Behavior Change, Employers & Brokers, Workforce Health | By | 01/16/20 | 3 Minute Read

5 Ways to Help Your Employees Maintain Their Professional New Year’s Resolutions

If you’re like most people, you’re no more than a day or two away from giving up on your New Year’s resolutions. We’re astonishingly eager to make personal and professional resolutions at the end of every year, but we routinely abandon them. In fact, research from the University of Scranton shows that only 8% of people are successful in achieving their resolutions. 

You can help your employees (and yourself!) break away from this cycle and keep those resolutions by following these five easy steps:

1. Encourage attainable goals and professional resolutions

While diet and fitness are popular resolutions, it’s best to mix in professional New Year’s resolutions with your personal ones. Having the variety of both types will help prevent burnout and boredom.

For many of us resolution burnout happens because our resolutions are overly vague or too difficult to accomplish. Resolutions such as “finish my next half marathon faster,” ”eat better,” and “change careers” are good goals, but as resolutions they need to be more refined.

2. Define resolutions that are attainable and measurable

You can improve resolutions by making them measurable. “Decrease my next half marathon time by 2 minutes” clarifies your goal. Knowing that you want to cut down on time, you can work on strength and speed challenges to help make you faster.

“Eat better” is so hard to attain. What does better mean? Does one cupcake on Tuesday mean you’ve already broken your resolution? A more attainable resolution is, “I am cutting out all sweets except for two days a week.” If your employees are like me and need extra guidance to change eating habits, take a look at the guided programs on Fitbit Premium such as “Kick Your Sugar Habit.” I’m giving that a go in 2020, and I’ll be updating you on my progress later in the year.   

Adding professional resolutions to your short list opens the door to gaining support at work. When you share your resolutions in the workplace, you can build a strong support network and work together as a team to achieve your goals. Similarly, voicing your goals or intentions and having a friendly group to hold you accountable for reaching these goals will keep your eye on the prize.

3. Turn resolutions into a group activity

A friendly, encouraging work environment can help employees achieve their personal and professional resolutions. So many struggle alone with goals, that having a support network can break the cycle of missed achievements. Now is the time to get your employees focused. So consider having a New Year’s resolution workshop in January to get everyone on track.

During the workshop, have everyone share their resolutions. Making them visual puts a clearer focus on the resolutions. Everyone can write their resolutions on a whiteboard or paper and pin them to a bulletin board. You may be surprised by the creativity they put into naming their goals and sharing them with the group.

Adding some friendly competition will help up involvement and encourage more engagement. One fun option is to offer a reward to the groups that keep their resolutions the longest. Who doesn’t want to be part of an ongoing game that rewards you for doing things you already want—and intend–to do? 

4. Make communication a priority

In 2020, everything needs a communications plan, including New Year’s resolutions. One good way to keep the conversation flowing is to incorporate status updates on everyone’s resolutions during regular all-hands meetings. Employees can discuss how they are doing and share success stories.

This format opens the door to talking about completing a marathon, earning a new education certificate or degree, or trying to lose 5 lbs. Employee stories of success can inspire others and showcase what is possible.

5. Organize activities that support your employees’ New Year’s resolutions

Alongside the workshops, organize other activities that align with employee New Year’s resolutions. Are your employees looking to get in better shape in 2020? Put together activity challenges to help motivate them. Offer discounts if groups sign up for a 10K, dragon boat race, or swim-a-thon.

Another set of employees will want a healthier diet. You can share and try healthy recipes from the Fitbit community (Instant Pot Oatmeal that Tastes Like Cookies, yes please!) or hire a chef to lead cooking classes every other month. Offer healthy snacks and encourage employees to post favorite local healthy food places on a Fitbit At Work community board. Also, meal prep and delivery is super popular these days for busy people who want meals ready and waiting at the end of the day. You could ask a nutritionist to come in and outline menu planning and preparation tips.

Every January we’re given a fresh start, and this year is still young. You have plenty of time to help your employees start new habits and routines that will make 2020 the year of keeping resolutions.

Changing behaviors and creating new healthier routines is possible, but you have to work at it every day. Read this white paper to understand the new behavior change model that will help create a path to sustainable and scalable behavior change at your company.

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