Thursday, January 11, 2018

Want to Achieve Your 2018 Goals? Dig Deeper


This week's blog comes to us courtesy of Michael Schneider at Inc. Magazine.  Thanks, Michael!


It's an exciting time of year. You're in the process of closing out 2017 while simultaneously gearing up for a successful 2018. If you're like me, you've already started to draft a list of New Year's resolutions and have tons of ideas on things you want to accomplish to make 2018 your best year yet.

In 2017, these were the Top 10 New Year’s resolutions from Statistic Brain:

1. Lose Weight/Healthier Eating
2. Life/Self Improvement
3. Better Financial Decisions
4. Quit Smoking
5. Do More Exciting Things
6. Spend More Time with Family/Close Friends
7. Work Out More Often
8. Learn Something New On My Own
9. Do More Good Deeds For Others
10. Find The Love Of My Life

I don't want to crush your hopes, but statistically speaking, only 9.2 percent of us will actually achieve our wishes.

The reasons behind the loss of good intentions are vast. But, I am willing to bet that they all boil down to one thing -- a lack of sustainable motivation.

One of my go-to resources on the subject is Jen Shirkani's book Choose Resilience: Break Out of Your Comfort Zone Using the Power of Emotional Intelligence. In it, Shirkani (EQ expert) talks about the hurdles she's overcome throughout her life and the best practices that helped her choose resilience when everything seemed to be taking a turn for the worse.

Shirkani encourages everyone to find "the spark to move" (a source of sustainable energy). Through her experience, Shirkani has found that "the best way to cultivate that energy is to better understand why you desire the particular change in the first place."

Here are the eight common motivators that Shirkani says can help you choose resilience in the face of adversity:

1. Recognition
"You are energized by public acknowledgment and by being praised and valued for the things you do."

If this is the case, then a good strategy is to find an accountability partner or to tell others that you're working towards a specific goal. In my case, the fear of letting someone else down (other than myself) motivates me to push forward. 

2. Challenge
"The high you get from fixing things that others can't, you specialize in creative solutions for difficult situations."

If you feel a great sense of accomplishment after tackling a colossal feat, then it's a good sign that you're motivated by challenging work. To set yourself up for success, make sure to identify goals that allow you to take interpersonal risks and think creatively.

3. Opportunity for growth
"You feel most alive when you are learning, so you take opportunities to develop yourself..."

If this is you, then make sure that you set aside frequent opportunities through 2018 to work on developing your abilities. Most companies have budgets for this that no one even knows about. Make sure to voice your interest and map out a plan of attack to ensure you acquire the skills necessary for progression.

4. Career advancement
"You derive satisfaction from building your responsibilities at work and progressing up the organizational chart..."

More than likely, your organization has a succession plan that they can share with you if you're interested in moving up the ladder. The important things are to uncover those competencies early and start practicing them now.

5. Money
"You feel jazzed about working hard to earn bonuses, commissions, or financial rewards..."

If that's the case, then figure out your earning potential (merit increases, bonuses, and commissions) and post them everywhere you look. More importantly, develop a plan to ensure you hit your targets.

6. Making a difference
"You experience a sense of peace, happiness, and meaning when you work to improve the lives of others or contribute to society."

All this usually takes is a perspective change. Every day, all around us, are opportunities to serve others. Instead of dreading your work or the process of achieving your goals, envision that you're doing it for someone else, i.e., your manager, family, or in service for the greater good. 

7. Incentives
"You love the thrill of competitive activities and enjoy earning prizes associated with success..."

Whether it's salesman of the year, rookie of the year, or most improved, if you're motivated by recognition or contests, then ensure you frame your resolutions for 2018 around an incentive that is worth making sacrifices for.

8. Work-life balance
" You have more energy for participating or leading when you have flexibility in your schedule..."

For some of us, our most reliable sources of motivation are our families, friends, or hobbies. It's having the balance between goals and the people/things that inspire us. Totally immersing yourself in your aspirations can lead to early fatigue and burnout. It's counterintuitive, but sometimes the best way to push forward is to take a break and enjoy the things in life that energize us.

If you've had a hard time keeping your resolutions, then maybe it's time for a gut-check. Tapping into one of these motivators could be the key to helping you achieve something never before possible.



Michael Schneider is a human capital specialist. He concentrates on talent management, specifically employer branding, recruiting, onboarding, and talent development. Schneider believes that people are an organization's most reliable form of sustainable competitive advantage and focuses on strategies to maximize their potential. He describes himself as a people geek, HR innovator, and, most important, an employee advocate.

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