Its that time of year again: Christmas shopping, holiday plans and New Year’s resolutions. We tend to get the first two right, but according to University of Scranton research, just 8 percent of people achieve their New Year’s resolution, which well refer to simply as goals, because that’s what these resolutions are.
Set goals, understand behavioral style
Setting goals should direct attention to behaviors that will accomplish the goal and away from the behaviors that will not achieve the goal.
Locke and Latham stated that “the goal-setting theory was based on the premise that much human action is purposeful, in that it is directed by conscious goals” (O’Neil & Drillings, 1994). Setting a goal should include structure that directs actions and behaviors which improve unsatisfactory performance. Setting a goal will change a person’s behavior in order to work towards achieving the set goal.
In reviewing last years goals, for instance, trimming down my waistline, not for vanity, but for health and to become a better golf player, I could see how much of my approach sat well with my own behavioral style. Further, my behavioral approach informed the accountability partners I relied on for support.
I am a strong goal setter (Initiator, Influencer, Strategist). I thrive on competition. I up my performance when there are clear goals. I want the outcomes to have high impact. I know I am inherently focused and self-disciplined. And, finally, success is something I need. Therefore, my accountability partners needed to be able to challenge my strong behavior.
By applying self-awareness of my inherent behavioral style to New Year goal setting, I achieved success: Forty pounds lighter, better golf swing and walking 18 holes without getting breathless.
Not if, but how you get there
So, as I ponder potential New Year’s resolutions, remember that behavioral style matters. That’s your starting point. As we plan 2020, our team breaks down into four behavioral styles – which well talk more about below – making consensus interesting. But as we each apply individual behavioral styles to goals, it becomes clear that all will be achieved; its the journey there that will be different.
My team: Four behavioral styles
The Goal Setters, like me (Initiator, Influencer, Strategist) need competition, clear goals, high impact. They need outcomes to be real and measurable to stay focused. They can achieve the successful outcomes, required, but will benefit from accountability to others.
The Lifestyle team members (Engagers, Community Builders) need the goal process to be fun, sociable, and being able to picture what success looks like. They benefit from having graphical displays that press them on to their goals. My Lifestyle team have their goals emblazoned on polo shirts! Go figure.
The Stability team people (Stability, Safety) need to have an emotional attachment to their goals. Help them feel that and give them time to think through their approach. Keep the process friendly; the meaning will come from family, team colleagues and friends.
The Information team players need to understand the science behind it. They will want researched options to inform goal setting. They will want to analyse their research and be expected to display regular progress reports to keep them on track and accountable.
Insights + goals = success
Establishing your 2020 resolutions in conjunction with knowing and understanding your individual behaviors ensures success. Look at how each of the behavioral styles approaches the goal journey. Add bias into the mix (yes, we all have them, but they can be revealed). Behavior that leads to procrastination or lack of confidence or over-thinking can be managed (once behavioral insights are known).
If you have not already discovered your own behavioral insights, complete your no-cost, no-obligation 10-minute discovery – choose: Financial DNA or Business DNA – and you’ll be on track for New Years resolution success. (And, yes, DNA solutions are scalable; ask about DNA’s API: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Together, let’s set ourselves up for success, so we can look back and see 2020 as the year we individually and collectively met our New Years goals.