Why Your 2023 Career Resolutions Will Stick and Theirs Won’t

Dec 31, 2022, 7:05 AM
FILE: According to the 2022 Women in the Workplace report from McKinsey & Company in partnership wi...
FILE: According to the 2022 Women in the Workplace report from McKinsey & Company in partnership with LeanIn.Org women are more likely to leave their jobs as a result of dissatisfaction at work. (Adobe Stock)
(Adobe Stock)

We’re about to start a new year, which for many means New Year’s resolutions. Sadly, studies show only 9% of resolutions are successfully implemented. In fact, nearly a quarter of all Americans won’t even keep their promise to themselves for a whole week.

Of the myriad of resolutions committed to on January 1, an average of 19% are related to career, and 58% are financially motivated, according to Studies show that nearly 80% of all New Year’s resolutions fail.

The fitness app Strava has even pinpointed the exact date most people abandon their well-meaning intentions. Referred to as ” Quitter’s Day,” this year it lands on January 13, less than two full weeks into the year.

This early abandonment might signal that more and more Americans are considering resolutions in terms of a fresh start and not as a catalyst for long-term change. Some people say that positive affirmations are vital to the success of any endeavor. And while good vibes could work for some, you might need something more concrete to solidify your personal growth.

There are key factors that hold people back from successful resolutions. Understanding those pitfalls and how to avoid them will get you on the path to success this coming year.

Their Approach to Resolutions

Many, perhaps even most Americans set New Year’s resolutions in the same patterns that hamper their success. Failed resolutions can be the result of the following:

  • Too many resolutions;
  • Vague goals;
  • No clear “why”;
  • No accountability; or
  • Self-sabotage.

Your Approach to Resolutions

You can avoid making these mistakes in 2023 with a few simple tips:

Prioritize Focus Areas

Don’t over-commit yourself. One in 10 people who failed to complete their resolutions attributes the failure to setting too many resolutions.

You don’t want to make a laundry list of everything in your life that could benefit from a little boost.

Get clear on your top aspirations for the year, and save yourself the headache of an unrealistic plan by choosing just one or two areas of focus.

Perhaps you want to grow your professional network this year or are keen to build up your portfolio with new projects. Maybe you want to focus on professional development by attending courses, or you’ve got a promotion in your sights and are working towards that. Narrowing your focus areas will provide clarity and direction for the year ahead.

Set SMART Goals

SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Your 2023 resolutions should have all of these adjectives; if not, you are not making SMART goals.

Studies show that specific and challenging goals are 90% more successful than vague, “do your best” style goals. Think of your resolutions as a project that you are managing at work. Push yourself to think big but plan small with bite-sized, achievable milestones that contribute to a broader resolution on which you can hang your hat at the end of the year.

Solidify Your “Why”

Before the clock rolls over to 2023, hone in on why you have chosen this particular resolution. Identify intrinsic motivators along with extrinsic ones.

Exclusively externally-motivated people tend to experience short-term success only and then burn out. In contrast, intrinsically motivated people can push past common roadblocks and achieve long-term results.

Think of factors like satisfaction, connectedness, autonomy, mastery, or purpose. Are you motivated by any of these in your career?

Be Accountable

For those who did not accomplish their resolutions in the past, 33% failed to keep track of their progress, and 23% completely forgot about their resolutions.

Successful resolutions are often the result of an accountable goal-setter. Reflect regularly on the milestones you created in your SMART goals, and if you’ve gotten off track, set a plan to make up the lost ground.

Request feedback throughout the year from trusted friends, coaches or colleagues. If you can, choose an accountability partner to check in with regularly.

Get Real About What’s Holding You Back

We all want to achieve success in our lives, but according to Gay Hendricks’ The Big Leap, people have an “upper limit” to the amount of success they believe they are worthy of. Anything above that level may prompt you to unconsciously self-sabotage. It may be hard to notice when the shift is happening.

Whether you’re aiming to change your career or prepare for a new job interview, some tools to overcome self-sabotage include:

  • Avoid the self-imposed limit on your success by reflecting on your beliefs;
  • Pause at each milestone and celebrate your accomplishments;
  • Don’t take any impulsive actions after a major success; and
  • Pay it forward by using that newfound success to benefit others.

Bonus: Get Enough Sleep

According to research, improving work performance is inhibited by a lack of sleep. Studies have found sleep-deprived individuals in management roles are less ethical and not as alert at work. Avoid this resolution-breaker by getting consistently good sleep throughout the year.

A Recipe for a Successful 2023

With these tips in mind, you will set yourself on the path to becoming one of the 20% who will achieve their resolutions in 2023. Obstacles will always arise, but when they do, remember the words of Robert Collier, “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”

This article was produced by Career Step Up and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories


The Utah Department of Public Safety together with the Salt Lake Branch of the NAACP have called th...
Simone Seikaly

Utah safety officials, NAACP, react to death of Tyre Nichols

The Utah agencies denounced the death of Tyre Nichols, a Black man that died in a hospital after an altercation with Memphis police.
8 hours ago
Five former Memphis police officers who were fired for their actions during the arrest of Tyre Nich...
Travis Caldwell and Jay Croft, CNN

You’re going to see acts that defy humanity,’ police chief says, as officials urge calm when Tyre Nichols arrest videos are released publicly tonight

Police also have not been able to find anything that's substantiated the probable cause for reckless driving by Nichols before his fatal encounter with police, she said.
8 hours ago
Havasu Falls spills into the water pools below in Supai, Arizona, in October of 2016. Photo credit:...
Forrest Brown, CNN

Grand Canyon’s Havasu Falls to reopen to visitors after 3-year closure

 (CNN) — Havasu Falls, one of the most intriguing features of the Grand Canyon system, will be reopening to visitors after a three-year closure caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. But it’s with a catch. The reopening is scheduled for February 1; however, access will be limited initially to a certain, small group. People whose previous […]
8 hours ago
Rep. George Santos leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference at the Capitol Hill Club on ...
Gregory Krieg, CNN

George Santos’ ex says congressman will never resign because ‘his ego is too big’

(CNN) — The former boyfriend of New York Rep. George Santos says the Long Island Republican facing growing calls to resign for extensively lying about his past will never do so, even as he faces multiple investigations, including into his finances. “His ego is too big. He’s not gonna resign. If they don’t find out something to get […]
8 hours ago
Five former Memphis police officers who were fired for their actions during the arrest of Tyre Nich...
Eric Levenson, Melissa Alonso and Chris Boyette, CNN

Five former Memphis police officers indicted on charges of murder

The former officers were each charged with second-degree murder and aggravated assault among other charges.
1 day ago
The U.S. economy expanded at a 2.9% annual pace from October through December, ending 2022 with mom...
PAUL WISEMAN AP Economics Writer

US economy slowed but still grew at 2.9% rate last quarter

Most economists think the economy will slow further in the current quarter and slide into at least a mild recession by midyear.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
Why Your 2023 Career Resolutions Will Stick and Theirs Won’t