Approximately half of all Americans make New Year’s resolutions yet only 8% actually achieve them.
It is now two and half weeks into the New Year. How many of your New Year’s resolutions have you broken already? How can you make safety an every day habit not a New Year’s resolution forgotten within a few weeks.
Behavioural psychologists suggest that there are a few things you can do to help goals stick. These can be applied to your own New Year’s resolutions and to achieving better safety at work.
- Don’t change everything at once. When thinking of your goals, make a list and focus on one behaviour change or habit at a time.
- Set a clear goal. Your goal might be to get fit but what do you mean exactly? Do you intend to lose a certain number of kilos? Run a half marathon in 6 months time? Bench-press 40kgs? Make sure your goals are specific. You can use the SMART acronym to define your goals. Make them Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. The first step to behaviour change is to clearly understand what your goal is.
- Track your progress. “If you can measure it, you can change it”. If you know where you started and where you are now, you can see changes and be motivated by them. They will also help you to identify if you hit a plateau so you can adjust your efforts.
- Have patience. You must set realistic goals – the “A” in the SMART goal setting. Some people will see rapid gains but then hit a plateau. For others, progress may be slow but then they suddenly achieve breakthroughs. If you want changes to stick, it takes time – according to some research, it takes about 66 days to form a new habit so don’t give up early.
- Don’t do it alone. Enlist the help of an expert if you need to. If you are looking to run that half marathon, maybe you need a running coach. Tell your friends and family what you want to achieve, and they are more likely to help you stay focused when you are having an ‘off’ day or week.
- Put it on your diary. How often do you hear people say they can’t “find the time” to do something. Nobody finds time. To make your new goals a priority actually schedule them into your calendar. If you have a fitness goal make time for your workouts – it may mean setting your alarm an hour earlier 3 times a week, but you can find time. Think of these time blocks as dentist appointments, they are hard to get so you don’t move them unless absolutely necessary.
- Stop feeling guilty if you get off track. None of us are perfect. It is better to do something rather than doing nothing. If the car breaks down and needs repairing so you can’t save 10% of monthly wage, just save what you can. Any effort towards your goal is better than no effort. Don’t turn a small lapse into a permanent relapse. Instead, just acknowledge what went wrong and get back to working towards your goal.
Achieving goals isn’t about having willpower. It’s about developing the right skills to make changes in your habits. Good luck with your personal New Year’s resolutions but if you or your construction firm want to make safety a goal for 2017 – “don’t do it alone“; Siteapp has many features which will help with health and safety compliance on every project your staff are working on, every day of the year.