A new year has come, and with that a lot of new year’s resolutions. One of the pitfalls people face when starting the new year is that they want to change their lifestyle in a big way. They want to go to the gym, drink enough water, eat healthy, get up early, eat less sugar, and so on. On top of that, there are a lot of new goals to achieve in their career. This can feel very overwhelming, especially if the goals are as vague and big as the ones I just mentioned.
There’s nothing wrong with setting a big ideal like “I want to be healthy”. The problem is that most people stop there. To actually have a healthy lifestyle, you must ask yourself what that means to you. Is it losing 5 kilos? Is it eating more vegetables and less meat? Is it exercising 3 times a week? Decide what this statement really means to you and get your goal as clear as possible. Once you have your goal, you should ask yourself the questions what daily, weekly or monthly habits you can add in your life to achieve this goal.
If your goal is to run a marathon, you will not get there without a clear plan. You have to create the habit of running 3 times a week. You have to set milestones for yourself like running a 5K, running a 10K, running a half marathon and in the end, you’ll run that full marathon. But you will not cross that finish line by only stating you want to run a marathon.
The same applies to any goal you want to achieve. If you want to have a successful new year’s resolution, you should think about the habits that will get you to your goal.
You can also transfer this to your work-related goals. Everybody wants to be more productive, get more clients and have better results. The ones that will achieve these ideals are the ones who make these goals clearer, determine the different milestones on the way and create real habits around them.
A great exercise to try with your team is thinking about your current habits, and especially your bad habits. What kind of behavior is your team displaying at this moment that is working against you? Are you always starting meetings 10 minutes late? Are you forgetting to take notes during meetings? Is there a problem with communication which results in bad performance and missed deadlines?
Once you and your team have stated your “bad habits”, you can transform them into new habits. What is the behavior you desire? If you always start 10 minutes late, decide with the entire team that everyone shows up 10 minutes early to have a small chat, and begin the meeting very promptly. If there’s a lack of feedback, plan small feedback meetings every Friday afternoon. If people are missing their deadlines frequently, do a check-in every Monday morning where everyone states their to-do’s of the week and their process.
Get to work with your team and find your areas of improvement. Choose fitting habits that can get you the desired outcome.
A last, very important tip about choosing team habits. Don’t take on too much! From those new habits you created with the team, chose one to implement each quarter. Once you implemented the first habit, you can add a new one each quarter. At the end of the year, you will feel the difference. And since the team created the habits together, it will be more likely that everyone sticks to them. For some extra motivation you could pick a nice reward your team gets when implementing this new behavior with success.
I think you know what to do during your next team meeting!