Welcome back from the Veretis team! We hope everyone had a great holiday season and are settling back into work well.
To kick the year off, our January Psych Up! topic is ‘Keeping the Momentum Going’. Following on from our December topic of goal setting and New Year resolutions, we will be exploring how to ensure that we follow through on these goals and maintain a healthy and happy mindset throughout 2020.
What does this mean?
The first step is creating new habits. Establishing new processes, even as small getting a salad for lunch one day a week help you gradually work towards your goals. It takes approximately 66 days to form a habit. If you can make it through the first push, then you are settled in for the rest of the year.
However, to effectively set and maintain these habits, you need to prioritise them. It’s easy for people to tell you to prioritise your goals – but once you get back into your usual work/play/sleep routine, it becomes much more difficult. You have deadlines, stressors, relationship and personal issues that all start arising. Sometimes all it takes is one day of feeling like pizza instead of a salad, and you give up on the whole goal.
Our previous blog posts have looked at overcoming setbacks and maintaining motivation , which can help you consistently strive to achieve your goals. But before you deal with these setbacks, you need to ensure the building blocks are stable. Through creating good habits and prioritising them, you can start your journey to progress and achieving your goals.
So how do I set these good habits?
Creating good habits requires commitment, perseverance and resilience. There are a few handy hints you can use to try and make it past the 66 day threshold, and set your habits into daily routine.
- Link your new habit to an existing one. For example, if your goal was to become more aware of global issues. When you wake up in the morning and check your phone to turn off your alarm, spend 10 minutes reading the top news headlines. Gradually, checking your phone will become associated with reading headlines, and you will begin to increase your awareness of global issues.
- Share your new habit. Tell people that you are trialling a new idea and changing your behaviour – you can even ask them to check in with you. This consolidates the idea in your own mind, and leads to increased accountability.
- Make yourself accountable. Write your habit down and tick things off. Set follow up dates – work on your new habit for a minimum of 30 days, with no exceptions. Then, try to extend this to 50 days, then 70. This takes you over the threshold of 66 days, and your new habit should be fully formed.
How do I prioritise these tasks?
- Write down all of the tasks that you want to achieve that day.
- Take a minute to identify whether you will actually be able to complete those tasks in that day. If not, make a second ‘ongoing projects’ list.
- Put them in order of urgency for the day – considering if one task is essential for another to be completed, or if other people are waiting on specific tasks
- Move the task you are least looking forward to doing to first. Get it over and done with, and be proud of yourself for doing so.
- At the end of the day, write a list of things that you might not have got around to so you can start fresh the next day with another list of priorities. The tasks moved to the next day should be labelled ‘2’, and continue to increase as the day does. Then, try to complete the highest numbers as they are the ones you have been putting off for the longest.
- Focus on one task at a time – it can be easy to get distracted when you hit a block at work. You might want to jump from one task to the other, but this can end up being detrimental to your end result. You are better off taking a small break then returning to the same task.
Where to now?
Our Psych Up! resources in December have covered how to set achievable goals, and our January topic will focus on how to keep this momentum going. Make sure to stay tuned for our weekly blog post updates, as well as our podcasts and webinars.
For more information about performance psychology, goal setting, prioritising and forming new habits, or anything else mentioned, get in touch with our team today. Send us an email, give us a call on (02) 9929 8515, check out our LinkedIn and Twitter or find more Psych Up! resources here.