volunteering – can be a great tool for building resolve, eliciting support, and ensuring goals are met.
- Start at the top. As leader, you should share your goals first, both business and personal, if that’s comfortable for you. You can model the process and show your team how to set realistic goals that require a bit of stretching.
- Link personal and professional goals. Clearly, you need to articulate business goals, but how do those align with your personal goals? How do they fit together? Ensuring work is aligned with passion and with your life only strengthens your resolve and your ability to improve in all areas.
Employees Lacking Motivation?Paul Marchildon, an experienced Leisureologist, can work with you and your team to increase productivity by incorporating leisure into the workplace.
If your goals are to get fit and become more productive at work, for instance, then maybe it makes sense to slot in that Monday, Wednesday, Friday workout over lunch because you know that it’s going to invigorate you and that you’ll come back and have a more productive afternoon. How can what you do at work positively impact your home life? And vice versa? It’s all tied together.