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The City of Portland, Oregon

Sustainability at Work

Providing free tools and expertise to achieve your goals

Phone: 503-823-7037


4 tips for choosing goals and sticking to them

It's a new year and a fresh start. Time to make a plan.

The new year is a great time to set goals for yourself and your workplace. We've put together some tips for choosing goals and seeing them through.

1. Take stock of what you’ve already done

Start by downloading a checklist of sustainability actions that fit your business: officerestaurantretail or grocery.

These checklists are actually our certification applications, but they’re a great list of actions to start from: They cover recycling and waste reduction, water, energy, transportation, employee engagement and community involvement. Or find more actions to choose from.

Check off the actions your workplace has already done – you may be doing more than you think! Making note of what you’ve already done should give you confidence for moving forward: You’re not starting from scratch, you’re building on your accomplishments.

2. Choose what to take on in 2020

Look at what’s left on the checklist and decide which actions to focus on in the coming year.

Start by looking for one or two easy ones – these will provide quick wins that will be helpful in motivating you, your colleagues, and your leadership to continue pushing forward.

Then choose a bigger goal that may take longer to achieve. Think about how you can break it into smaller milestones to help keep you on track and make it seem less daunting.

You’ll likely need support from leadership and other colleagues to achieve your goals. Think about what they’re motivated by and find ways to connect your goal with theirs.

3. Find others to help

Working with others will help you move faster and create accountability. You may want to find one other person to partner with, or go bigger and create a workplace “Green Team.”

Our Green Team Guide is filled with helpful tips, whatever the size of your team.

4. Reward yourself

While the accomplishment of achieving your goal can be a reward in itself, having something extra to look forward to, whether it's recognition from leadership or a celebratory lunch, can help keep up the motivation.

If getting certified is your goal, we’re happy to give you well-deserved praise in our newsletter, social media and in a full-page ad in Willamette Week.

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