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Press Start: Lead an Empowered Life as a Clinical Laboratorian

What's Your One Word Resolution for the New Year?

Published December 31, 2015 6:13 PM by Glen McDaniel

It's that time of year again. I could hardly believe it when I was leaving work today and someone made the inevitable never-stale comment, "Well, I wont see you until next year." Today is really the last day of a very interesting  and eventful year.

Starting today and into the next few days, many will be laboring over New Year's Resolutions. They will pledge to lose weight, be more tolerant, be more assertive, work more, play more, and on and on.

As I have written before very few resolutions come to fruition. The sad reality is that many are discarded to the dustbin of time within days of being dutifully constructed and sworn to. The fact is many resolutions are just unrealistic. Others are made in a vacuum, with no plan as to how to achieve them. In any event most are made under pressure-from society, or friends or oneself.

For years, I have myself adopted - and recommend to others as well - a different approach. If you have identified a goal you would like to achieve, make it a SMART goal (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-limited). You can set this goal at any time (not just the start of a new calendar year). Depending on what is, you may choose to keep it secret (it's no body's business after all) or you may share it so you have one or more accountability partners that will hold you accountable and help to keep you on track.

My other suggestion is to brain-storm by yourself. Yes, it's possible to sit by yourself with pad and paper and just write down what's important to you and what you'd like to achieve. Don't judge or censure; let the thoughts flow. Leave it for a while, put the pad down, sleep on it and then revisit your list. Is there a pattern? Is there one word or phrase that embodies and encapsulates  your goal (s)? 

Ok. Then write that one word down. That is the "resolution" that will govern you for the new year. We are teleological goal-seeking organisms. If we concentrate on a concept, look at it frequently, and absorb it, it is remarkable how we move towards that goal; sometimes automatically. We will meet people and "accidentally" find information or people that help us.

Faced with decisions in the new year, look at the choices through the lenses of your one-word resolution. What option would move you towards your goal and what actions would divert you, or prolong the attainment of your goal? 

So what's your vision for 2016? What one word describes the ideal state you'd like to achieve this next year. 

Write it down, look at it, digest it. I support you in your vision.

Here's to your best year yet!! 


That's a novel idea. My word is passion. As I approach retirement I am tired. So much has changed in this profession and in healthcare. Those coming up in the field don't necessarily have the same training or commitment that we do. I feel bad I want to move on. I want to leave the profession knowing it's in good hands. You and I will need healthcare and need to know we will get the best care. I want to rekindle my passion and pass on something valuable to those we are leaving behind.

Anne V., MLS January 9, 2016 2:20 PM
Decatur GA

What a fantastic concept. I have certainly been there with the  resolutions to be  a better husband and friend (vague), or to work out (too hard with work). I feel frustrated and ashamed almost when I tell friends and don't follow through.

Career wise I think goals tend to be vague like "make more money" or "get a promotion."

You made me realize we tend to have a quality in our mind that we want. Why do we want a better job, why doe want to lose weight?

Once we get clear on that thing we can get a better more solid resolution. I am back to the drawing board, but I will make a more solid resolution this year and let you know how it goes.

Thank you for always been there for us with fantastic ideas.

Mervin , MTll January 2, 2016 9:39 PM
San Diego CA

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