Promises to Myself
Ten 2013 resolutions for my life on the road and off
By David A. Kolman, Senior Editor
New Year’s Eve has always been a time for reflecting on all that has taken place during the year about to end and for looking forward to the coming year. It’s a time when we ponder adjustments and make our resolutions for the coming year.
Over the years, I have come to realize that what the New Year brings depends a great deal on what we bring to the New Year. So I, like many others, make promises to myself to do or not do certain things. This is a good thing.
But even with the best of intentions, old habits are hard to break and change is difficult. We tend to imagine what we’d like to do but we don’t have a plan for doing it. For me, resolution-keeping has become more arduous as the years have gone by because I seem to have grown lackadaisical.
To help me be more effective at keeping my New Year’s resolutions I’ve taken to goal-setting. First, I decide upon specific goals and why I want to achieve them. This helps to keep me motivated. Second, I make sure my goals are really important to me, realistic and attainable.
Third, I devise a plan to accomplish my goals that includes establishing concrete criteria for measuring progress toward each goal, along with a time frame that includes a target date, and frequencies for specific action steps that are important for achieving the goal.
If I’m not making progress, I adjust my action steps. There is no shame in not achieving a resolution. As Henry Ford noted: “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”
Let me give you an example of my resolution strategy. Instead of merely resolving to lose 30 pounds, I set my goal at dropping 10 pounds over the next four months. I plan to eat healthier and exercise first thing every day, beginning with 10 minutes a day and then increasing five minutes every week. After four months I will check my progress and set a new goal.
I wish you much luck in keeping your resolutions, whatever they may be, and leave you with this final thought: The end of a year is neither an end nor a beginning. Rather, it is a time to continue on, with the wisdom and intelligence that comes from experience.
David A. Kolman’s 2013 New Year’s Resolutions
1. Always slow down and move over when approaching an emergency vehicle on the side of the road.
2. Get more comfortable using electronic onboard recorder/electronic logging devices.
3. Be more diligent in my pre- and post- vehicle inspections so I don’t get a CSA “score.”
4. When behind the wheel, eliminate distractions, pay greater attention, drive more responsively and show more courtesy to others.
5. Learn to take better advantage of technology to make trucking easier and safer.
6. Get more organized and better manage my time.
7. Continue to keep learning and developing new skills.
8. Pay greater attention to my health and wellness.
9. Spend more quality time with family and friends.
10. Enjoy life more.