Have You Dropped Your New Year’s Resolution Yet?

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Have you forgotten or dropped your New Year’s Resolution yet?

Almost 90 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail and most people drop them by the end of January.

Resolutions help us think of ways we can improve ourselves, but unless you take the time to formulate them as effective goals, they can easily slip away. Effective goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-limited.

For example, someone might create a resolution to improve their career by getting more certifications. That’s admirable, but not as effective as one of these goals:

“I will earn the Security+ certification by midnight March 1.”

or

“I will earn the SSCP certification by midnight April 15th.”

or

“I will earn the CISSP certification by midnight April 15th.”

These goals are specific (Security+, SSCP, or CISSP certifications), measurable (earning it by passing the test), achievable (by most people working in or pursuing IT jobs with relevant networking knowledge), realistic (most people can pass these certs within these timelines with the right materials), and time-limited (by midnight March 1 for Security+, or April 15th, for the SSCP and CISSP).

You can modify these goals with any other certification such as CASP, CCNA, or anything else you like. Similarly, you can change the date to something that is achievable based on your current knowledge and the certification.

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Creating Effective Goals instead of New Year’s Resolutions

During my time in the Navy, trainers taught me that effective goals are SMART:

  • Specific. State exactly what you want. For example, instead of setting the goal: “I want a a certification,” set a goal of “I want to earn the Security+ certification.”
  • Measurable. Goals are specific enough so that anyone, including you, can tell when you’ve achieved it. For example, after taking and passing the Security+ exam, you’ll have the certificate that you can show to anyone.
  • Achievable. If you’re working in an IT job or pursuing one and have relevant Networking knowledge, it is achievable to earn the Security+ certification.
  • Realistic. With the relevant networking knowledge and the right study materials, most people can pass this exam within 30 days.
  • Time-limited. A time and date identifies when you expect to achieve the goal. This helps spur you to action and enables you to evaluate your progress.

For example, this is a SMART goal:

“I will earn the Security+ certification by midnight March 1.”

If you’re pursuing the Security+ certification and want to set this goal for yourself, I want to help. For a limited time, you can get the full Security+ package for only 39.99. You’ll have access to online study materials such as multiple choice practice test questions, simulated performance-based questions, audio, and flashcards. These materials are a perfect supplement to the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide.

Hurry though. Sales ends midnight EST on Feb 1.

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