The New Year brings with it the anticipation of change and transformation, and marks a new start where one can put the less-than-perfect instances of the previous year behind and build a new future. Unfortunately, the New Year also tends to bring with it numerous dashed hopes as the year progresses. It seems it is not uncommon for the majority of us to make the proverbial New Year’s Resolutions, only to start out like gangbusters and slowly give up on our determined goals.

At the recent North Carolina Biomedical Association Symposium in Pinehurst, NC, I attended the “Smart Networking for Biomeds” class taught by S. David Vaillancourt, EdD, CEO, and founder of CompuSage, Birmingham, Ala. While the focus of the class was on IT networking, he lectured on the basics of success and placed a strong emphasis on the importance of personal networking.

One of the precepts Vaillancourt presented was the importance of goals. Most of us have heard that setting goals is essential to and equated with success (which is probably why we attempt those resolutions). In his course, it was pointed out that those who set goals succeed in their dreams because they know where they are going.

Vaillancourt took this idea a step further by relating it directly to biomeds and the challenges facing the profession with the growing crossover with IT. Considering the rapid technological advances, Vaillancourt said that if you have not identified your next step—or set some goals—you are not just standing still, you are going backwards.

To counteract the “standing still” syndrome, he suggested a couple of things: Subscribe to an industry magazine, and actually read it. If you are reading this, you have already mastered that step.

Another suggestion was to decide which skills you need to grow in your profession and obtain them. Do you want to get certified? Obtain another certification? Get your bachelor’s or master’s degree? Whatever your dream, getting on a growth track will lead you to success.

Success means different things to each of us. For example, motivational speaker Earl Nightingale said, “success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.”

Whatever your definition of success and aspiration for 2007, I hope you will find the resolve to establish a plan and follow through. As author Mark Victor Hansen says, “Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles, and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now.”

24×7 wishes each of you a New Year of successful resolutions.