Why we should set new year’s – and month’s – resolutions at work

As you read the title of this blog post, I have no doubt you’ve cast your mind back to the many new year’s resolutions you have made, and no doubt broke over the years!

On January 1, as I finished my glass of champagne toasting the new decade ahead and listened to friends listing the many things they were going to do better in 2020, I got to thinking more about the concept of making resolutions and how they apply to what we do at work.

To me, a resolution is really just a goal that we have an emotional attachment to, so wouldn’t it be great if we were all more emotionally invested in the things we set ourselves to achieve at work?

Goals are the foundation of modern work practices. They steer the ship, keeping everyone focused on and aligned with organisations’ business objectives and the things that have to happen to achieve them.

Adding resolutions to the mix may seem at odds with the work worlds we live in, where our goals are directed to hitting set targets with hard numbers.

If you think about it, most of our New Year’s resolutions are usually much more abstract. They sometimes come with numbers (lose 10 kilos in two months) but are more often things we aspire to do to make us feel better about ourselves, such as spending more quality time with our family, eating better or drinking less.

But while they are much more fluid, they improve our lives and produce a positive outcome for the people around us if achieved.

It stands to reason then that improving ourselves at work will also have an impact on the people we work with. So why don’t we recognise more ‘resolutions’ in the things we set out to achieve? Things like connecting with people in a different workgroup, improving our networking skills, reading more on a professional topic of interest or prioritising work-life balance.

The feedback we’ve collected from employees across the many organisations using our PeopleListening solution consistently reinforces the importance of people and the non-physical work environment created as critical factors driving positive workplaces and engagement.

I believe there is a critical caveat to this idea of introducing resolutions at work. Just as goals are about set results, our work resolutions should have some parameters to set ourselves up for success.

The trick is applying a goal framework for our resolutions. Convention tells us that to achieve our goals at work; we need to be SMART when we’re setting those goals (see what I did there!). That is, we ensure our goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-Bound

I think monthly resolutions are a better bet, particularly given their more abstract nature. I’m sure you’ve all read an article at some point that confirms most new year’s resolutions are broken by the end of the first week of January!

To test this theory, I’m going to set myself a new month’s resolution each month in 2020, making sure it is something I’m invested in achieving emotionally, that will produce a personal outcome for me and have a positive impact on The Evolved Group team.

Wish me luck on my journey this month to learn more about networking on LinkedIn!

What’s your take on resolutions at work? I’d love to hear your thoughts – leave a comment below.

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