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Listen Up: A Resolution for 2021

A New Year’s Resolution for Everyone

Ever wonder why New Year’s resolutions fail? We are so excited to make the commitment, determined to keep it and then disappointed when we fail to follow through. Perhaps it is because the goal is too big. Perhaps it was never really attainable. Or perhaps it is because the goals that we set are not something meaningful enough to us in the long run. Whatever the reason, only 8% of those of us who make New Year’s resolutions actually stick with them, according to a study conducted by the University of Scranton. Let’s change that statistic. Let’s commit to making resolutions that will work.

I am challenging everyone to make this year’s resolution each and every day - not just in the beginning of January. This year, with all that is going on in the world, what if we all resolve to be better listeners? No. What if we resolve to be the best listeners possible? Each and every one of us; each and every day. Imagine how we could change the world if we tried to be better communicators, hearing the other person’s point of view, listening to their concerns and understanding why they feel the way they do - what a difference this level of empathy would make in our homes, our offices, communities and eventually the world. We need not agree with the other person and we need not indulge in any hurtful rhetoric, but we can listen from a place of genuine caring.

Whether it is listening to your neighbor complain about the weather, your co-worker expressing frustrations about the job or listening to your ex-spouse tell you why it is important that he/she has more time with the kids; all of it matters. If we are truly listening when others speak to us, without judging and without trying to solve the issue, we can come to a deeper understanding of each other’s interests and needs. Especially during these times of uncertainty, we need this mutual consideration more than ever.

My resolution for 2021 is to listen to those close to me; from my colleagues, to my friends and to my clients - their hopes for the future matter to me. Will you join me?

Written by Liz Vaz, Esq.

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