Let’s face it – 2020 has been a tough year for many people. And so, I’m sure that many people are looking forward to 2021 and hoping that this coming year is better.
But this time of year is not just a time to hope for something better. It is also a good time to reflect and consider what we, ourselves, can do better in the upcoming months. As we reflect, many people create resolutions for actions in which they hope to engage. Some people like to improve their exercise routines. Others like to eat healthier. One good one that some people do is to continue their education. If this last one is yours, I recommend many of our excellent programs at Saint Vincent including our Master of Science in Management: Operational Excellence, which I direct.
Personally, I try not to make many resolutions as a rule. I find that I either forget about them within a few hours of the new year or become obsessed with them so much that I take them to an extreme. There seems to be no in between for me, so I often don’t make any in January and see how the year goes. But, since this is not really consistent with goal setting theory that states that having a realistic objective can help direct effort to positive outcomes (Locke & Latham, 2019) and because 2020 has been a year quite unlike what I had expected, I am going to try something different and state some resolutions in this month’s blog.
Of course, I have several professional resolutions that I would like to make. I hope to finish the three books I am working on, two of which are installments in the “Exploring Effective Leadership through Popular Culture” series that I am editing (one on leadership in “Star Wars” and the other on leadership in J.R.R. Tolkien’s stories of Middle-earth, both due out in 2021). The third book which is due out in 2022 is a bit more grounded. It is about leadership in multigenerational organizations.
Aside from these projects, I hope to also make progress on a special issue for the “Measuring Business Excellence” journal that I am editing and that is closely related to the philosophy of Saint Vincent’s Master of Science in Management: Operational Excellence program. It will be focused on how organizations can create and sustain cultures of excellence. Because this is closely related to what we teach in our program, I hope to collaborate with our graduate students and faculty on this and other related research.
And I, especially, want to continue to improve my teaching, particularly with regard to leveraging technology. I have been fine-tuning my online pedagogical approach for more than seven years, but it was certainly tested this fall when a vast majority of my nearly 100 students chose to take my courses online. I learned a lot, and I resolve to incorporate my learning into my classes this semester to provide an even better experience for my students and to be there for them no matter what this coming year throws at us.
All of these are professional resolutions, but even more important are my personal ones. Yes, I want to get into better shape physically. But, most significantly, I want to improve my “shape” more holistically as a person. I will strive to be a more patient, caring and understanding person. I hope to live every day in 2021 to its fullest by continuing to strive to be the best dad, husband, son and friend that I can be. And I want to experience the joy of each day including the “small” but not insignificant blessings that occur every single moment that are actually every-day miracles.
What do you think? Are these resolutions realistic? Too many? Too few? What are your resolutions for 2021? I wish each of you all the best in 2021. I would love to hear from you in the new year, too! Send me a message at email@example.com or connect with me on social media: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Dr. Mike Urick
Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (2019). The development of goal setting theory: A half century retrospective. Motivation Science, 5(2), 93-105.