Why your office resolutions always fail - and here’s how not to

Why they don’t work out.

One of the biggest reasons is that these goals are always set towards the end of the year, on a New Year’s high. Goals with a dream of a better year at work with no concrete plan behind it.

The problem with most people is that they set either unrealistic or unmeasurable goals. Goals that are either too hard to achieve in the time they’ve given themselves (if any time was set at all), or they give themselves vague, generic goals with no sense of how to measure them. Goals like ‘earn more money’, ‘become smarter’ or our favorite all-time: ‘lose weight and get healthy’.

So here’s how to set (and keep) your office resolutions for 2018.

Set goals you care about together.

If it’s a group office goal, sit down with your coworkers and brainstorm for goals that you care about together. If not, have a conversation with yourself, and ask yourself what you want to see happen or what could be improved in your office.

Actionable, specific and measurable.

Set goals that are specific, and actionable. Like eating healthy should translate to: 2 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Losing weight should translate to: exercising 3 times a week for 30 minutes each time. You should also be able to measure these goals, something like losing weight should be measured on a scale weekly or monthly.

Set big but realistic goals, and also small goals.

Make sure you’re setting realistic goals that are within your reach. And instead of just one huge goal, set small goals that will help you reach that big goal. Set out to achieve something every week, or every day even.

Start early and set deadlines.

You don’t have to wait for the new year to get started on your resolutions. Get a head-start on your goals by starting in December. That little bit of progress made before the year’s start can motivate you to go harder. Also, set goals that are time-bound. Setting out to attend 3 networking events and setting out to attend 3 networking events in 3 months has a world of difference in achieving.

Review your progress, and go easy on yourself.

After a given time, review your progress and see if any changes has to be made for you to achieve your goal in time. Change up your plans unless you are happy with the progress you are making. Don’t be impatient though, big goals take a lot of time. Have room for error and go easy on yourself when you don’t reach a certain milestone, whether it is your first time or 20th time attempting something, what matters is that you haven’t given up.


Nothing will remind you more of your goal than a big sign stuck to the wall in front of your desk. Looking at it everyday will remind you about it, and every time you shy away from doing it, that piece of paper will make you feel bad. Setting up a vision board in the office common space is another way everyone can keep track and remind themselves of their office resolutions.

A goal journal to document your progress also helps. Whenever there are lulls or when you feel like you are achieving nothing, looking back on milestones that you have penned down in your journal is good for motivation.

Accountability and accountability partners.

Have an office bestie? Make them your accountability partner to check in on you and see if you’re hitting your goals or have them work towards your goals together. Pair up the entire office to not only help each other keep track of their resolution, but to encourage bonding between colleagues. Tell your friends and families about your resolutions and you’d be even more obligated to keep them.

Get pumped for it.

You need motivation to do anything, even to get to out of bed. Of course, some things take a lot more motivation that others. Look at your role models, read motivational quotes and give yourself a pep talk. Anything that gets you going. Every new day calls for fresh motivation, don’t go to sleep thinking that motivation is a one-off thing. Make a practice out of motivating yourself daily.

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

Lost for Office Resolutions ideas? Here are some of ours that you can adopt.

  1. Set health goals with your co-workers to complete together (E.g. have healthy lunches and exercise for 30 minutes every Tuesdays after work).
  2. Double your network efforts to open up doors of opportunities (E.g. Go to at least 5 networking events by the end of the year).
  3. Arrive at your workplace earlier and get more things done (E.g. Get to work by 8:30).
  4. Create a green working environment (E.g. Set up recycling bins, go paperless and switch off lights during the day/when not in use).

Share this article with your colleagues and friends so they can get started on their own 2018 office resolution as well!