With a new year coming up, there’s no better time to explore a new skill – or new career – in code. But it takes commitment. Setting up goals and a study plan to help you achieve them is key to your coding success in 2018.

Take Flatiron School’s New Years Coding Resolution quiz below to a personal study plan you can commit to in 2018, and then read why having a plan is such an important thing to have on your coding journey.

Now, here are three reasons setting a learning plan for yourself sets you up for success:

1. It keeps you accountable

Think about having a gym membership – signing up is a good first step, but to see the results you want, you actually have to show up, week in and week out. It’s not so different with a coding course. Without committing to a plan, it’s easy to lose track of your goals and the path you’ll take to reach them. Maintaining a schedule and finding a consistent amount of time to spend on your coursework – even if it’s just a few hours a week – helps you make learning to code a priority, not something you just shift around other tasks.

2. It teaches you to manage your own schedule

Once you start a career as a software engineer, you’re going to be juggling a lot of projects simultaneously. You’ll need to know how to prioritize different tasks and how much time to put into each. Why wait to flex these important skills? Setting and maintaining a learning plan right now is a perfect way to prepare yourself for the difficult balancing act you’ll be performing on the job.

3. Having a path forward is a motivator

Learning online on your on schedule can be liberating, but also isolating. There are times when you can get in your own head, lose track of your goals, and lose your motivation. Setting up and committing to a learning plan lets you see a path forward – and a reasonable timeline to reach your goal. Even if you’re in the middle of a near-impossible lesson, you know you’ve given yourself a set amount of hours to tackle it, and you know by the next week, you’ll have put in more time – you can extrapolate out and have a good sense of when you’ll finish your coding course. Knowing what’s at the end and when you might reach it is an amazing motivator.

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