Fretting over 2019 New Year’s resolutions? We’ve got you covered

Because you’re not alone in making vows for the year to come, Metrolinx’s top leader – as well as an expert on how we make promises that are hard to keep – wade in with a course for the year to come.

Let’s see how that list is coming.

That you’ll lose at least five pounds before spring – though your diet has largely been chocolate, chips and potluck cheese dip over the past few weeks.

Be nicer to the in-laws – even if your brother-in-law cleans out all the food in the fridge when he visits.

You’ve stood here before, at the crossroads of a past year and a new one ahead. And that usually means making vows for the 12 months to come – then breaking them like old and fragile holiday bulbs. In fact, studies suggest 80 per cent of annual New Year’s resolutions are never kept.

But this year, we promise, can be different.

First, here’s a bit of educated advice from an international authority on the mistakes we often make when mapping out choices for the year to come.

Psychologist John Monterosso has looked at New Year’s resolutions using neuroscience usually applied to addiction and self-control.

He suggests making promises that are very specific.

Monterosso, of the University of Southern California, believes we shouldn’t dwell on past failures. The academic counsels to pick targets that are reasonable and not difficult to make come true.

Robert Monterosso

Psychologist John Monterosso suggests picking goals that are specific and reachable. (Supplied photo)

“I can’t say what is the biggest mistake, but just as a treaty without strong monitoring is worthless, I expect a resolution that does not have a mechanism for identifying whether you are hitting your target will have less chance of success,” he explains to The Link in an email exchange, adding “eat better”, “be nicer” and “procrastinate less” are probably too hard to score to have any force.

“If you are going to, for example, resolve to lose weight, it is a good idea to make regular charting of your weight a part of the resolution.”

At Metrolinx, we believe in acting on promises and living up to goals – those we set for ourselves and those our customers expect. And our track-record is pretty solid – other than the time we promised to avoid ever taking the elevator to reach our offices.

Because we’re constantly thinking about new ways to solve problems, make it easier to connect people and communities, and get you there better, faster and easier, 2019 promises to be an exciting year for transportation throughout the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Region (GTHA).

With projects like Crosstown, Finch West, and Hamilton LRT; introduction of 15 minute all-day, two-way rail service; and developing new partnerships to enhance your experience; there will be even more options to allow you to easily, efficiently, and quickly reach your destinations.

So yes, we’re excited about the year to come – and those that will follow.

In the spirit of celebrating the New Year by looking ahead, we asked Metrolinx President and CEO Phil Verster to share his personal resolutions for 2019.

”In 2019 I am again committing to run 10 half-marathons in support of a breast cancer charity, which is a cause that I strongly support. I am also committing to complete a two-day cycle ride as part of the ‘GO Getters Team’ for the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer benefiting the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.  2019 will be an important year for Metrolinx, and I hope the New Year brings happiness, good health and success to you and your families.

Wishing you all – including your brother-in-law, who just took the last of the turkey out of the fridge – a very Happy New Year and best of luck in 2019 from all of us at Metrolinx!

We promise to be here whenever you need us in your busy lives.

Story by Paul Jones, Metrolinx communications coordinator.