Symbols and Methods: How To Push Your Resolutions To the Finish Line

Symbols and Methods: How To Push Your Resolutions To the Finish Line

The beginning of the year is an extremely popular time for many to begin journeys towards achieving their goals for the year. And we don’t blame them for leaping onto the resolution bandwagon. The significance of a new year as a symbolic starting line can give you a motivational boost in achieving your resolutions. This symbolic fresh start also has an impact in one’s work life, and many professionals decide to set work goals during the beginning of the year with the intention of accomplishing them. However, this doesn’t always happen. As with regular, non-work related resolutions, work resolutions can also go unaccomplished because of one’s inability to properly assess their abilities and limitations, and because one sets vague goals without a methodical approach to reaching that goal. We propose a more structured way of accomplishing one’s goals, with the use of milestone setting as behavioral signposts that give you the best chance at accomplishing your resolutions within the workplace, and hopefully, you’ll take these lessons and apply them beyond the office.

A Methodical Approach

Resolutions that’re made with a more methodical approach are the ones more likely to be accomplished. Research shows that most goals are abandoned by the 12th of January, however, the goals that are pursued longer are ones with specific aims in mind rather than vague and generic ones, i.e ‘lose weight’, ‘exercise more’, or ‘save money’. Rather, specific targets should be set, i.e. ‘go to the gym 3 times a week’, ‘reduce your iced latte intake by 2 per week’. Naturally, workplace goals will be more specific and methodical, with examples of likely-to-succeed work goals being ‘adding a new skill to the skillset part of your resume’, or ‘make at least 3 new work connection every month’ and hopefully, this will increase the likelihood of you accomplishing your goals.

Aside from making your resolutions more specific, a methodical approach requires creating a system in the creation of your goals. Most people get discouraged when they don’t reach their resolutions in time, and this chips away at your motivation until you unfortunately give up on them. Sticking to your goals is important, but it is also key to be realistic about how much time it’ll take to accomplish your goals. However, here is where symbols come into play.

Symbols as Milestones

Despite work resolutions generally not involving an entire organization, and usually centered around an individual worker’s actions, we can still implement culture strategies to an individual’s development, i.e. using behavioral methods such as having smaller milestones act as motivational boosts, to act as a symbol for our development, as well as a system that prevents you from slowing down in the last legs of your professional journey.

Studies conducted on students’ studying habits and and peoples’ exercise habits show that students tended to study more for classes in which they found the subject enjoyable. The recognition of the importance of studying didn’t result in them studying more, rather, they studied more if they thought the subject was fun. We can translate this into a strategy to succeed at your work goals, by focusing on or finding an enjoyable aspect of your work goal, and using it to drive your motivation all the way to the finish line.

However, you can also obtain quick bursts of enjoyment through breaking your goals into smaller milestones. These milestones act as symbols of your achievements, which, if accomplished, naturally give one enough of a burst of joy and self-accomplishment that will propel one to reaching their next milestone.

Looking To The Future

Finding the enjoyment in your efforts to accomplish your goals, will ultimately be the driving factor that leads you to complete your resolutions. Crucial to the success of this strategy is the implementation of the method to optimize the chances of accomplishing your goals, as well as the symbolic milestones that you put in place in order not to lose your drive.

With this in mind, we hope that you’ll be able to succeed in your goal setting and achieving!

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