The New Year always provides an occasion to look ahead – to assess your situation, examine your goals, adjust your plans and make new resolutions. This year, as we wish LIUNA members and signatory employers the very best in 2013, we do so with new-found confidence that the coming year will be better than the recent few.

Our confidence arises from the voters’ verdict in the recent U.S. national elections. We saw the voters reject a smaller, hands-off vision and opt, instead, to refortify government in pursuit of jobs and opportunity in the years ahead. We saw union members, women, minorities and young people come together to vote for their common future.

Now, we hope Congress aligns itself with the voters’ verdict. After the new Congress is installed this month, we hope to see expanded investments in infrastructure and government services, both of which will mean contracts for LIUNA’s signatory employers and jobs for working men and women. Sooner or later, we may see higher taxes on the wealthy, extended help for the unemployed, immigration reform, a comprehensive energy policy, more economic stimulus and the revival of a responsible regulatory agenda at OSHA. In short, we hope for a wide range of efforts to bolster the middle class, and we know such efforts will benefit all Laborers, their families and their employers.

Turning points in American life often find expression in the nation’s elections, and last fall’s election may have opened the door to a new era of constructive politics in Washington. Let’s hope a real tipping point has arrived.

While we look ahead with anticipation to political change, the traditional focus at the New Year is resolutions about personal change. Unfortunately, these resolutions are notorious, not for their achievements, but for how quickly they are often abandoned and forgotten. Perhaps, this is because personal change is so difficult.

Of course, you’re the only one who can change your habits; no one is going to change them for you. If you’re committed to making change in your life, help is available. The science of habit is advancing. In this issue, we explore its newest insights in our special section on Habit, Change & Accountability.

Rejuvenation is a hallmark of human character and, with every New Year, optimism runs high. This year, as you tackle your resolutions, use the science of habit to guide your assessments and make your plans. With persistence and patience, your efforts at personal change can succeed.

2013 looks like a year of potential and promise. We wish the best for the country and for you, too!