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Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for MBA Applicants

Are you ready for the new year? Is this the year you start going after your dreams? Is getting accepted to a top b-school one of your goals for this year?

Happy New Year!

The dawning of a new year is the perfect time for self-evaluation, as you reflect on the past year and set new goals for the year to come. For MBA applicants, this time of reflection is so important. You must pause, assess where you are, and determine where you hope to go this year.

MBA Applicants

To get you off to a strong start this year, we’ve come up with 10 resolutions for b-school applicants for the new year. These 10 resolutions will help you begin the year with a plan and lay the groundwork for success in the coming months.

Here are the Top 10 2015 Resolutions for B-School Applicants in a presentation format:

Some of the resolutions can be implemented immediately, while others are more long-term. All will require diligence, discipline and time management as the commitments and distractions of a new year arise.

So, let’s get started!

Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for MBA Applicants


1. Take Care of Yourself

You will work best when you feel strong and well. Take the time to prioritize your health. Check in with your physician and dentist, and take care of any tests or exams that you have been putting off.

Additionally, set aside regular time for exercise. Recommit to a sport that you used to love, or explore a new activity to find ways to make exercise enjoyable.

It’s easy to tell yourself that you are too busy to exercise, but you should remember that even President Obama finds time to shoot hoops. Find 45 minutes, 3 or 4 days a week, to commit to physical fitness.

2. Reconnect With Your Passion

Reconnect with something that really makes you smile. Whether it’s visiting a new museum, or traveling to a new place that you have always dreamed about, find something that you care about and go out and do it.

Even simple indulgences, like buying your favorite flowers at the supermarket, can greatly improve your outlook and reenergize your attitude. In big and small ways, take the time to make yourself happy and indulge the passions you cherish.

3. Have A Massive Goal

Set a goal that will stretch your limits. Think about things that you have always wanted to do, and think about what has held you back. Is it fear? Busyness? Doubt?

Don’t let yourself be limited by these factors anymore. Write down you goal and put a plan in place to make it happen. Make this the year you check that goal off the list.

4. Make This A Year Of Gratitude

Be thankful. Make the coming year one filled with gratitude, for your health, the life that you have been given and the people in your life.

Say thank-you to people who have been good to you and those who you might have overlooked- perhaps a former teacher, or your thesis supervisor, or your first boss.

Make a list of those people and reach out to them. Let them know that you appreciate all they have done.

5. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

Make a commitment to avoid pettiness and let go of grudges. Do not allow uncertainty, stress or doubt to dictate your decisions.

Commit to approaching this year without fear, fully engaged in everything that you do, and clear in your goals and objectives. Do not allow fears or misconceptions to derail you.

6. Invest In Your Key Relationships

Spend quality time with the people that you care about. Remind yourself that what you choose to do today matters. How you choose to spend your time matters.

Instead of hiding behind work or busyness, make a decision to invest in the people in your life and work hard to deepen and improve your relationships with family, friends and colleagues.

7. Commit To Your Personal Brand

To commit to your personal brand, you must fully understand it. Spend some alone time, journal and pen in hand. Write down the attributes that truly capture who you are.

Write down the values that you care about and that are non-negotiable for you. Write down your skills and passions. Define who you are today, what you have done, and where you are headed.

Remember to be honest. Do not write about the person that you want to be. Write about who you are. Authenticity is crucial.

Once you have reflected, develop a personal brand statement of 20-25 words, capturing who you are and where you want to go. That is your elevator pitch, ready to go for any MBA application or professional interview. Developing that now will be a valuable investment for your future.

8. Clarify Why You Want An MBA

Make sure you can clearly state your goals and explain why you want an MBA. Too many MBA applicants neglect self-reflection and do not truly realize what is driving their decision to go to business school.

These applicants resort to generalizations, and they pale in comparison to someone who can personally articulate why an MBA is exactly right for them. Take the time to clarify and define what your goals are, and why you need an MBA to achieve them.

9. Create Your Plan B

If you do not get into your target business school, do you know what you will do? Far too often, people forget to think about Plan B. They spend too much time focusing on Plan A.

You should devote some time to developing contingency plans to prepare for unforeseen circumstances. Having this backup plan will actually give you a lot of confidence. Even as you put 100% of your effort into Plan A, you can rest assured that you have other options if your efforts do not turn out as planned.

Having that confidence can be transformative, and can greatly improve your outlook and success in the MBA application process.

10. Find Something To Create, Lead or Change

Find a way to create something, to lead the way, and catalyze change. The world needs people who can do these things. If you can find a way to lead, create or change something this year, you will have a major impact and learn invaluable lessons.

Top MBA programs, top companies, and countries around the world are looking for people who can create, lead and change. This year, develop your track record as a leader, a creator and a catalyst.

Ask yourself: What can I change? Where can I lead? What can I create? If you start asking those questions, opportunities will arise in your community, your business and your personal life. Find those gaps and fill them well.


To get you off to a strong start this year, we came up with 10 resolutions for b-school applicants for the new year. These 10 resolutions will help you start the year on the right foot and lay the foundation for success in the coming months.

If you can commit to these 10 resolutions, you’ll set yourself up for a great year to come, no matter what challenges come your way, within the MBA application process or outside of it. Like every new year, this one is full of potential.

Here’s to making the most of it.

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