Today’s author is Liz Sebag-Montefiore, 10Eighty’s Founding Director who has provided HR solutions to a wide range of industries since 2005, working with numerous firms to understand their needs and is a great believer in the power and intelligence of networking.
This year Chinese New Year falls on Friday, 16th February; also known as “Spring Festival” in modern China, this is the most important traditional festival, celebrated at the turn of the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. There is a tradition not to pick up a broom, in case you sweep the good luck for the New Year out of the door!
Apart from providing an opportunity to celebrate with fireworks and a feast of Chinese food, it gives you a second chance at your New Year resolutions! Failed to give up smoking, failed to use your gym membership, give it another try on Saturday.
This year will be the year of the Dog. It is believed that the dog is a symbol of loyalty, bravery and caring for others. The best news is that it is a whole two weeks of celebration.
Resolving to do better
At 10Eighty we believe that setting goals is useful in personal and professional development, so let’s look again at those resolutions you made at end of December. The most common reason we fail to keep New Years’ resolutions is that we set unrealistic goals. Surveys reveal that 32% of respondents say that their resolutions are usually broken by the end of January, while only 10% said they never break one.
It’s smart to be realistic, I particularly like the suggestion by psychologist Oliver Burkeman to choose something to stop doing. Something worthwhile, that you really don’t have time for; we wear ourselves out being hyper-busy, trying to cope with more than is sensible. Stop, think and address the overload. “Quit your book group; stop struggling to make dates with that hard-to-pin-down friend; accept you’ll never be a good cook. Not because those things are bad; because it’s the only way to do other things well”.
Steven Covey in “The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People” studied executives and found that the most successful wrote down their goals and reviewed them periodically.
Tips for setting effective goals
- Express goals positively, focus on what you want to achieve
- Be specific in terms of timeline so as to track progress towards your goals
- Prioritise to decide which of goals to your attention on first
- Write goals down as a reminder and so they can be reviewed regularly
- Chunk down goals to small, achievable tasks – this allows frequent opportunities to accomplish a goal
- Set realistic goals that are achievable and within your own control
Plan for success by applying some focus to the steps you need to take to achieve your goals. Ensure that your goals are aligned with your values and strengths. Commit the plan to paper and keep it somewhere handy so you can refer to it periodically. Setting targets and achieving them builds positive feelings of accomplishment.
A useful trick, that we use a lot at our events, is send yourself a postcard. Write your three key resolutions down and post the card to yourself. Pin it somewhere that will catch the eye, as a reminder of what’s important in 2018.
Gong Hey Fat Choy, buy some Chinese beer, cook a stir fry and share some fortune cookies around, there’s a whole near year ahead.