This post comes with a warning. NEVER make resolutions or set goals that you don’t intend on committing yourself to.

It’s challenging enough to hold true to your authentically set goals with the hurdles that life throws at us. Adding Fake Commitment, only cements your fate. So commit fully to your resolutions. Give them a date, decide how you will measure your progress, and get excited about your commitment, so that you are able to sustain your motivation and stay inspired to follow through with your resolutions.

Now, with all that out of the way, let’s get to the goods!

Here are 5 New Year’s Resolutions that will lead those of you committed to change directly to professional success, in 2013 and beyond.

5. I Resolve To Write Down and Complete 2 Professional Goals Every. Single. Day.

Honestly, the one thing that stops most people from living a good life and being professionally successful is that they do not write down their goals. At most, they will write some loose overall goals, but don’t define them, set a date of completion or do anything else that makes the goal REAL in their minds. When you skip those steps, you tell your subconscious not to make those goals a priority. Then all sorts of things “pop up” and get in the way of our achievement of those goals. You use those challenges as an lame excuse for why you didn’t complete your goals.

This year, commit yourself to writing down at least 2 professional goals every day. Once you add-on your personal goals, you’ll have more than enough to do and you also won’t feel so overloaded that you start procrastinating the important parts – writing them down and actually achieving them.

Make sure that you write a start date for this resolution. This particular ritual should never be stopped, you don’t need to write a completion date, but you will want evaluation dates. When I started with this same resolution, many many years ago, my evaluation dates were for every 3 months marked on my calendar. On those days, I’d go through my calendar and evaluate all the goals I completed every day, and see where I need to sharpen my focus or change my habits.

Those evaluations helped me to see just how much I got done every day, and it helped me learn that even just 2 goals per day, can be a lot when you throw in the stuff of life that happens every day. More important, after I mastered the habit of chunking out my goals every day, I was able to plan out my schedule more effectively, take on more high-reward opportunities and achieve my goals more quickly.

So if you want that promotion, raise or more clients, then get this resolution down on your list!

4. I Resolve To Help At Least 2 People Achieve a Professional Goal At Least Per Month

I cannot clarify enough, just how far you can take your life, when you commit to unconditionally helping other people achieve their own goals. Call it Karma, the Law of Attraction or whatever you want, but the magic of helping other people, purely with the intention of helping them, is so powerful and should never be overlooked.

You can find records throughout history of people who have learned this. Dale Carnegie, Napoleon Hill, Tony Robbin‘s, Bashar, Deepak Chopkra, the Dalai Lama, Mother Theresa, Gandhi. There are countless figures who did (and continue to do) great things for people, simply because it was their life’s purpose to serve the universe through helping other people succeed.

Did these people work really, really hard? Maybe. But what we know for sure is that their work was really GOOD. Don’t get me wrong, charity and positive energy alone, will not bring you a cushy life in a penthouse apartment, but hard work won’t do it either.

The best formulas for success, those repeatable experiments that show the same outcomes, are the ones that include both hard work and an authentic need to help others succeed, in one form or another.

So make a resolution help at least 2 people, every single month, achieve at least one small goal that brings them closer to their own professional or personal goals in life. Take notes throughout the month, of whom you were able to help and how, and don’t forget to write how you felt while helping them, what internal and external challenges you ran into.

3. I Resolve To Reward Myself for Good Decisions, Even If No One Else Does

One of the most interesting traits that we humans have, is that we often do not realize that the only one with the power to truly reward ourselves for good behavior and good decisions is ourselves.

I’m pretty confident that this happens because we are so used to waiting for someone else to say “Well Done!” or “Good Job!”, before we allow ourselves to release those happy hormones and vibrations that bring us the pleasurable feelings we get when we do a good job or make a good decision.

The ironic part is that 92% of the time, no one is going to be there to say, “Hey! That was a great decision to stop drinking so much soda!” or “I am just amazed at the good job you did when you took on Joe’s responsibilities while he was sick!”. Chances are NO ONE CARES about the good things that you do.

Other people are so engrossed in their own minds, waiting for their own “good job!” to come, that they don’t even consider that you’re waiting too. Don’t take it personally, dear. We’re just raised that way. But the truth is that successful executives do not wait for other people to acknowledge their good decisions or accomplishments.

Instead, they reward themselves.

Whenever they make a decision, they ask themselves, will this decision bring me closer to my goals? Or will it take me farther away from them?.… And when they realize that the decision will bring them closer to their goals, they allow themselves to feel good about their decision and the natural positive consequences that follow.

If you really want to be like them, then commit to doing what successful people do.

2. I Resolve To Save $.10 from Each $1.00 I Earn

A wise man once told me, “If you won’t save $.10 from a dollar, you’ll never put away $1000 from $10k.”

He’s right. We are always waiting to have enough money to feel safe saving some. I know what it’s like to be in that sort of mindset. For one reason or another, the money seems like it has to be spent. Especially if you feel your paycheck is pre-spent on various bills and needs. Sure, we do have regular commitments we need to uphold, but that will NEVER go away. There will never be a “comfortable” time to start saving. The ideal time is NOW.

There are no excuses that can reason away why you cannot save at least 10 cents from every dollar that passes through your hands. The reward of every dime that turns into a dollar, and every dollar that multiplies into hundreds in your savings account, are too substantial to be ignored, especially if you ever plan on evolving your life into one where you have more money than you have bills, and more passion and bliss than depression and stress.

If you think you have a good reason, then I challenge you to send your “reason” to me in an email at (Seriously, that’s a real email and I wanna hear it.) If your excuse is valid, I’ll issue a public apology. But I guarantee you that once we get beyond your perceived limitations, there is no reason this resolution cannot lead you into a successful career or business.

1. I Resolve To Make 3 Clear Requests Everyday

One of the most powerful skills I have ever earned, is the power of Making Requests.

There is one hard lesson that all successful people have to learn at one point or another: You Cannot Succeed Alone.

It’s all too easy to let our logic get in the way and stop us from asking for help when we need it. Whether we need to delegate more responsibilities at work, hire on new employees in our business or ask for help in blasting through unexpected challenges, there are just times when we will need help and we have to learn to ask for it in a way that not only gets the tight help, that makes others feel good about helping us.

Now…we both know…there are plenty of people who make a habit of asking for way too much, which I believe is why so many people are afraid of dipping their toe in the Asking Pool. You don’t want to be THAT girl. Well, by virtue of the fact that you just had that thought, you aren’t. Those are helpless lambs who are always in need of someone to lead them to the watering hole, give everyone else a bad name, because they tend to manipulate people into helping them, and then milk those people dry for everything they’ve got. So…don’t do that.

If you hold the right perspective and don’t allow yourself to fall into a pattern of learned victimization, you can easily get the help you need every day, without using people or feeling like a co-dependent.

The art of Making Requests requires that when you ask for help from people, you do it in a way that respects their time/emotions/resources/abilities, gives them a clear indication of what you need them to do, how they can do it the way you need them to and what they can expect from you in return.

As an example, in my old work environment a request may have gone like this:

Hey, a client emergency just acme up and I need some help. When you have the time, could you help me prepare for a meeting that I have this afternoon? I need to pull a Detailed Performance Report, make 20 copies, double-sided and stapled, and have them ready to present to the leadership team.

I really appreciate your help and once things slow down, I’ll take you to lunch or help you with some things that you need done.

Thanks, Raven

I asked for help with something very specific, explained briefly the WHY (it’s not b/c I’ve been slacking). Then, follow with what I will do in return. In this way, I’ve not just gotten the work done, but possibly created a workplace ally. I owe her one, and hopefully when she asks back, we’ll have created a relationship that wherein we both know that we can lean on each other for help when needed.

Doing this at least 3 times per day, will not only help you get more accomplished, but it will help you learn to communicate with people more effectively. And that, is the most highly desired trait in a leader.

So there you go. 5 resolutions for Young Professionals who want to make it to the top.

Aside from these resolutions, you can also set goals in the many areas of your personal life. Doing so will allow you to take a deeper look into areas of your life, like spirituality and friendships, that you’ve pushed to the back-burner in previous years.

Author's Bio: 

For ten years, Raven Delana Robinson has felt the pull towards excellence. With every executive position, promotion or advancement there was always the feeling that true success was still a step away. Eager to learn, Raven enjoyed the corporate world, accumulating a vast array of skills while working as an executive in Human Resources, Administration, and most recently B2B Marketing. She has sharpened her talents in preparation for this; the next step to success.

Raven is regarded by colleagues as an expert in her field, a positive accountability partner and a mentor. The latter role comes most easily because her true desire is to live in service to the community, the common good, and hopefully to you. She has a talent for analyzing situations both personal and professional, evaluating all possible outcomes and offering keen insights into possible resolutions.

Although living in her true purpose is hardly “work”, when she’s not doing that she can be found under the shade of a tree, listening to soft sounds, reading a book; completely at peace.

Her Values: Life-long learning, Integrity, Authenticity, Simplicity, and service.
Her Mission Statement:To give back to the universe by helping others live their best life.