We are about halfway through January, and that means many of us are already feeling discouraged about the plethora of New Year’s resolutions we have made and broken. However, it’s never too late to get back on track! Here are some tips to turn your goals into reality:
Focus on the action, not the goal.
This might seem counterintuitive, but sometimes the most effective way to meet a goal is to shift your focus away from it and onto the action that will get you there. For example, instead of concentrating on losing 10 pounds, think about eating more fresh vegetables and taking more steps throughout the day. Ultimately, you will lose weight, but only because you invested in the actions necessary to make your goal a reality. This applies to workplace resolutions as well. Want a promotion by the end of the year? Make a list of concrete actions you can take to make it happen, such as volunteering to spearhead a big project or enrolling in online management training courses, such as those available through Mastery Technologies.
Good is better than perfect.
There is something incredibly attractive to many of us about the idea of a clean slate or a fresh start. That’s one reason New Year’s resolutions are so popular — they represent the opportunity to live for a whole 12-month period with absolutely no mistakes. However, if you want to succeed, it’s best to let go of perfection as an ideal. You will almost certainly have an occasional misstep, but try to let it go. Otherwise, you are likely to give up entirely. When it comes to reaching goals, good is always better than perfect.
Set yourself up for success.
Psychology professor Wendy Wood tells The New York Times that we tend to overestimate the importance of willpower and underestimate the importance of environment.
“Willpower, she said, is more about looking at those yummy chocolate chip cookies and refusing them,” writes The Times. “A good habit ensures you’re rarely around those chocolate chip cookies in the first place. To create or change a habit, you have to think much more about altering your environment and patterns of living than work on steeling your mind, Professor Wood said, because ‘behavior is very much a product of environment.'”
If your goal is to spend 15 minutes per day on continuing education, for example, find an online course from Mastery Technologies that meets your needs. When you get to the office each day, open up the resource on your computer so it is ready to go whenever you can spare a moment. You are more likely to consistently invest time in learning if it becomes an integral, easily accessible part of your work environment.