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Five to Thrive 2/3/2020

Tips for Workplace Success

By Thriving Workplace Initiative Staff

Illustration of leaves on a purple background

Illustration by Creative Strategies

Illustration by Creative Strategies

UMD’s Thriving Workplace Initiative is making the University of Maryland a great place to work by providing tools and support to foster engaged, inclusive and empowered faculty and staff across campus. 

Its Five to Thrive list, now published in Maryland Today on the first Monday of the month, offers five strategies crowdsourced from research, experts and our own UMD community to help your workplace thrive. 

It’s Feb. 3—have you given up on your work-themed New Year’s resolutions yet? If so, you’re in good company. Research shows that 50% of people who make resolutions abandon them in the first 30 days. But take heart—you can still turn it around. Try these tips to reboot the resolution and build fresh habits in the workplace:

  • Go big, then go small. Resolutions like “improve communication to my boss” are only as good as the specific actions behind them. Start with specific, easy goals that can become habits, such as “send a weekly progress update each Monday.”
  • Talk about it. Sharing your resolution with a trusted colleague can create accountability, provide encouragement and in turn, put the odds for success in your favor. 
  • Don’t save the reward for the end. Mark milestones throughout the process to keep the momentum going. If your team wants to update the strategic plan this year, celebrate your progress incrementally with team lunches or happy hours. 
  • Piggyback it. An effective way of creating a new habit is to combine it with something you already do. If you get a cup of coffee each morning and your goal is to have more facetime with colleagues, drink your coffee as you check in with coworkers, rather than at your desk. 
  • Make room for failure. Resolution psychology often prompts people to give up if they screw up. Make peace with the fact that you will have moments of failure, but that tomorrow is a new day. Take time to learn from the mistake: What kept you from following through? Understanding the “why” can help keep you from making the mistake again. 

Can’t wait for the next installment of Five to Thrive? Visit the Thriving Workplace Resource Library here or sign up for Food for Thought Friday, which delivers strategies to your inbox each week. Send an email to with the subject listserv to subscribe.

Maryland Today is produced by the Office of Marketing and Communications for the University of Maryland community on weekdays during the academic year, except for university holidays.