Renewing our Resolve for Involvement By: Emily Wilensky

The turning over of a new calendar year inevitably means you will at least once be asked the question “what is your New Year’s resolution?” Depending on your situation, you may respond with a groan or a thoughtful resolution. Whether or not we adhere to this tradition, the New Year does present a good opportunity for reflection and looking forward, but often times the pledges we make leading up to the ball dropping, though well intended, fall short of complete integration into our lives. In light of this, we’d like to use take this opportunity to do a meditation on the root meaning of the word resolution—resolve—in order to glean some perspective on why so often this yearly tradition falls by the wayside a month or two into the new calendar year.

So often we vow to quit smoking or lose weight, and then quickly abandon our goal at the first sign of weakness, but where does this get us? Now we just feel guilty for having smoked a cigarette or given into the temptation of a dessert. Instead of wasting energy on regret or guilt, we should use this as an opportunity to examine the factors that led us to give in to the urge to go against what we have resolved to discontinue.

When we think about our relationship to the resolve we are attempting to make, it naturally leads to contemplation about why we engage in this habit. In order to effectively change our behavior, it helps to have at least a surface understanding of why we engage in this particular behavior and why we feel the need to change it. Once we have set the intention to change a particular aspect of our lives, is to crucial to understand that real change happens slowly, mainly because it takes time to create the environment to support the changes we are trying to make.

For example, if an Employment Consultant vows to find more jobs for the individuals they are working with, then they must also examine the steps needed to make that happen. Depending on the individual, this may mean reorganizing your schedule in a way that allows for your time to be maximized toward your goal. This might also mean they need to engage in networking events in the area in order to expand their reach in the business community. Whatever barriers are in place from preventing you from actualizing your goals, you must systematically remove them in order to succeed.

That said, this year at CIP’s Employment and Community Services we are setting the intention to improve, innovate and advocate for inclusion in creative and thoughtful ways. In this way, we hope to expand our reach in the community and improve the way that businesses reach out to include a more diverse workforce. This will require examining how we’ve done things in the past, identifying what works and what doesn’t, and adjusting our practices accordingly. As we look forward to the coming year, we’d like to acknowledge all of the employers and community organizations/volunteer opportunities we have the pleasure of working with, and to our staff for their hard work and dedication in the relentless pursuit of inclusion and equality. Let 2013 be the year we resolve to be the change we want to see in the world.

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