Sticking to Your New Year's Resolutions

new year resolution goals

We're 8 days into the New Year. I hear some people are already concerned about sticking to their new year's resolutions.

I can bet they're not alone. The first two months are the trickiest.

Failing to achieve personal new year's resolutions means letting yourself down. But when it comes to professional new year's resolutions, failure isn't an option.

If you're really inclined to stick to your professional new year's resolutions, there's one simple trick that will boost the odds in your favor.

Research conducted by Dominican University of California shows that people who write down their goals, share the information with a close friend and send weekly updates to them, are 33% more successful in accomplishing their stated goals than those who merely formulate goals.

Dr. Matthews, the brains behind the research, recruited over 200 participants from a wide variety of businesses, organizations and networking groups with wide variety of goals. Among others, participants objectives included completing a project, increasing income, increasing productivity, enhancing performance or life balance, and learning a new skill.

In order to measure the goal success rate, she assigned participants into 5 groups:

  • Group 1 – was asked to deeply analyse their business goals and the resources they had to accomplish them.
  • Group 2 – was also asked to write down their goals.
  • Group 3 – had to add action commitments for each goal.
  • Group 4 – needed to share their written goals and action commitments with a friend.
  • Group 5 – went furthest by doing all of the above plus sending weekly progress reports to their friend.

After the experiment, people in the Group 1 only accomplished 43% of their stated goals. Those in Group 4 accomplished 64% of their goals. The most successful were people in Group 5, with an average 76% of their goals accomplished.

This research indicates that:

  • People who write down their goals accomplish significantly more than those who don't write them down. Shocker right? Have heard this at least thousands of times. Yet, be honest, have you always written them down?
  • Sharing goals with your friend or a team-mate will increases your success rate by additional 33%.
  • Sending weekly progress reports to these people will increase your probability to succeed by another 16%.

How to make your New Year's resolutions stick?

Set proper goals, write them down, share with your team and send weekly progress reports. This tactic will give you the opportunity to achieve 3/4 of your goals.

This research also confirms what we believe in Weekdone. In order to achieve long-term goals, you need to make sure your everyday activities are aligned with these objectives. In recent years the OKR, Objectives and Key Results, method for setting and publishing goals, has seen a rapid increase in popularity. With the OKR trending, we see quite a lot of customers requesting just the goal setting feature without the weekly progress reporting part.

We believe that the two management techniques, OKR's for goal setting  and PPP's for recurring status reporting, should be used as integrated parts in team management. Weekly progress reports give you the insights into your team when you still have time to prevent disasters from happening or when great deed demand great praise. OKR's, on the other hand, give you the direction to strive for.

How are you planning to stick to your new year's resolutions? Share your insights in the comments.