It’s a New Year, a time of new beginnings, and of course — New Year’s Resolutions. According to Statistic Brain, 41 percent of Americans usually make New Year’s Resolutions. Only nine percent of Americans believe they were actually successful at achieving their resolutions. Not the best odds.
Of those who make resolutions, 44 percent of the goals are related to self-improvement or education, which includes finding a better job. On Statistic Brain’s list of Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for 2017, "Learn something new on my own" and "Find a better job" are No. 8 and No. 11 respectively. These things weigh heavily on the minds of most, but there’s a difference in allowing something like that to weigh on your mind and actually doing something about it.
Too many New Year’s resolutions are broad and unspecific. This is a large reason why there is such a big difference between those who make resolutions, and those who successfully achieve them. A resolution to lose weight will not be as effective as a resolution to lose 20 pounds. A resolution to quit smoking won’t go very far if you don’t map out daily progressive steps to quitting. Likewise, with goals in education and finding a job, you have to be specific and you have to map out your progress.
When it comes to online IT certification training and self-study, it’s essential that you outline monthly, weekly, and even daily goals. When training on your own, without an instructor’s reminders and guidance, it will be hard to stay motivated through the certification course. Decide how many lessons you will do each day, or set the number of hours you must spend in a simulation or practice exam daily. When you meet these small goals, celebrate your achievement — reward yourself in whatever way you’d like.
When resolving to find a better job (or simply find a job), try to understand what that is going to take. Know how many certifications will be necessary for your resume to be appealing to employers. Make a goal to volunteer a certain amount of hours each week somewhere in the IT field. Decide when you will have your new job. If you don’t do these things, then you will get to December of next year without ever applying anywhere.
If your resolution is self-improvement or education related, then don’t skip any steps. Make a resolution to have specific and time-bound resolutions so you can be a part of the nine percent who are actually successful this year.
About the Author — Jake Slater is the social media manager for GoCertify and a graduate of Brigham Young University. Jake's specific and time-bound resolution for 2017 is to get more out of life.