“I’ll start my diet next year” is a statement heavily used during the bingeing of the holiday season and as early as the fourth Thursday of November. For the many that made that claim, the time to pay the piper starts on January 1st. Those that promised to get in shape will race out in their shiny new workout gear and buy up annual memberships at gyms across the country. However, for every person compiling sticky notes with positive goals and resolutions, there is someone standing over their shoulder explaining how these resolutions never work and are therefore pointless.
And while the success rate for these goals is an abysmally low eight percent for the estimated sixty-two percent of Americans that set them, this is not reason enough to abandon them completely. Goals that are not specific or measurable are bound to fail. New Year’s Resultution makers, and all goal setters should consider designing more quantitative objectives. Instead of having a goal of getting in shape or losing weight, one should aim for a more tangible bench march of being able to do fifty push ups by March or eating three vegetables everyday. While these resolutions will still require equal will power and commitment, it will be much easier to gauge success and track your progression. A study from Chapman University illustrates the powerful effect of goals and found a 15.2% higher production level from workers with goal setting in their experiment.
At Quality Incentive Company, we utilize goals as factors in motivations. When QIC designs a safety incentive programs for 2015, the account coordinators work with client administrators to define clear goals.
Instead of simply aiming for a safer work environment, they issue goals like:
- Reporting near misses
- Participating in safety meetings
- Conducting training sessions for others
Specific targets like these allow participants and those who set the goals gauge their rate of success.
If a New Year’s resolution maker is really committed to shedding of those last five pounds or reading a book a month, they may consider adding incentives. These motivations of benchmark success could include anything from a hardcover copy of next month’s book or a new pair of running shoes to help fuel commitment to ones fitness goal. In the workplace, incentives, when paired with goals, have a positive effect on performance as well. The same study from Chapman found “…a significant effect of goal setting on workers’ performance and effort for high incentives, and to a lesser extent for low incentives.”
At QIC we are experts in incentives, it’s literally our middle name. We also condone high valued incentives and encourage short term goals to keep participants engaged.
Good luck to everyone making resolutions this year and remember to make tangible goals that you can incentivize well.