It is said that positive affirmations are vital to the success of any endeavor. While good vibes could work for some, you might need something more concrete to ensure growth.
Research shows that key factors hold people back from successful career resolutions. Understanding those pitfalls (and how to avoid them) will get you on the path to success this coming year.
Of the myriad of resolutions committed to on January 1, an average of 16% are related to career, and 13% are financially motivated, according to Statista.com.
Studies show that nearly 80% of all New Year’s resolutions fail. Research has even pinpointed the exact date most people abandon their well-meaning intentions. Fitness app, Strava unsympathetically refers to it as “Quitter’s Day,” according to them, that’s January 17, a mere two and a half weeks into the year.
This might signal that more and more Americans are considering resolutions in terms of a fresh start and not as a catalyst for long-term change. So how can you set yourself apart from them and make your 2023 resolutions stick?
Their Approach To Resolutions
Many Americans setting New Year’s resolutions fall into the same patterns that hamper their success. Failed resolutions can be the result of the following:
- Too many resolutions;
- Vague goals;
- No clear “why”;
- No accountability; or
Your Approach To Resolutions
You can avoid making these mistakes in 2023 with a few simple tips:
Prioritize Focus Areas
Don’t over-commit yourself. One in 10 people who failed to complete their resolutions attributes the failure to setting too many resolutions.
These are resolutions we’re talking about, not a laundry list of everything in your life that could benefit from a little boost. Get clear on your top aspirations for the year, and save yourself the headache of an unrealistic plan by choosing just one or two areas of focus.
Perhaps you want to grow your professional network this year, or you are keen to build up your portfolio with new projects.
Maybe you want to focus on professional development by attending courses, or you’ve got a promotion in your sights and are working towards that new gig. Narrowing your focus areas will provide clarity and direction for the year ahead.
Set SMART Goals
Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Your 2023 resolutions should have all of these adjectives; if not, you are not making SMART goals.
Studies have shown that specific and challenging goals are 90% more successful than vague, “do your best”-style goals. Think of your resolutions as a project that you are managing at work. Push yourself to think big but plan small with bite-sized, achievable milestones that contribute to a broader resolution on which you can hang your hat at the end of the year.
Solidify Your “Why”
Before the clock rolls over to 2023, hone in on why you have chosen this particular resolution. Identify intrinsic motivators along with extrinsic ones.
Exclusively externally-motivated people tend to experience short-term success only and then burn out, while intrinsically motivated people can push past common roadblocks and achieve long-term results.
Think of factors like satisfaction, connectedness, autonomy, mastery or purpose. Are you motivated by any of these in your career?
Be Accountable, and Make Others Accountable Too
Studies show that of those who did not accomplish their resolutions, 33% failed to keep track of their progress, and 23% forgot about their resolutions altogether.
Successful resolutions are often the result of an accountable goal-setter. Reflect regularly on the milestones you created in your SMART goals, and if you’ve gotten off track, set a plan to make up the lost ground.
Requesting feedback throughout the year from trusted friends, coaches or colleagues can also benefit goal-achievers tremendously. If you can, choose an accountability partner to check in with regularly.
Get Real About What’s Holding You Back
We all want to achieve success in our lives, but according to Gay Hendricks’ The Big Leap, people have an “upper limit” to the amount of success they believe they are worthy of. Anything above that level may prompt you to unconsciously self-sabotage. It may be hard to notice when the shift is happening.
Still, with careful reflection and accountability techniques, you could overcome unconscious tethers that are holding you back from achieving your biggest career goals.
Some tools to overcome self-sabotage are to:
- Avoid the self-imposed limit on your success by reflecting on your beliefs;
- Pause at each milestone and celebrate your accomplishments;
- Don’t take any impulsive actions after a major success; and
- Pay it forward by using that newfound success to benefit others.
Bonus: Get Enough Sleep
According to research, improving work performance is inhibited by a lack of sleep. Studies have even shown that sleep-deprived individuals in management roles are described as less ethical and not as alert at work. Avoid this resolution-breaker by getting consistently good sleep throughout the year.
A Recipe for a Successful 2023
With these tips in mind, you will set yourself on the path to becoming one of the 20% who will achieve their resolutions in 2023. Keep in mind that obstacles will always arise, but when they do, remember the words of Robert Collier, “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”
This post was produced and syndicated by Career Step Up.
Featured image credit: Shutterstock