January 10th, 2014 by Fathima Begum
As we welcome another New Year, how many of us find ourselves looking at our lists of New Year’s Resolutions with a growing sense of despair by the second week of January?
Those inspired moments, when we made our resolutions with great intentions, already feels like it was a long time ago. How seriously we take our New Year’s resolutions is entirely subjective, but most of us do have a record of goals, things to achieve or at least a To-Do list.
Most of us have also, at some point or another, found ourselves feeling a little de-spirited because we have not done as much as we intended to. We often find ourselves guilty of simply expecting too much from ourselves, and although recognising the potential within you to achieve more is incredibly positive, setting targets that are physically impossible to achieve given time constraints can actually mean that we are setting ourselves up for failure. And when we do manage to achieve a set target, or if we have somehow managed to clear our to-do lists – we rejoice in a sense of accomplishment which burns out as soon as we discover how much more we still need to, or want to, do.
We humans are creatures of habit. We create habits that serve to spare time, energy or resources for us. And this is effective – until it isn’t anymore. Often, the habits we form are relevant for a particular time, place or circumstance, but once those habits are embedded into our daily routines, we tend to continue to perform those habits even if they are no longer relevant.
So, how often do we reflect on our daily habits, with a focus on ‘stopping doing’ things, rather than on adding to our lists of targets? At Appraisal Meetings and Performance Reviews, the emphasis is mainly on building on our skills and knowledge, setting achievable targets as well as identifying areas of development. But how often to we reflect on those habits that are barriers to performance?
For some - a ‘Stop Doing’ list may have a negative connotation to it. But for me, it is just as important as a ‘To-Do’ list, because it highlights the possible need for behavioural change, which is a concept that is at the very heart of what Steps do.
To be able to look at your behaviours, actions and routines in a constructive way, and identifying things that you may benefit from no longer doing or doing differently, is refreshing. To then implement those changes means that you will be able to pursue your set goals and work on your To-Do lists with more time, energy and perhaps resources. As a result, you are more likely to achieve your set targets, and simply – do more.