Be Part of the 8%: How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions This Year


It’s here! The one time of year we convince ourselves that wishing for an outcome will simply make it so. New Year’s resolutions are almost always forgotten within weeks, and then many of us revert back to our old habits. The key word there is habit; it’s only through repetition that we can enact real, lasting change.

So, in order to create New Year’s resolutions that stick, we need to create new habits.

A University of Scranton study found that just eight percent of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions. What’s the secret of that eight percent?

Self-improvement is the common theme of most New Year’s resolutions. While many resolutions (38% in fact) are centered around health and fitness, it’s surprising to note that more resolutions (47%) are actually related to education or self-improvement. By setting professional goals for 2017, you can create long-term opportunities, and give your resolution the structure it needs.

Your goal might be to get a promotion, get a raise, or obtain an industry certification. Whatever your resolution, creating a plan to get there is a critical step to actually achieving your goal. Here are a few tips to help you become a part of that fabled eight percent this year:

Add, Don’t Subtract

A majority of resolutions focus on taking something “bad” away from your life. But it’s much easier to add something good to your life than it is to subtract something. Many New Year’s resolutions fail simply because they don’t excite or motivate us. Introducing something positive will help keep your morale strong year-round by giving you something to look forward to instead of something to dread.

Don’t Keep Quiet

Sharing resolutions with friends, family, and colleagues is a great way to create accountability for your goals. Better yet, share your goals with your boss. Not only will you have additional incentive to achieve your goals because of the expectations of those around you, you’ll also create a support network to help you. For instance, your manager might offer up additional tools and resources to help you. He or she might find budget allocation for training, or could even give you work hours to dedicate to your goal.

Make it Tangible Many resolutions are vague (for example, “learn new skills”), which makes it tough to set a path for achieving the goal and even harder to measure whether or not you’ve been successful. Instead, create quantitative, tangible goals like “gain XYZ industry certification.”

Create 12 Goals Instead of One

Another key to creating and achieving a New Year’s resolution is to set small, attainable monthly goals. Setting one large goal is typical, but this method sets you up for failure by not providing any structure or timeline. Instead, set monthly goals. Then, create a weekly routine that will help you accomplish each of those monthly goals.

What do you want to achieve in 2017? If you’re an engineer looking to boost your career, set a tangible goal like becoming industry certified. Tell your boss about your resolution and ask for his or her support in keeping you accountable. Set monthly goals to develop the skills you need for the certification. Set aside time each week — even just 20 minutes — to work on those skills. By the end of 2017, you’ll have your certification, and you’ll reap the benefits of that professional development with a career boost that lasts for years to come!

SolidProfessor provides next generation learning for teams, schools, and individuals to keep up with rapidly evolving engineering tools and technologies. Self-paced video lessons, hands-on exercises, and assessments help you learn new skills and best practices, increase productivity, and prepare for software certification.

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Tony Glockler
About the Author

SolidProfessor Co-Founder and CEO, CAD junky, sailer, surfer and former world traveler (before kids, that is).