We all do it. January rolls around and everyone looks ahead to all the things they want to accomplish. Resolutions can be an inspiring way to kick off the new year, but what happens, months later, when nothing has been achieved and the commitment fades? There are many reasons New Year’s resolutions never come to pass. If a PMP® (or entire Project Team) wants to really move the needle and maintain their resolve, a few key strategies can help. New Year’s Resolutions, Pmp Style
Keep resolutions realistic
Don’t be afraid to set New Year’s resolutions that require you to stretch. They should inspire you to achieve something that’s difficult or outside your comfort zone. Unfortunately, many resolutions are well meaning but the target is placed much too high. It may be a goal that requires more time than can reasonably be set aside in just one year. It might rely on someone else’s approval, or access to resources outside your control. No matter why the goal is too far out of reach, once an individual realizes the likelihood of sticking to their resolution is zero, human nature says they’ll probably abandon the entire concept. A better strategy is to create resolutions that are realistic while also requiring that enough energy be devoted to the endeavor to make it meaningful.
Keep resolutions specific
Many New Year’s resolutions are too broad to be of any real use. A common example is the resolution to lose weight. Without some defining criteria, it offers no clear endpoint. It creates a situation that will likely lead to frustration and a lack of progress. Instead, just as with project planning, every New Year’s resolution should have an end goal that is finite and measurable. How will you know you’ve achieved success if you haven’t put in the legwork to define a picture of just what, exactly, that success looks like? Create an endpoint that not only gives you something solid to aim for, whether it’s a certificate in hand or a number on a scale, but one that will be motivating during your pursuit of success and rewarding when you reach it.
Keep resolutions logical
It’s often easy to identify a handful of resolutions you’d like to set. That’s the “what” part of the equation. What many people don’t consider is the “how” of reaching those goals. Before you dedicate yourself to a resolution, first chart a clear path of the steps that will be required to achieve success. Deciding you want to cultivate a new skill may become downright demoralizing, for example, if the timeframe necessary to accomplish that goal is simply impossible. Anything from course availability to budget restrictions could stand in the way of your success. Before committing to a resolution, it’s crucial that you break each one down into its parts, so you can see if it’s a goal that is both worth achieving as well as achievable.
Keep resolutions current
A resolution may sound like a winner in the first days after the calendar page changes, when budgets are fresh and aspirations are high. However, as you move through the year, be sure to not only revisit your resolutions but also be willing to reexamine how they fit into your everyday workload and broader ambitions. Has your Project Team’s focus changed in a way that renders a resolution obsolete or unachievable? Have there been changes in your life or career—an unexpected job opportunity or a new baby on the way—that might call for a rethinking of what you want the future to look like? Your resolutions must be able to evolve if their original parameters change.