A new list of this year’s top resolutions yields some fascinating insights about the connections between health, productivity, finance, and career-focused learning.

Jan 2 · 4 min read

Inc. Magazine has just published their list of the Top New Year’s Resolutions For 2019, and while at first glance, it may not be immediately apparent how they connect to learning and career success, a quick read between the lines makes clear the relationships.

Before we explain the connections, however, let’s look at the list:

source: https://www.statista.com/chart/16500/top-us-new-years-resolutions/

Health sits right where you’d probably expect it to; right at the top:

  1. Diet or eat healthier
  2. Exercise more
  3. Lose weight

When it comes to learning, that’s as it should be. No less a figure than Gautama Buddha offers us an inspiring quote on the relationship between health and learning:

“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”

Next on the list?

4. Save money

5. Learn a new skill

It’s fitting these two should be back-to-back, as in today’s world, the cost of education is a real obstacle for far too many people. As recently reported by Forbes (in an article with the following jaw-dropping title: Price Of College Increasing Almost 8 Times Faster Than Wages):

“Student loans now make up the largest chunk of U.S. non-housing debt.”

Fortunately, there are options like Udacity out there, where you can learn valuable, career-ready skills in intensive, efficient, and economical learning programs. Udacity now even offers payment plan options through a new partnership with Affirm. Additionally, more and more companies are investing in learning programs for their workforces, enabling employees to keep their skills current, and to continue delivering value to their organizations. Udacity’s Enterprise team recently published an excellent case study about a company who pursued just such an effort: Turkcell Embraces Digital Transformation.

Now, back to our list of resolutions, where we next find:

6. Quit smoking

If you’re not sure how this connects to learning and career success, you might want to read this recent article:

You won’t believe the staggering amount of time wasted on workplace smoke breaks

Next up on the list?

7. Read more

8. Find another job

This is another instance where it’s particularly appropriate to find two items side-by side. To understand why, let’s look at a recent LinkedIn article about the skills employers are looking for in 2019:

The Skills Companies Need Most in 2019 — And How to Learn Them

In this post, the author notes that, “57% of senior leaders today say soft skills are more important than hard skills.” And as to the #1 soft skills employers are looking for? Creativity. So yes, read more!

Now, after reading more, and getting a new job, comes:

9. Drink less alcohol

This is an issue with real workplace ramifications as well; just like smoking. Here’s but one powerful statistic:

Workers with an alcohol problem are 270% more likely to have an accident.

That comes from an article titled Alcohol & Drugs in the Workplace. In another article, Excessive Drinking is Draining the U.S. Economy, we learn that, “The cost of excessive alcohol use in the U.S. rose to almost a quarter trillion dollars in 2010.” More significantly, we also learn that, “most of the costs resulted from losses in workplace productivity (72% of the total cost).” In short, less drinking = more productivity!

The list closes with:

10. Spend more time with family and friends

This may sound like almost the opposite of learning and working, but in fact, your family and friends can play a very important role in your learning and career success. Serene Liu’s story is a perfect example:

“With so many of my friends and family already working in the programming industry, I’d started engaging with them online, asking questions and reading their posts. It was simple for me to go online and ping one of them with questions about my studies. I’d get multiple perspectives, and they wouldn’t just tell me the answer, but would answer my questions with more questions. This forced me to think about problems differently.”

And here’s a beautiful question-and-answer culled from a recent interview we conducted with Udacity grad Kimberly McCaffrey:

“What does your family think of your new focus on building websites?

My husband is really proud of me. And the kids have all been really behind me. They’ve totally understood that mom was trying something new, that learning to code is what she’s doing now. So they did laundry. They would make lunch. It was very heartwarming to know they stood behind me, and that they understood how important it was to me.”

As it’s already the first week of January, you’ve probably already made your New Year’s resolutions. Chances are, they probably aren’t all focused on learning and career success. But then again, maybe they are?

To whatever extent your resolutions DO involve learning and career success, please consider Udacity at your service!


This post was written by Christopher Watkins, Senior Writer and Chief Words Officer, Udacity

Udacity Inc

Learning for the Jobs of Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond


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Udacity Inc

Learning for the Jobs of Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond

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