Your New Year Resolution: Passing the PMP Certification Exam

As the new year begins, it’s a time of reflection on what we have accomplished and not accomplished, and a time to set goals and plans for the year ahead. According to a recent study by Statistic Brain, the Top 10 most popular New Year’s resolutions were:

  • Lose weight
  • Get organized
  • Spend less and save more
  • Enjoy life to the fullest
  • Stay fit and healthy
  • Learn something new
  • Quit smoking
  • Help others
  • Fall in love
  • Spend more time with family

A study conducted from The University of Scranton also found some interesting statistics on popular resolutions and success levels:

  • 45% of people make resolutions but only 8% are successful in achieving them
  • 47% of the resolutions are related to self improvement or education.

Like people, resolutions come in all shapes and sizes.  Some are big, some small, some fun and some not so fun.  Stop smoking and dieting are usually the big and not so fun goals.  Other typical ones include being happier, getting less frustrated with your spouse or children, or spending less money.  Some fun ones include renovating that room you never get around to, adding more creativity into your life, upgrading a skill or travelling more.

  • If you are an aspiring Project Manager, passing your PMP Certification Exam should be your big resolution to keep this year.
  • If you already have your PMP Certification, then catching up on those Professional Development Units (PDUs) to maintain your status would be a good resolution to consider.

In order to help keep you focused and successful here are a few key suggestions to keep in mind:

  • Be Proactive: Outline your daily and weekly obligations and make a study schedule.  Establishing a routine and sticking to it will help reduce distractions and allow you to get everything you need accomplished.
  • Deal With Interruptions: Let’s face it, there will be lots of interruptions on your way to becoming a PMP. What would you do if the house is too noisy and prevents you from studying? Plan to go to the local Library or use a Conference Room at work. Imagine a few common scenarios and write down your “Risk Mitigation” strategy before the risk become a reality! After all you plan to become a PM, so start acting like one!
  • Keep Yourself Motivated: Remind yourself every so often of why you are doing it.  Keep a list of these reasons close by so you can read them and keep your motivation charged.
  • Surround Yourself with Support: Build a positive network of help from family, friends, coworkers and classmates.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
  • Register With an Online PMP Training: Chose an online training that provides a complete study package and keeps you focused on your objective. The best ones would allow you to download the trainings to your mobile tablet or laptop so you can carry it with you wherever you go, even if you don’t have access to WiFi or internet.

Regardless of the resolution, the key to sticking with it is to take small steps and making a plan.  Like any project, you need to break it down into small manageable parts and milestones first before tackling it head on.  Little accomplishments help build energy and motivation leading to bigger success rates.