Make your New Year’s resolution stick

As some of you may know, I have just completed a post-grad certificate in IT Business Analysis (told you I don’t just travel!). I love it when I can take things that I learned in the classroom and apply them directly to everyday life.

The new year is right around the corner and everyone is setting up new goals to conquer in 2017. But how often do we see/experience goals not getting accomplished or only get worked on in January?

When I thought about setting my new year’s goals, I started to list stuff like this:

  • I want to work out more
  • I want to cook more
  • I want to broaden my career path

But then I stopped myself, and thought about what my professor would constantly say.

“Make sure your requirements are testable, traceable, and verifiable”

That’s right! How can I say I actually worked out more when there are no success criteria?


Does that mean I’m going to workout once a week? Once a month? Can my hiking categorize as a “workout” or does it have to include going to the gym and lifting weights? Am I looking to lose weight in a certain area of my body? If my goal is not testable and verifiable, how can I ever check the box and say “goal achieved”? I’d be fooling myself if I did that! In my last role as a financial advisor, I would hear clients saying they want to save up for a home. But when asked, they would have no idea how much they would have to save up for that down payment. Or they would have no idea what their budget flow looked like at that moment. How can you achieve a goal when you don’t have a measurable goal to test your result against?

I’ve realized that in life, just like in a project you’re involved with at work, you got to have measurement and requirements. Otherwise, it’s too easy to get side tracked and demotivated. If you don’t have a vision of what you should be working towards, you will get lost, distracted, side tracked, and might never achieve that goal.


Make your goals traceable by writing them down in your journal so you can come back to it in a few months and record your progress. Or if you achieved your goal, mark it as “achieved ”. It will give you a sense of empowerment and accomplishment once you tick that box . Or if you didn’t get a chance to complete your goal, you can transfer it to next year’s list. If you don’t write them down, it’s so easy to forget them when you get busy with everyday life. Make a vision board!

Here is how I tweaked my list after this realization:

  • I want to work-out at least twice a week. This includes any hiking I do. I want to focus specifically on weight training to build more muscles my gluteus area and abs.
  • I’m going to learn to cook something I never have once a month. I will also start cooking “proper” meals at least once a week to get more practice. *Does not include warming up a frozen pizza…
  • I want to start working as a business analyst in a project team that enables me to apply my experience in banking

Cheers to a new year and new beginning!

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