Why You Should Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

Was one of your goals this year to finish your degree or to go back to school?  Do you need extra motivation? According to research by University of Scranton, fewer than 10 percent of people keep their resolutions, but this is one you most certainly should keep. There are many reasons to pursue an education, but here are three very important ones that might motivate you to keep that resolution in 2014.


Many people pursue higher education to advance in their careers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) documents steadily decreasing unemployment and increasing wages corresponding to educational attainment. Translation: the more education you have completed, the more likely you are to be employed and the more money you are likely to make.

The US Census Bureau confirms the BLS projections with their own calculations based on 40 years of data across industries. They aggregate their data on people with BA and BS degrees, but conclude the same curve: your income and employability rise with your educational attainment. In a resource constrained economy where jobs are scarce, your education may be what sets you apart from the other candidates.


Perhaps you aren’t interested in seeking work outside the home. That doesn’t make education irrelevant for you. The opposite may be true.

If you are a parent, your education may make you a better parent and help your children to succeed. There is a multitude of research connecting a parent’s education to their child’s educational attainment, poverty, health, and rates of incarceration and substance abuse.  Your own education motivates your child, as does your expectations of them.

Children whose parents believe in them and expect more from them achieve more, regardless of family structure.

Personal satisfaction of reaching your goals

Perhaps the most motivating of all three reasons is the personal satisfaction of being able to accomplish what you set out to do. Beat the odds. Sticking to your resolution means that you have more will-power than the majority of the population. 

You will not likely complete your degree in one year, but you can start it this year, and make a new goal for next year. Who knows, maybe your PhD will be your goal next year!

About the Author

Dr. Kristen Obst is the Program Director for the Public Administration and Security Management Programs and Associate Professor of Public Administration at American Public University System.  She is the proud mother of two little boys and her husband is active duty Army.  



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