Using Accountability to Save Your Resolutions
As we enter the second week of January, a simple glance around a packed gym or a bustling produce section at the grocery store tells me that the health and wellness resolutions that were made on January 1st are successful (so far). Hopefully, resolutions extended beyond our waistlines and you are noticing higher productivity around the office, cleaner desks, and coworkers expressing their desire to take on more responsibilities this year.
Excitement surrounding resolutions is typically high at the beginning of the year; however, that enthusiasm has a tendency to fade as we get closer to Valentine’s Day and disappear completely by the 4th of July. What can save our resolutions from slowly dissolving is finding ways to hold ourselves accountable for an entire twelve-month period.
If a lack of accountability in the past has you doubting the sustainability and achievability of this year’s work-related resolutions, consider implementing some of these ideas:
Create visibility: Simply displaying your resolutions in a highly visible location can serve as a reminder of the goals that you are working towards. While you may prefer to make your resolutions into a decorative, framed piece on your desk, a post it note on the corner of your computer screen has the same effect. The key is choosing an area around your work space that will catch your eye at least once a day.
Create a social support system: When it comes to health and wellness resolutions, there are a variety of apps, fitness groups and even friends to help you with accountability year-round. All of these prove that social support is an integral part of following through on resolutions. Try creating your own support system in your office by starting conversations with team members about their resolutions. If you find someone with comparable goals, find out how you can keep each other accountable and actually reach your goals this year.
Create a schedule: Since resolutions start fading fast once February begins, it is important to create a schedule outlining benchmarks, milestones and important events before the excitement of the new year dies down. Use this schedule as a reference of your progress and a reminder of what you resolved to accomplish.
Create a reward system: While the ultimate reward is accomplishing your goals and keeping your resolutions, a reward system can be used to encourage accountability. For example, if one of your resolutions is to organize your computer files once a month, plan on treating yourself to a decadent caffeinated beverage once you are done. Similarly, if you resolved to seek feedback from your manager on a regular basis, take yourself to lunch on the days that you have a meeting to discuss your performance. These small rewards will provide some extra incentive to meet your goals each month.
Accountability truly is the key to keeping your resolutions beyond the first month of the year and achieving your goals. Implement these creative ways to save your resolutions from disappearing this year!