This week, millions of people are making resolutions to lose weight, call their mothers every week, and maybe not swear so often - all of which are certainly practical and very admirable goals! However, given the rise of artificial intelligence this year, we all might want to place "learning a new skill" at the top of our collective to-do list.

Research by Gartner suggests that about 1.8 million jobs will be wiped out by 2020 because of AI and 2.3 million new ones will be created. According to RaShea Drake, analyst for Verizon, repetitive jobs will soon become extinct and a lot of the new jobs being created will revolve around (surprise, surprise) managing artificial intelligence.

AI innovation is moving at the speed of light and now is not the time to be resting on our laurels. Learning in real time is critical, so in light of the resolution season, here are a few ways to get ahead of the curve.

Devote 20 Minutes Per Day to Learning

Devoting just twenty minutes a day to learning about AI can give you a significant boost. According to Dr. Marty Lobdell, professor at Pierce College, your ability to retain information diminishes after 25-30 minutes, so it makes the most sense to break up your learning into these small chunks. Plus, you can commit to twenty measly minutes a day, no matter how busy you are.

You might use this time to get a general idea of how artificial intelligence will be implemented in your industry and if you're able to, get a free demo of relevant technologies on the market. If you want to be a little more ambitious, see if you can get a free trial of the technology and test it out on small side projects.

Interactive Learning

If you're not the most techy person in the world or are easily distracted, silently reading about artificial intelligence might be totally useless. Even if you have the best intentions, your mind can wander and you'll eventually become disengaged. This is why interactive learning tends to produce the best results.

In a recent story here on Inc, Jessica Stillman outlines some of the best ways to learn proactively. Turns out, reading aloud can give you a five to fifteen percent learning boost and making handwritten notes (rather than using a computer) greatly increases your retention. So you may want to get in on that.

Get a Learning Buddy

Fitness instructors will tell you that if you want to get to the gym more, get an accountability buddy; the same goes for pretty much everything - especially learning, in my opinion.

When you learn with a buddy, each of you might pick up different points through the process and you can compare notes.

Last month, a friend of mine and I both had to learn about cryptocurrency for a project we were doing. Each of us had to talk to various experts every week, so we'd set up a weekly call to talk about everything we'd learned. We also shared articles, videos, and revelations over Facebook messenger. We sort of approached the whole thing as if we were uncovering a great mystery, which made the whole thing way more fun than it should have been.

It's pretty amazing how much you can pick up when you collectively decide to be excited about learning - and collaborate during the process!

Artificial intelligence is instilling fear into the hearts of many who fear they will become obsolete. Don't be a casualty. As this technology transitions into the mainstream, resolve this New Year's to get yourself up to speed and next holiday season, you won't be visited by any "ghosts of Christmas Pasts" telling you just where you went wrong.

Happy New Year!

Published on: Dec 29, 2017
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.