The New Year is here and you’ve committed to making 2020 the year to fulfil all your New Year’s resolutions! For many people, the start of the new year is often the best time to turn a new page and set up goals that help you grow in both personal or professional settings.
Of course, the biggest obstacle that most people face with goals and resolutions is to keep track of them. With 45% of people often failing to keep their resolutions by February, it’s clear that people need a little help to bring their New Year’s resolutions to life.
In this article, we’re going to dive into 5 tools that can help improve your productivity and achieve professional goals, along with 5 tips that you can apply to your personal life and achieve long-term goals and resolutions.
Tool Number 1: Trello
Trello is an easy-to-learn card system that lets you create a board and track everything you need to track–from building up marketing strategies to outlining your work resolutions and even planning out your holiday trip.
It’s a great tool for sales executives or content marketers to keep track of ideas and strategies, especially if they have a big team. But the benefit of Trello is its usage beyond the office space!
Whether it is to stay in shape, eat healthier, or achieve career goals, you can set and track your resolutions with Trello’s intuitive board systems, making it easier for you to accomplish what you want to achieve in 2020.
Plus, one of the features that Trello offers with its “power-ups” is the ability to connect tools such as Google Drive, Salesforce, or even Twitter, which makes it a great tool to streamline your workflow.
Tip Number 1: Understand your goals and what they mean to you
Before you set yourself a resolution, you need to ask yourself, “Why does this goal matter to me?”
Research shows that when your goals are driven by authentic values, you’re more likely to achieve them. The same goes for willpower. When your goals are consistent with those values, you’ll be able to tap into more willpower as you’ll perceive it as a limitless resource.
So, if you’re thinking of losing weight this year, ask yourself why you want to do it. Is it because you want to get in shape and go back to a favourite sports pastime (hiking, biking, etc.) or because of peer pressure and societal expectations?
The more you understand your goals, what it means to you, and why you do it, the more likely you are to keep to them.
Tool Number 2: Asana
Just like Trello, Asana is another great workflow system that can help you organize your work. It’s a great tool for teams that work closely together, such as the sales department or a project team.
You can also use Asana for more than just office-oriented goals. For example, if your New Years’ resolution is to lose weight, you can set a timeline for a weight goal, create individualized tasks for workouts, and easily track them all with Asana’s workflow system.
What makes Asana unique, however, is their ability to include individual due dates for specific tasks or subtasks and check off things that are completed. This allows you to plan out all your tasks, keep track of its progress, and formulate your next plan of attack.
Tip Number 2: Refocusing your goals and putting a positive spin
If your New Year’s resolution falls along the lines of restricting or prohibiting–don’t drink alcohol on weekdays, eat less junk food, take fewer breaks. Odds are you’ll have trouble keeping up with those resolutions, as suppressing thoughts takes a lot of energy and they often come back harder and with a vengeance!
Instead, what you should focus on is to put a positive spin towards your resolutions and goals and reframing them to be more rewarding. An example of this would be to commit to drinking more of your favourite healthy juice during meals instead of restricting your alcohol intake.
If you’re worried that this might spur complacency and inaction, research has shown that in the long run, positive emotion and gratitude will lead to better self-control.
Tool Number 3: Stretchly
Spending hours sitting and staring at a computer can easily lead to repetitive stress injuries, which is a surefire to drop your level of productivity. The fact of the matter is, we all need to take breaks and stretch a little to stay healthy and focused.
Stretchly is not exactly a workflow productivity app. However, if you’re the type to work constantly without taking a break, and one of your resolutions for 2020 is to have a healthier routine, then the app is a great way to give yourself a reminder to take a break, stretch a little, and reduce repetitive stress injuries.
Remember, it doesn’t hurt to take a break from time-to-time, which will help you focus more and improve productivity in the long run!
Tip Number 3: Rearrange your environment to support your goals
Avoiding the temptation to break your New Year’s resolutions can be easier if your environment supports it. Research shows that people with higher willpower are good at rearranging their environment to avoid temptations.
What that means is, if you’re trying to save money, you need to remove all credit cards from your wallet. Want to lose weight? Keep your desk clear of any junk food such as cookies, chocolates, etc., and populate it with healthy snacks.
Another factor that can affect your environment is your family and friends, as a supportive environment can greatly increase your chances of achieving your goals and resolutions.
Meeting and being part of a group whose members support your goals and your success is an excellent way to bolster your willpower and with the right role models, you can also improve your self-control.
Tool Number 4: Shift
Shift lets you put all your apps and workflow into one window, condensing all your digital workspace into one single channel. This is especially useful if you’re the type to keep tons of browsers open and access numerous web apps, tools, and extensions, which can bring your productivity to a halt.
With Shift, you can streamline your productivity and not worry about shuffling through multiple browser tabs that distract you from your work.
The fewer things that you need to worry about, such as keeping track of all your browser tab, the more resources you have to focus on the things you care about–closing that sales, nailing that face-to-face meeting, or even finishing on that project.
Tip Number 4: Approach your goal gradually
Change does not happen overnight. If you want to bring New Year’s resolution to life, you have to accept that it will be gradual progress.
So, when you set your goal, start small and build on early successes. If you’re trying to lose weight, for example, instead of two spoons of sugar in your coffee, use one spoon. Have a craving for cake? Try to wait a few minutes and your urge will likely subside.
All these small changes (and successes) will eventually permeate into other aspects of your life and goals. You’ll find that you’re able to stay focused longer, go hiking in further distances, or even control your diet more easily.
Tool Number 5: Freedom
One of the biggest barriers to your success is often yourself. At this plugged-in era, there are far too many distractions that can get in the way of your productivity and make you lose your focus.
Freedom takes care of all those distractions by blocking your access to apps, websites, and any digital distractions that stop you from taking control of your attention span to focus on the things that matter: achieving your goals.
And to take it a step further, you can even set up Freedom to stop you from turning it off. That’s one way to keep you focused and productive!
Tip Number 5: Don’t punish yourself when a setback happens
Most people default to punishing themselves when they suffer setbacks or small willpower failures. Why? Because they believe the only way to increase willpower is through self-discipline.
Here’s the thing, people who punish themselves for every setback are much worse in accomplishing goals in the long run, compared to those who are less critical of themselves. Being human means that you’re imperfect and that you’re bound to slip up sometimes.
When you end up indulging in a doughnut or miss out a day at the gym, instead of blaming yourself for being weak, give yourself some slack. Be understanding, treat yourself with care, and start back again the next day.
The thing about long-term goals is that being self-critical and hard on yourself won’t magically improve your willpower.
Instead, you can achieve success in bringing your New Year’s resolutions to life by utilizing the right tools to improve your productivity and focus, and by applying a series of strategic steps that sets you up to succeed.
The path towards betterment and improvement is not easy and our list of tools and tips is far from complete or perfect. In fact, you might even discover other strategies and tools that work better for you along the way. However, we hope it can be a great starting point for you to start 2020, and the new decade, in a more productive manner and push you to achieve all your goals and resolutions!