Did you promise yourself you would achieve a goal this year, either professionally or personally? It happens every year, at this time, and many people make one tiny mistake or stumble a bit and then they give up.
You might, for example, promise yourself you will be more productive and get more done in the new year. Now, it’s January, and you’re back at your desk, ready to lead your social services organization in the new year, and… you’re already overwhelmed.
Emails, files, and messages have piled up on your desk. And, before you know it, you’re back to putting out fires instead of getting organized and being more proactive. You know there are a lot of technological tools out there – many free – that will help you gain control but you’re already stuck in your old routine.
So, what normally happens when you stumble out of the gate with your resolution? You give up…
And that’s okay – that is precisely what most people do when it comes to their New Years resolutions.
My suggestion to you is this – don’t give up. Well… that sounds simple, but it’s so easy to get discouraged. Many say they are going to lose weight – I think that’s the number one resolution – and they start out eating right and exercising that first week of each year (and my gym was PACKED last night!)
But then the weekend comes and that cheesecake is waaaay too hard to resist. And so they skip that Sunday workout. And then it’s Monday and… they’re back to their Quarter Pounder with Cheese combo meal for lunch and they’ve effectively given up.
Don’t think of your first stumble out of the gate as a complete failure.
Think of it as… Strike One! No, that’s not right. It’s too limiting. That means you only have Strike Two and Three to go before you can officially give up. Is there any analogy I can could use where you’re allowed to fail ten or twenty times?
It’s very hard to break a habit you’ve had for a long time. What’s important is you start over every time you stumble. There’s an old saying that says something like, “Do anything for twenty-one days straight and it will become a habit.” But it doesn’t suggest that you’ll get to those twenty-one days on Day One.
If you want to try new technology to make yourself more productive as a goal, give yourself small steps to achieve it rather than laying out a broad plan. Try downloading the software as a goal for your first three days. Then try spending a half an hour at the end of your day learning how to use it. Your goal for the second week might be to use the software for 5 days straight. But you only end up using it for 3 days. Well then, try 4 days as your goal for the following week. After a while, you’ll find you can’t live without your productivity solution (maybe after… 3 weeks or so!) and then it’s become a habit. And, suddenly, you’re being more productive!
Just don’t quit. If you fall off that horse, hop back on and try again. You’ll eventually wear down any resistance you have and you’ll be riding like a pro in no time at all. In fact, after a while, it’ll become instinct and you won’t even think about it.
Good luck and Happy New Year from Vertex Systems!