As December 31st approaches, resolutions for 2019 are being set in the hopes of better health, more wealth and time well spent. While these are all admirable goals to work towards, the unrealistic expectation of a “New Year, New You” often accompanies these resolutions. The truth is that we aren’t going to wake up on January 1st ten pounds lighter, earning a higher salary, and have somehow managed to accomplish the perfect work/life balance. We will be the same people, with the same struggles to overcome and habits that need correcting.

As a result, rather than trying to completely reinvent yourself into a “new you” or completely overhaul your professional life, use the following to set realistic and attainable expectations for yourself. Here are just a few ways that you can reach your professional goals throughout 2019.

1 . Make resolutions that motivate YOU. Your resolutions should be meaningful to you on a personal level, not what makes sense to someone else. If you are a workaholic and actually enjoy extra hours at the office, resolving to strike a better work/life balance is pointless. Or, if you like the position you are currently in, there is no point in resolving to receive a promotion by 2020. Alternatively, if you are unhappy with your current career path, use this time before the new year to figure out what your career is missing and resolve to obtain it in 2019. Not only will you want to reach resolutions that motivate you, but you will also avoid being demoralized by watching your goals flop by February.

2 . Set milestones. It is easy to say, “this is the year that I will be promoted”; however, setting a lofty resolution can be too daunting, unrealistic, and it ultimately sets you up for disappointment. Make your goal more attainable by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable, milestones that will yield the same result.

For example:

If you want to be promoted this year, start by making a list of the objectives that were communicated to you during your last performance review. Let that list serve as a checklist to refer to, and set dates for when you resolve to meet those expectations. Make sure to check in with this list periodically to ensure that you are on track.

3 . Celebrate your wins. As you reach these milestones, celebrate! Instead of moving forward without recognizing your accomplishments, plan on how you want to acknowledge your success. These celebrations will keep you going when you want to give up on your resolution. It can be as simple as going to your favorite restaurant with a colleague or taking a well-deserved three-day weekend.



This year, be realistic in your expectations so that you actually fall in the 9.2 percent of people who stick to their New Year’s resolutions. Keep some habits while improving upon others to create a winning combination.