With 2016 around the corner, resolution season is almost here. Although it can be difficult to stay the course and accomplish these often lofty goals, (University of Scranton research suggests just 8 percent of people reach them) resolutions are beneficial in a variety of ways. Having specific, written goals for the year increases motivation and increases general achievement.

Sharing resolutions with others and using a buddy system can help you stick to the plan, according to clinical psychologist John Norcross of the University of Scranton. The Chamber asked few young professionals to share their professional and personal resolutions and whether they had success in achieving past goals.

What are your professional New Year’s resolutions and why?Resolutions

One of my professional New Year’s resolutions is to expand my knowledge. I believe every day is an opportunity to learn something new, whether it is in the workplace or outside of the workplace. I want to challenge myself to learn new things about the business, my profession and the bigger picture of the industry that I wish to stay in. – Erika Castro, community outreach representative, SRP

My New Year’s professional resolution is to embrace being uncomfortable. If I am uncomfortable, it means that I am learning something new. I am an extreme introvert so getting engaged and networking has always been a challenge for me. Each time that I force myself to jump over that hurdle it can feel pretty empowering. – Ashley Ferguson, economic development business research analyst, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce

Every year I commit to learning something new and finding different ways to collaborate with others and give back to the community. I think it is essential to prioritize serving the needs of our community. When we invest in our community and build the workforce in our state, we are making Arizona place a better place to live and do business. I am currently the vice chair of the Board of Directors of the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation and the work we are already doing is truly transformational and will impact families for generations to come. I hope to make 2016 a year to remember! – Ashley Kasarjian, counsel, Snell & Wilmer

I want to start consistently volunteering. I haven’t decided where yet, but I am planning on starting to do research and reaching out to volunteer coordinators before the end of the year to set up time. – Alexie Chavez, marketing coordinator, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce

Get more involved with the local AIGA (art and design professionals) chapter. Maybe volunteer for a position to keep myself active and going to talks and networking events. – Melanie Berg, graphic designer, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce

What are your personal resolutions?

To win the lottery! In all seriousness, I want to become debt free. My husband and I have been working on this plan for a while now and we want to take it to the gazelle level of intensity. We want to be done with debt by 2017. – Erika Castro, community outreach representative, SRP

Not to lose my mind this year, maybe? With a full time job and pursuing a master’s degree full time, I tend to forget the things that I am passionate about outside of work and school. I am an artist and a musician. Developing my career is my ultimate passion, but music and art are the things that keep me sane. My personal resolution this year would be to not let these things fall by the wayside. – Ashley Ferguson, economic development business research analyst, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce

My personal New Year’s resolutions never change from year to year. My number one priority is that my family is happy and healthy and those around me know that they are valued and appreciated. I develop and reassess my own personal goals throughout the year, but I don’t necessarily think of those as New Year’s resolutions—as they are constantly evolving throughout the year. – Ashley Kasarjian, counsel, Snell & Wilmer

Personal resolutions are to talk to more people… and take more art classes! – Melanie Berg, graphic designer, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce

Were you able to achieve last year’s resolutions?

One of my resolutions was to work on my presentation skills. I feel confident enough that I achieved that goal. The advice I will give is that if you want to work on a resolution, you need to make the effort and take the initiative to get all of the training needed. I took every opportunity to work on my presentation skills so that I would become better. I took formal training along with practicing with family and co-workers. – Erika Castro, community outreach representative, SRP

I actually did get to achieve several of my resolutions last year…I tend to make a rather large list at the beginning of every year. Not every single thing on my list holds some great profound meaning, but each small victory keeps me in line. The greatest advice that I have followed throughout my professional and personal life actually came from Pablo Picasso: “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” There are a great many things that I hope to achieve and the only way they will happen is if I constantly work for it. – Ashley Ferguson, economic development business research analyst, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce

I kind of achieved my resolution last year. It went really well until August. I think what really helped keep it going that long was that I was keeping myself accountable and constantly reminding myself why I started. The things that help are: accountability, checking yourself and having others help you by calling you on your crap, for lack of a better word. Also remembering why you started and why it’s important to keep doing it, and not losing sight of the goal, are all important. – Alexie Chavez, marketing coordinator, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce

I didn’t make any steadfast resolutions last year, but usually I am more motivated if I tell someone (helps keep me accountable) and it always helps if my goal involves specific, timed group activities. Like when I started to get back into the gym this past year, I choose a gym that had a class schedule I liked because it was more motivating to pick specific classes with times. Same for art, I’m not usually motivated to get my art supplies out when I am at home but when I sign up for a class it’s a specific set time on my calendar! – Melanie Berg, graphic designer, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce

-written by Carolina Lopez, digital marketing administrator.

Posted by Alexie Chavez