Nearly everyone does it. It’s a practical inevitability in life. As the minutes tick down towards the start of a New Year, we think about all the things we will do differently in the coming year. ‘ I will lose weight. I’m going to save for my dream [car, house, fill-in-the-blank]. I will eat more fruits and vegetables. I’m going to start flossing regularly, I swear. I’m giving up wine… for Lent, at least.’ Whatever’s on your mental, physical, or virtual resolution list, you most likely have at least one or two things you’re committed to doing in 2016—things that will, inevitably, fall to the wayside as your busy life gets the better of you over the coming months.

I’m not trying to make you feel bad. After all, I’m just like you! I have the best intentions of making positive changes every year, but I rarely complete even one item on my list. The next thing I know, I’m counting down to midnight on 12/31 again, beating myself up for failing miserably to reach my goals, and simultaneously dreaming up a new list of resolutions that I’ll probably never accomplish.

So what’s the point of New Year’s resolutions if we rarely keep them? The point is to continuously better yourself—something you can’t do without at least thinking about what you could be doing better. The New Year is like an annual calendar reminder dinging away and telling us to take a moment to consider what we’re doing right and wrong so we have an inkling of how to improve our lives. If you want to take things a step further this year and actually make some of your resolutions happen, then you need to be both realistic and thoughtful when making your list.

Professionals like Forbes’ contributor Vanessa Loder say that a good to-do list should have no more than 1-3 items on it, and an effective resolution list is no different. Why? It’s all about prioritization. You may have 10 life-changing things you want to do this year, but realistically, you’re only likely to get 1, maybe 2 done. If you accept that, you’ll be more likely to successfully accomplish your goals for the year. To that end, it’s time to scrap your original list, think long and hard about which completed resolutions would add the most value to your life, and commit to completing those 1-2 goals between now and December 31st.

This year, I have just one resolution on my list, and it’s one I think you should consider putting—and keeping—on yours, too: professional development. Whether you’ve worked in the federal market for a few months or decades, professional development is a worthwhile investment. Taking just one class this year could help you do your job more efficiently and effectively, result in higher revenue for your company, and make you a more valuable—and marketable—employee. Education is a win-win, for you and your business.

Even though the New Year is already underway, it’s not too late to make this one valuable resolution and stick to it. If you’re ready to better yourself through professional development coursework, I highly recommend checking out OST Global Solutions’ upcoming business development, capture management, and proposal writing workshops. Our teachers intimately know the subjects they cover because they have years of industry experience. Not only that, they’re engaging and offer loads of practical examples that will help you better understand the principles presented. Plus, you’ll walk away with a certificate that will make a valuable addition to your resume and demonstrate just how committed you are to your profession.

Here’s to a prosperous New Year… and a better you, too!

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