How to Make Business Resolutions Stick
Have you been keeping up with your New Year’s resolutions? How about your business resolutions?
According to a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, more than a third of us are well on our way to breaking our New Year’s resolutions. Statistically, it’s due to happen by the end of this month.
Perhaps we can blame physiology. Social scientists have recently discovered that glucose levels in our bloodstream — the energy that fuels our brain — can impact our willpower. But sugar-filled treats don’t have to be our only hope for success.
Research has shown that we can reinforce our willpower by properly setting up our expectations, and our environment. The New York Times, Forbes and other media have all weighed in on how we can create a force for resolution success.
Here are some of the factors for success that can be applied to your 2013 business resolutions:
Step 1: Establish your goals — set clear, measurable, action-oriented objectives. Less is more here. Focus on one or two of your top business objectives.
Step 2: Make a commitment plan — give yourself some time parametres and create a work back schedule to follow. Most importantly, write it down and share your business resolutions with someone you trust. This last step increases your accountability.
Step 3: Get support for your success — be purposeful and plan ahead. For business, know your numbers. Get external support and outsource when you need to, in order to move ahead. Share your achievements with that person you trust.
Step 4: Give yourself rewards or penalties — a little perk here and there (e.g. taking an extra long coffee break), or a little deterrent (e.g. giving up something you really can’t go without, like a morning coffee or dessert) will help you stay motivated.
Step 5: Get back on track if you’re de-railed — don’t over-react if you find yourself getting off track. Remember, you can always start fresh. This is a fluid process.
If you follow these 5 steps, the odds of success are in your favour — the stats tell us so. A recent study by stickK.com (a site started by economists at Yale) found:
- Only 29% of people are successful in keeping their resolutions when they haven’t shared their goals with someone or established a deterrent for failure.
- That figure jumps to a 59% success rate, when people tell someone about their resolutions.
- When people put a “financial” deterrent in place, 71.5% reach their goals.
- When people do both — tell someone and keep a financial deterrent or “penalty” — the success rate jumps to 80%.
Here’s to your business success in 2013!