The chocolates have gone, that lurking brandy butter is binned, the turkey is finally finished, the children are back at school and New Year resolutions have been made – and possibly even broken…

A survey by Bupa in December 2015 highlighted that over 50% of New Year resolutions are broken, or indeed forgotten, within a month, although there is probably a correlation between the dismal weather and the fact that the majority of resolutions are linked to health and fitness (well that’s my excuse – stew and dumplings whilst watching a box set anyone?).

A fresh approach for the new year

For many, January results in workplace New Year resolutions. Whilst you may not label them as such, it is a great time to return to work with renewed energy, a fresh approach and determination to “make that change”. It may be career progression, improving work-life balance, tackling poor communication in the team, or developing a new skill.

By now you have likely identified what your planned changes are; however, what can you do to ensure that you succeed rather than become part of the 50% statistic of failing this month?

These tips will help you stay on track…

Knowledge – speak to people, read books, do your research. Gain the knowledge you need to succeed. Having an idea whilst on a break from work can be great as you have the mind-space for clarity, although taking that idea and turning it into a realistic and achievable goal may need some further investigation and education.

Accountability – nothing like accountability to ensure you keep at it! Let others know what your “resolution” is and what you are going to do to achieve it. This may be your line manager, your team, or peers – whoever you choose to share it with, saying it out loud makes it real.

Plan Time – goals that you will “fit in” to your schedule are unlikely to be achieved. Thinking that you will practice a skill, develop a new project or empty your inbox when you have a spare 5 minutes, is setting yourself up to fail. Who realistically has “spare” time? Schedule in the time to achieve your goal and do the needed action.

Focus – Don’t set yourself 10 resolutions when you already have a full schedule and a busy role. Focus on 1 change, or resolution, at a time and give that 100% focus. There are different views on how long it takes to form a habit however arguably after a month you will be well on your way to having formed a habit of the behaviour you seek – whether that is reading self-development books, making new contacts or being on time for your meetings.

Reward – setting up your own recognition or reward for achievement will encourage you to continue towards your goal. By having staged rewards you will monitor progress (another key aspect of achieving success) and ensure you progress along your journey.

SMART – make sure your resolution is SMART. At home, instead of “lose weight” a resolution will be more successful if it is “lose 6lb by 1st March”. If you are struggling with achieving deadlines at work, instead of “manage my emails”, a SMART resolution would be “complete my email filing each Friday and leave no more than 10 emails in my inbox”, ensuring your goals fit the brief of Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timed.

If you follow these 6 tips you have a fighting chance of achieving your resolution. Hang in there and good luck!

Please feel free to contact a member of our team if you would like help in putting your plans into action; together, we will achieve success.

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