We're a few weeks into the new year, and at this point, most of us have probably assessed ourselves in some way to gauge how we're feeling towards our New Year's resolutions. Some of us may still be feeling strong and resilient, while others may be starting to feel our motivation wane.
Unfortunately, statistics show that 80 percent of people will fall into the latter category‚ we will suffer from loss of motivation and will fail to stay true to our New Year's resolutions. There are numerous reasons why this can happen, but one specific reason is that the goal we set for ourselves isn't relevant or specific enough to us as individuals.
This translates well to career resolutions. Maybe the intention you set for yourself in the new year is to surpass your colleague in sales dollars or log an above-average number of opportunities in your CRM. It's great to have New Year's goals like these, but they have a flaw‚ these goals aren't specific enough to you as an individual. They are based on a comparison you have made between yourself and your colleagues.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Take, for example, a doctor treating a patient. The doctor must design a treatment plan that is specific to his/her patient's physical traits, diseases, tolerances and allergies (among other factors) if the patient's health is to improve. The doctor would never design a treatment plan by saying, "This approach worked for 25-year-old Sally who suffered from poor sleep, so it must work for 65-year-old John who suffers from diabetes, too." The doctor wouldn't design a treatment plan by comparing one patient to another because he/she knows it would fail and could perhaps even make the patient's health worse!
Similarly, you must design a resolution that is specific to you and your motivations, talents, and values if you want to improve your job performance. What drives you is different than what drives your colleagues. Yes‚ you may be on the same sales team, but you each have your own motivators.
Attainable Resolutions are Personalized
Say your New Year's resolution is to sell more than John, the company's top salesperson last year. John is a young, single new hire. He lives to work, and his primary focus at this time in his life is to earn and save as much as possible so he can buy his own house. You, on the other hand, are a parent of two elementary-school-aged children. Your primary focus at this time in your life is to be the best parent to your children. Both you and John received wonderful reviews from your manager last year, and your manager is an understanding person who permits flexible schedules. John is happy because this allows him to come in as early and stay as late as he wants, and you're happy because you can be at your children's recitals or games when needed.
It's easy to see from this example that you and John are motivated by different things, which means it's very unlikely that you'll be able to achieve your resolution of surpassing John in sales. Unless, of course, either your values or his values change in the coming year. Perhaps instead of setting a New Year's resolution based solely on John's sales numbers, you should look inward and consider yourself and your own values. Realizing that family is what's most important to you, you can set a more reasonable sales dollar goal based on your own past performance and values, rather than John's. This makes for an all-around more achievable New Year's resolution for you!
Are you starting to feel your motivation toward your New Year's resolution fade? Could it be because you set a goal based on a comparison to someone else? If so, don't fret‚ it's not too late to set a new intention for your year! This time, take a deep dive into your values and motivations before setting your resolution, and you'll create one that is more specific to you as an individual, and, therefore, more achievable!