Jennifer Moore has more than 15 years of experience in Business Transformation across different industries. Her extensive experience includes helping companies navigate complex regulatory requirements through software solutions. She has been developing and deploying large, multi-faceted enterprise software project, driving revenues as well as market adoption.
What are Your (IT) New Year Resolutions?
The start of the New Year is always a good time to turn a new page, which is probably why so many people make New Year’s resolutions. The New Year often feels like a fresh start to most people and a great opportunity to make changes and establish new routines that will help you grow. Of course, resolutions are much easier to make than to keep, and once spring arrives, many of us have abandoned our resolutions and settled back into our old patterns. Trust me, I have been there. Many times!
But here is the good news. While many people feel that they don’t necessarily achieve their resolution goals, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, those who set New Year's resolutions are 10 times more likely to change their behavioral patterns than people who do not make yearly goals.
While this practice can sometimes lead people, myself included, to bite off more than they can chew, going after resolutions can also provide momentum to overcome struggles and create new opportunities.
So, this “fresh start effect” a new year brings can also be applied to your professional life. But what can you do to make it more likely that you will keep your next resolution(s)?
The following tips may help you beat the odds.
Limit Your Resolutions
While your list might be long, limit yourself to one resolution and focus your energy on it rather than spreading yourself too thin among a number of different objectives. Focus on one goal at a time.
For larger goals, consider breaking them apart into manageable chunks to work on one at a time. Focusing yourself on one specific goal makes keeping a resolution much more achievable.
Make your resolutions very specific
Turning the attention towards your professional environment, forget the ambiguous goals like becoming more productive. Take the tip to limit your resolutions one step further and focus on specific goals that you can realistically set your sights on. You might commit to saving 10 hours a week searching for information and product-related documents, making daily improvements to existing procedures, or investigate new tools.
Choosing a concrete, achievable goal gives you the opportunity to plan exactly how you are going to accomplish and stick to your goal over the course of the year.
Ask yourself these two questions:
- What is your biggest productivity challenge/obstacle?
- And what are your suggestions to overcome this challenge/obstacle?
Put Time into Planning
Don't wait until the last minute to choose your goal. Picking your resolution wisely and putting in planning are essential parts of achieving any goal.
For instance, if one of your goals is to stay in touch with technology themes that can impact a goal like productivity, check out lists of books on relevant topics and pick one to read that will take you closer to your goal.
Want to understand digital transformations impact on innovation, collaboration, or productivity? Check out these 7 books that will help you understand it a bit better.
Remember That Change Is a Process
Those habits that you are trying to change probably took years to develop, so how can you expect to change them in just a matter of days, weeks, or months? Be patient with yourself. Understand that working toward your resolution is a process. Even if you make a misstep or two, you can restart and continue your journey towards your goal.
Brainstorm how you will tackle a major behavioral change, including the steps you will take, why you want to do it, and ways you can keep yourself on track.
Does the change you want to make in your professional life impact others in the organization? Get our tips on how to manage organizational change management
Learn and Adapt
The path toward your goal is not always a straight one, and there will often be challenges along the way. Instead of looking upon these challenges as failures, view relapses as learning opportunities.
By understanding challenges you face, you will be better prepared to deal with them in the future.
There’s a 15-minute TED Talk on The Super Mario Effect that can help you embrace this concept. Key takeaway: Those who don’t see failing in a negative light attempt 2 ½ times more often and as a result, naturally see more success.
The yearly ritual of resolution setting should be full of hope and progress. That goes for your personal life as well as your professional environment.
Sometimes, the difference between success and failure is simply choosing the right goal and the process you use to achieve it.
Most importantly, remember to be flexible and to celebrate all progress along the way. It's not just the end goal that matters— it's the journey.