How to Make Career Success Your New Year’s Resolution

John Feldmann

Every year around this time, many people approach the new year with a sense of optimism and determination, vowing to make a number of life changes and self-improvements. Healthy food is consumed, gym parking lots are full and everyone is at their best. Unfortunately, by late January, most have already fallen off the wagon and abandoned their new year’s resolutions.

According to a study by the University of Scranton, 92 percent of all new year’s resolutions fail. How is it possible that so many good intentions can fall through the cracks? Psychology professor Peter Herman describes this as the “false hope syndrome.” Herman points out that most people fail because their resolutions aren’t realistic. They underestimate the difficulty of the task and the time required to accomplish it. There are a number of approaches one can take that may not guarantee success, but can certainly increase the odds. Let’s look at a few tips that will help you achieve your resolutions and set you up for career success in the new year.

Don’t make resolutions you can’t control

Perhaps your new year’s resolution is to get a promotion at work. You’ve been with the company for several years, gained the necessary skills and experience, and proven your interest and determination. Unfortunately, a part of this resolution is beyond your control. Maybe there are no current job openings. Maybe there’s another candidate who is equally qualified, or perhaps more so. Maybe they’ll be offered the position, but they won’t be a good fit and it will be offered to you the following year. While it’s good to have career goals and continue to work toward them, hinging your resolution on something that is ultimately someone else’s decision can leave you feeling a sense of failure, even though you did everything required to succeed.

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