Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? About half of us did. A few more if you include those of us who sort of made them, by promising ourselves we’ll eat healthier, exercise more and lose weight “next year.” Year in and year out, those are among the most common resolutions we make.

And, alas, among the first we break.

If you made any resolutions before the start of 2019, did you keep them? The answer is almost certainly “no.” Research over the years tells us maybe 8% of all resolutions actually make it to the end of the year. In fact, by the end of January only a quarter of us resolution-makers will have kept them.

Psychologists, personal trainers, executive coaches and practically every professional involved in personal improvement tell the same story: We make too many vague and ambitious resolutions. Saying we’re going to lose weight is nothing more than a hope. A resolution that says we’re going to lose 5 pounds a month is a goal, specific enough to make us accountable and not so ambitious as to be unrealistic.

Doable resolutions are goals. Writing them down and tracking your progress reinforces your commitment, making the doing a habit. Should you slip — most of us will occasionally – forgive yourself and get back on the horse. Changing a behavior is not easy, the American Psychological Association says, so small steps are going to be more successful than attempting a big leap.

Today is only January 2nd, so go back to those resolutions you made yesterday or the day before and, being brutally honest, rethink how likely are they to still be real in February? More than two or three are probably too many.

If you resolved to save more money, rework it by specifying how much and how often and how. If you’ve been living paycheck to paycheck, are there expenses you can cut? If you doubt your self-discipline, schedule an automatic transfer from your checking account into savings. Sign up for your company’s 401k. Many employers will match what you put in, doubling your savings.

Keeping a resolution is work, but it shouldn’t be painful. Every time you go to the gym; every month you lose that 5 pounds; every time you save what you said you would give yourself a pat on the back. They may be small steps toward your goal, but every step brings you closer, so celebrate them.

Photo by Isaac Smith on Unsplash

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Green Key

Business Indicators, Staffing Hires Point to an Improving Economy

After falling in the first quarter to the lowest level since 2014, staffing employment came roaring back in the second quarter that ended June 30, adding almost 200,000 new temporary and contract workers to the US economy.

The numbers from the Labor Department released July 2 bear out the trend first seen in the weekly Staffing Index produced by the American Staffing Association. The Index, which tracks weekly changes in temporary and contract employment, began declining in early March as COVID-19 cases began rising. With businesses shutting down, idling millions of workers, the Index fell to a historic low.

But with the May 3rd Index update, the first signs of improvement began to show. Slowly , and, now more rapidly as businesses reopen, the Index is trending up.

Between May and June, the Index gained almost 9 percentage points. Meanwhile, all staffing agencies, including we here at Green Key Resources, added a total of 148,900 jobs during June. For the quarter, staffing agencies added 195,800 new contract and temporary jobs.

“The economy is not out of the woods yet. But the overall numbers are certainly encouraging,” says Green Key Resources Managing Partner Andrew Chayut.

“Temp and contract positions are a leading economic indicator,” he explained. “As businesses begin growing, they first bring on temporary workers. That’s what we’re seeing and it’s definitely a positive development.”

While the recovery is fragile, tied as it is to the spread of the coronavirus and government efforts to stop it, other economic indicators are all improving.

The Employment Trends Index from the non-profit business research group The Conference Board, was up by 8.3% in June. Hiring by staffing employment agencies was one of the two strongest contributors to the ETI, which is a composite of 8 labor market indicators.

The Conference Board’s other, closely watched economic indicators, were also up, some even more strongly. CEO Confidence for the quarter increased by 10%; Consumer Confidence was up 12.2%. The Board’s most recent Leading Economic Index was up 2.8% in May. June’s results are due to be released July 23.

Photo by AbsolutVision


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Green Key