Commit to success by committing to keeping your commitments.

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Welcome to 2016! It’s a shiny, brand new year. What are you going to do with it?

How about making it really special; how about making this the year your career truly takes off?

Well, here’s the good news: Creating a very special year — a very special life — is well within your grasp. All you need to do to is to always do what you say you’re going to do.

Sound simplistic? Don’t be fooled. This seemingly no-brainer idea is more far-reaching than it at first appears.

For one thing, always doing what you say you’re going to do means you need to be, or become, extremely good at your job. After all, reliability means consistently honoring your commitments. But because you can only honor commitments that are doable in the first place, you’ll need to be so proficient, so darn good, that you’re able to accurately predict (a) if a task is feasible and (b) how long it will take you to achieve that task.

It is not as easy as it sounds. You’ll need not only practice and experience but also the wisdom to think things through and the fortitude to resist making rash promises in the first place.

(Perhaps you are thinking that we are often asked, or told, to do things that simply can’t be done, or that can’t be done in the time we’re given. In this case, you will still have to try, but do make your accurate prediction anyway. It will be remembered.)

Keep in mind that always doing what you say you’re going to do also includes implied commitments. The most common example is adhering to a schedule. That is, when you accept most jobs you are implicitly committing to arrive at a certain time and work until a certain time.

See? Always doing what you say you’re going to do touches on all aspects of a job, from the sublime (superior work) to the mundane (punctuality). Indeed, once you have committed to honoring your commitments, you will find yourself engaging in many powerful career-building behaviors: honesty, selflessness, diligence and more.

All that leads to true and enduring success in any field. Or, in other words, rock star status.

Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use. Email her at