It is hard to believe that 2019 is already coming to a close. The new decade is just around the corner and feels full of opportunity and excitement. Of course, you can make changes and set goals at any time of year, but January 1 offers a chance to check in with how things are going and you may find yourself with some additional motivation as others around you also work on new year’s resolutions. Today, we wanted to share some tips for setting goals for the new year so that you can start 2020 ready to conquer. While we wrote these tips with the lab in mind, you can apply them to personal goals as well!
Make your goals achievable
The new year is a time for optimism, but if you set goals that are unrealistic you will find yourself quickly giving up. It would be great if you could double your lab’s productivity over the next three months, but if you know deep down this is nearly impossible, it isn’t the goal you want to set. Instead, take time to be analytical and set a goal you can meet. You may want to set two goals, one that feels very attainable and another stretch goal so that you aren’t limiting yourself while ensuring you don’t get discouraged by impossibility.
Create measurable goals
“Things in the lab will run more smoothly.” While this is an admirable goal, it is difficult to measure, which means that it will be difficult to know if you have been successful or not. Instead, when setting your goal consider how you will track success. For example, “the lab will reduce safety-related incidents by 33% over the next 5 months.” As long as you have data about last year, you will know exactly what targets you need to hit in order to meet your goal.
Ensure you feel ready
New Year’s is a great excuse to make a change, but if you aren’t truly ready for that change you are setting yourself up for failure. Think long and hard about the goals you want to set and if you, and if applicable your team, are truly ready to commit to making a change. If not, what tools or knowledge do you need to get there? Focus on this first and get everyone on board, it will make you more successful in the long-run even if you don’t get to kick things off on New Year’s Day.
Set-up a reward system
The most fun part of goal setting is celebrating your successes, not to mention this will increase your motivation to keep going. Set small milestones along the way and plan to celebrate them. For example, maybe you host a happy hour for your team or treat yourself to that new sweater you have been eyeing. Choose something that will serve as a reward, but that won’t throw you off track from continuing your progress.
Break it down
If you are setting a larger, ambitious goal, it can quickly feel overwhelming. Breaking this big resolution into smaller, achievable goals will may it easier to stay on track and will give you small wins to celebrate along the way. This will increase motivation as you work toward completing the larger goal.
Remember that you can make adjustments
In life, things rarely ever go as planned and the same will probably be true for the goal you set. The amazing thing about goals is that they are not rigid! They can be adjusted to match the real world around you. So if things start going off course, don’t give up! Make adjustments and keep going.
Get the team involved
If the goal you want to set involves your team, you should get their input during the goal-setting process. Do they think the goal is realistic? Are they on board with it? Are there changes they would make? Giving them autonomy over a portion of the process will make them more engaged and more likely to commit to the goal as well.
Give yourself the tools you need
No goal will succeed if you don’t have the tools you need to achieve them. Whether they are items you need to invest in or knowledge you need to gain, when you are setting your goal, also write down what you will need to achieve it and how you plan to access those things. If you don’t do this, achieving your goal can begin to feel like you showed up to the SAT’s without a pencil.
After reading this, you are probably beginning to realize that achieving your goals is difficult. However, it is also very rewarding and is absolutely worth the effort. The key to success is committing to your goal and not giving up even when things aren’t going the right way. If you do that, you will have success even if the end result is not what you imagined when you were starting out.
We hope these tips help your lab conquer the new decade head-on! What goals are you setting for the new year? Let us know on Twitter, @Conserisapp. Happy New Year!
*Conseris is a data collection application designed to help researchers collect data more efficiently and securely. Learn more: www.conseris.io.