Resolution Evolution: Build Habits for Lasting Change

You may already be thinking about making some big, bold changes in 2023. But before you get too far into your resolution list, consider that about 80% of new year’s resolutions fail — usually by February. But don’t be discouraged! You can achieve lasting change in 2023 with an evolved approach to an old-school practice. 

Instead of making lofty, abstract resolutions this year, aim to build habits. Habits consist of concrete actions that become integrated parts of your life. This three-step mindset shift will help you grow on a personal and professional level while giving you the leadership chops to coach your team for lasting change.

1. Translate resolutions to goals

Resolutions are vague. They set intention without a plan, and the only endpoint is success or failure. On the other hand, goals get specific about what success looks like, encourage you to find a path to get there, and allow you to mark your progress along the way. Work to translate your abstract resolutions into attainable goals. 

Resolution: I will manage my time better

Goal: I will set up a time block schedule for my work days 

2. From goal to behavior

Get even more granular with your goals and elevate them from accomplishment to action. Identify the key actions you need to take — meaning the way you need to behave — to make your goal sustainable. Say you’ve already achieved your goal to set up a time block schedule. What’s next?

Behavior: I will recalibrate the schedule weekly as I discover the positive and negative impacts it has on my time management abilities.

3. From behavior to habit

Take your behavior to the next level and make it a habit. Habits are essentially automations — things you do regularly without making a conscious effort. It may sound daunting, and it will certainly take a conscious effort to put your habits into practice at the start. The key is to keep your focus small, narrow, and manageable. After a few weeks of faithful practice, your habits will become as second nature as brushing your teeth.

Habit: Every Friday, I will take thirty minutes at the end of the day to block out my schedule for the week ahead.

As you put this into place for yourself, consider how you can coach your team into successful habits. You’ve likely identified things you’d like them to work toward in Q1 of the coming year. Walk them through the process of identifying what success looks like (goals), the specific actions they need to take (behaviors), and the specific, ongoing practices that will support them (habits).  

Powerful question: Think back on a New Year’s resolution that “failed.” How could you revive it and build it into a habit this year? 

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