At the time of this writing, the calendar page has turned to reveal a new year, brimming with opportunity and potential. Traditionally, the beginning of the year is a time when people set both personal and professional resolutions.
While goal setting can (and does) happen year-round, the beginning of the year is a helpful impetus to set new targets for the upcoming year. Unfortunately, statistics show that nearly 80% of new year’s resolutions are abandoned by the end of February.
The remaining 20% continue to fade away, and ultimately only 8% of goals made as part of a new year resolution are reached. What does it take to be included in the 8%? And what about all those unfulfilled goals hanging out there, undone, at the end of the previous year?
Why do so many people fail to reach their goals? As it turns out, there are some similarities in why people abandon their goals – no matter what time of year it may be.
Unclear goals. Vague goals, such as “Lose weight” or “Increase sales” can make it difficult to be successful. With a nebulous target, you are less likely to be motivated to work towards the goal.
Yogi Berra once remarked, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you might end up someplace else.” In goal setting, this is particularly true. Without a clear idea of where you’re trying to go, you likely will never get there.
Goals that are out of reach are less likely to be pursued or achieved.
It is easy to become impatient when working towards a goal. If a goal is not being met fast enough, or if there have been setbacks in the progress, many people want to abandon their goal completely. Learning to work through those obstacles is an important facet of goal-setting.
Rather than giving up on the goal, encourage all your team members to reassess the goal and adapt it for the future. This may mean extending the deadline, crafting a more defined goal, or abandoning the goal altogether for a different priority.
Use SMART goal setting to help ensure that goals are well-written. Touch base frequently with team members to monitor progress on their goals and make minor course corrections as needed.
High achievers are more likely to feel depressed as a result of not reaching their goal.
Unsure if you have any high achievers in your office? Find out how many of your team members made (and kept) their resolutions last year. Then ask those individuals if they made new resolutions this year. Chances are good if they answered ‘yes’ to both, they’re high achievers. Help them reframe their ‘failure’ as helpful feedback that can help them in the future.
According to a 2015 IPSOS poll, only about 30% of Canadians set new year’s resolutions. Of those, 73% are bound to break their resolution. What does it take to be a part of the elite group that accomplishes their goals? Goal setting.
Goal setting is one of the most effective tools used in business. It can radically improve customer service, boost sales, cultivate a positive work environment and more. If you’re serious about changing the trajectory of your business in a positive manner, implementing a strategic goal-setting plan should be a priority. Are you ready to harness the power of goal setting with your team?
Michele Bailey is president and CEO of Blazing Agency and My Big Idea®. These two lines of business work congruently to support her clients’ success.