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Researcher Resolutions 2016

Posted On  January 5, 2016

You’ve probably seen the stats on New Year’s resolutions. Half of us make them. Few of us fulfill them. When a colleague told me that people who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to achieve their goals than those who don’t, I was encouraged. I’m not sure where she got that statistic, but it made me feel better. Despite the conflicting numbers, I embrace the age-old tradition of making New Year’s resolutions.

I asked my colleagues if they made any resolutions this year. Many also made “new” commitments to themselves in pursuit of, among other things, success, happiness, peace, and phone-free meetings.

Up and at ‘em!I resolve to start the day early, working productively right from the start. No more easing into the day!”

Listen up. I resolve to listen more and ask more questions. My solutions-oriented mindset will be more valuable after I’ve made understanding people and situations a priority.”

Be present. I resolve to do a better job staying focused in the moment despite the onslaught of distractions. When I’m in a meeting and the phone rings, I will not even look to see who is calling. I will turn off my computer when reviewing a report.”

Put the marketing back in marketing research.I resolve to be a better marketing consultant for my clients. I’ll start by spending more up front time understanding the marketing issues and questions, getting clarity and alignment on objectives.”

Remember respondents are real people. “I resolve to respect their humanity in every piece of the research I conduct.”

Be an impartial analyst. “I resolve to be mindful of biases, particularly my own.”

Get comfortable with not knowing everything. “I resolve to ask others around me for their input and expertise – which should be pretty easy, as I am surrounded by many experts. I need to remind myself that I do not need to know everything my team knows.”

Look for opportunities to teach others. I resolve to pursue my purpose of helping others achieve theirs.”

Master my inbox.I resolve to better organize my mailbox. I need to use the delete button with less fear.”

Once and only once. “I’ll use the one touch time management strategy whenever I can. I’m starting with email.”

Love the journey! “I resolve to accept what is as what is, and to enjoy the privilege of living in each moment along the way without attachment to outcomes.”

Be peaceful. “Of course, I can’t control the stress and hubbub of life as a qualitative researcher, but I resolve to pursue calm in my work. It starts with solid planning and communication, but it really is about my attitude and how I respond to curve balls.

The start of a new year is a great time to reflect on goals, make commitments to ourselves, and remind ourselves that with hard work and an entrepreneurial mindset, anything is possible… including an organized inbox.

My New Year’s resolution? To ignore the articles about why making resolutions is bad. Tell me, “Who has ever been worse off for setting a few constructive goals?”

So fellow researchers, did you make any resolutions? What are yours?


  1. I actually found an app to help me with mine: keeping better track of my tasks to increase productivity. The app is called Fabulous; it has made a difference so far — my days feel far less filled with, “What was all that stuff I needed to do again?” 🙂


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