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It’s that time of year again, when people make (and break) their New Year’s resolutions. While you’re thinking about your personal resolutions, it’s a great time to think about adopting e-signatures.

Adopting E SignaturesMost companies need to get documents signed every day as a part of doing business, and the process can be expensive and time-consuming. Top companies are turning to e-signature technology as a fast and easy way to get documents signed.

In the last couple of years, most major industries have embraced e-signature technology. In fact, highly-regulated industries like finance and health care get more evidence with an e-signature audit trail than is possible with a paper-based process.  For all of these reasons, 2014 is the perfect time to adopt e-signatures.

But simply resolving that you’ll adopt e-signatures this year doesn’t make it happen. Did you know that more than 40% of Americans have a New Year’s resolution each year, but only 8% of those people will end up achieving their goals. What makes those 8% so special? It turns out that psychology experts agree on several elements that can make your resolution more achievable. 

1. Get Specific

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of making a resolution like, “I want to learn more about e-signatures.” But resolutions like those are too vague to be realistic. Instead of just saying you’ll learning about e-signatures, commit to researching a vendor and picking one.

“Making your resolution more concrete allows you to better monitor it. If you fall behind, you’ll know,” says Melissa Burkley, an associate professor of social psychology at Oklahoma State University in a recent Time article

2. Be Realistic 

This is a pitfall that I fall into almost every year. I have grand goals for myself in the coming year, so I make resolutions that are out of my reach. And then I beat myself up for not being able to keep them.

One great way to overcome this without setting your bar too low is to give yourself small steps toward reaching your ultimate goals.

If your goal is to be up and running with e-signatures by Q2 of 2014, make deadlines for yourself to complete the following steps:

  1. Research e-signature vendors
  2. Request a demo from your top two or three vendors
  3. Compare pricing and security features
  4. Pick an e-signature vendor
  5. Start getting a small group of documents signed online
  6. Transition all documents to the e-signature process

"Every week, look at how well you’re doing to meet your resolution… It gives you the opportunity to find out what worked and what didn't work without [activating] the part of the your brain that says you messed up," suggests Dr. Del Camp, a clinical psychologist at Ozark Center in a recent article.

3. Enlist an Ally

It’s not easy to tackle a New Years resolution on your own. That’s why it’s important to find someone you trust to serve as your ally and accountability partner. It’s so much easier to stick with your resolution if you share it with your co-workers. That doesn’t mean you should announce your resolution all over Facebook and Twitter (though I won’t stop you if you really want to). It’s much more important to find an accountability partner you trust that you can report to on your progress.

“Enlist the support of a trusted mentor who is able to support you in seeing and moving toward the vision you hold for the new you in the new year. However, also be sure that person is someone who can and will hold you accountable for doing what you say you are going to do,” suggests Dennis Merritt Jones in a recent Huffington Post article.

If you follow this advice, 2014 could be the year you switch to e-signatures! 

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