Beyond Babylonia: Goal setting for real people
Did you know that humans have been making New Year’s resolutions for about 4,000 years? Ancient Babylonians were known to mark the beginning of each new year by resolving to pay their debts and return items they had borrowed – in hopes that the gods would treat them favorably in the coming year. But were the Babylonians any better at keeping their resolutions than we are?
They say practice makes perfect, but it turns out there might be more to it than that. If that were the case, after 4,000 years, we would be pretty good at setting and achieving goals. And yet so many people struggle with goals, whether personal or professional – even highly motivated individuals who have very clear objectives.
But what do we have that the Babylonians didn’t? Decades of ongoing research on the psychology of goals. As a result, we have more tools for making lasting changes to our health and well-being – changes that can make us happier and more productive both at home and at work.
Setting smarter goals
Today’s researchers may have different approaches to setting and achieving goals, but they all agree that we need to set SMARTER goals:
- Specific: They target a particular area or outcome
- Measurable: You can measure your progress either quantitatively or qualitatively
- Achievable: They are individualized to make sense for you
- Realistic: They are practical and can be implemented in real life
- Time-bound: They include a time frame for achievement
- Ethical: They reflect your personal and professional ethics
- Rewarding: They result in a positive reward or bring you a feeling of accomplishment
We’ve made efforts all year to better connect with others, but now’s the time to connect with yourself. Take the time to think about what you need for self-care and what you want to achieve in the new year, both personally and professionally.
What’s your type?
Goals come in all shapes and sizes. In fact, there are three different types of goals. Being able to categorize yours may give you a leg up as you work towards it:
- Process goals: Forming new habits or new routines, like taking your vitamins in the morning or doing yoga once a week
- Performance goals: Spending set times performing a task, like walking for at least 30 minutes per day or spending an hour a week learning French on DuoLingo
- Outcome goals: Focusing on achieving a specific result, like losing a specific amount of weight, completing a particular challenge, or earning a certificate
Simple steps to success
No matter what type of goal you’re getting after, here are four simple steps that can help set you up for success:
- Make a detailed plan of action – what are you going to do, when, how, and where?
- Explore your options – learn what you can, talk to people who can help, and take advantage of all available resources
- Hold yourself accountable – or pair up with a buddy who will help do it for you
- Reward yourself – acknowledge your progress along the way and celebrate the milestones you are hitting in your journey
“Goal Get It” with AccessElite
As a leader, you have a unique opportunity to help your team identify their goals and provide the support they need to achieve them. AccessElite just introduced our new “Goal Get It” series that can help your employees get excited about 2022 – and feel supported as they strive for positive change and growth, both personal and professional. The series includes:
- Goal Setting Workshop: Learn how to use accountability to change your life, and how to take slow progressive steps to achieve any goal
- Mastering Morning Routines: Get the tools to set yourself up for success each day and lead a more productive life
- New Year, New Habits: Learn practical tips and new routines for physical, mental, and emotional health – customized for you
- How to Achieve a Growth Mindset: Spend time with a motivating life coach and find out how to resist becoming stagnant
- One-on-one Coaching: Partner with one of our specialists for a deep dive into how your organization can support your employees’ professional and personal goals.
Begin with the end in mind
“The most crucial aspect of goal-setting is to build an effective plan,” says Madhuleena Roy Chowdhury, a psychiatric counselor. “If we set goals by our character strengths, core values, level of motivation, and pledge on sticking to the plan until we reach the aim, there is no way that we won’t get there.”
AccessElite can be a powerful partner in helping you and your employees achieve their well-being goals, whether mental, social, emotional, or physical. To learn more about AccessElite’s “Goal Get It” series, one-on-one goal coaching, or other well-being offerings for 2022, reach out to email@example.com.