Four Ways to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions

By Manny Rodriguez, M.S.

bSci21 Contributing Writer

It is close to that time of year again, people start making “new years resolutions.”  Within weeks to a few months, many will face obstacles, challenges, or simply choose not to live up to their just-defined resolution. 

Lose weight

Travel more

Date someone new

Get a new job

Save more

So many kinds of “resolutions” are doomed to fail without the use of goal setting.  For many years, goal setting has been a fabric of what makes great organizations run smoothly, achieve tangible outcomes, and motivate employees to succeed.  Without goal setting, people lack clear direction, and people get frustrated at a lack of progress of achievements.

Why Goal Setting?

In organizations, goals set up employees with a clear direction and point of achievement. In our personal life, a goal does the very same thing.  By setting goals, we provide a signal for the opportunity to celebrate, for the receipt of reward and recognition, essentially claim “victory.”

When you are ready to begin thinking about your plans for 2016, don’t set a new years resolution, set 2016 goals and work through the following tips around goal setting proven by the science of human behavior.

To fill your holiday cheer and inspire you for 2016 success, here are four goal-setting tips to spur your motivation to achieve those goals:

Make the goal difficult, yet obtainable.  Stay away from stretch goals as this can be far reaching and can lead to demotivation.

Make sure the goal is under your control. 

Relying on others can be the very differentiator between success and failure.

Set the goals specifically by:

  • Looking at what others are doing,
  • Understanding “best practices”
  • Seeking input from friends, colleagues, mentors
  • Defining the outcome specifically so you can measure progress along the way

Create the ultimate goal and sub-goals.  You know where your starting point is.  Define the final outcome you are trying to achieve, and then define “baby steps” along the way.  Sub-goals allow for shaping behavior, and you can contact positive consequences for achieving the “small steps” towards the big outcome.

Remember, slow and steady wins the race, or better – shaping helps achieve goals!  

Let us know about your goal-setting successes or failures in the comments below, and be sure to subscribe to bSci21 via email to receive the latest articles directly to your inbox!

Manny Rodriguez, M.S.

Manny Rodriguez, M.S. has over ten years experience, working with organizations across the globe within the Fortune 1000. He is an accomplished practitioner in the field of Behavior Analysis, highly regarded by his customers and colleagues alike. Manny is especially skilled at facilitating business teams to execute strategic plans and preparing leaders to engage employees to reach their maximum potential. Manny holds the position of Director of Continuing Education and Product Development for ABA Technologies, a pioneer in online professional development of behavior analysts, and is also the President of the Organizational Behavior Management Network. You can contact him at [email protected].

Manny Rodriguez and ABA Technologies, Inc provides products and services for Behavior Analysts and the general public. Online Professional Development in ABA, Coaching/Mentoring Behavior Analysts, Speaking engagements such as Workshops/Seminars/Webinars, and Expert Consulting in ABA, OBM, Instructional Design and Teaching Behavior Analysis. For more information, contact [email protected].

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