2017 is here. As we hit the annual reset button and gear up for a fresh new year, about 45% of your fellow Americans are making New Year’s resolutions. If you’re one of the 45%, it’s likely your resolution falls into one of the popular personal categories like getting fit or saving money. While these habits are undoubtedly good for you, it’s also important to consider resolutions that can improve your work habits.
This year, consider using your resolutions to improve something professionally – either yourself or a process at work. Know, however, that more important than the content of your resolution is understanding how to stick with it. Here are my best tips for sticking to your resolutions for 2017:
1. Be specific
According to StatisticBrain.com, only 8% of people who initially set resolutions achieve them. I attribute this to ambiguity. It’s easy to set goals, but sticking with them requires specific steps and measurable actions. Organizing your email becomes a lot easier when you establish specific actions like “I will delete emails from my inbox if no response is required of me” or “I will use 30 minutes every Wednesday to catch up on any unread messages.”
2. Start Small
It may seem counter-intuitive to start small – after all, you’re determined to change! – but it can feel overwhelming to try to tackle everything at once. Try breaking your main goal into smaller, more attainable goals. It is easier to develop habits a little bit at a time, and the small achievements along the way will help you gain momentum toward the larger purpose.
I use these tricks to outline my own professional resolutions at the start of each year. I also use them to achieve measurable goals throughout the year. In our industry, topics like safety can never be stressed too much. Every day, on jobsites across the country, we resolve to keep our teammates, trade contractors, and partners safe. Like investing in a gym membership to get fit, we invest in planning, training, and equipment to prevent dangerous incidents on our jobsites. Though that will never change, the new year provides yet another opportunity for us to reinforce safety awareness. With this opportunity and a well-defined plan, we can keep our teams safe – and that’s a resolution I think we all share.