As 2014 was winding down, maybe you considered making a New Year's resolution: getting to the gym, eating better, making time for friends. I took the annual challenge (I will not lose my car in the parking lot) and proceeded to fail miserably on the very first day (really, how DID my car get on the ramp's 6th level!). But in an area where resolutions matter, where promises better be kept, and where your word should mean everything, I detect a political New Year's resolution at Boston City Hall.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh completed his first year in office in the larger-than-life shadow of Tom Menino. How tough was it for Walsh to break through as the city's first new leader in 20 years? It was all smooth enough, at times even cozy. From the BRA to the school department, there has been welcome fine tuning. But when historians look back in 50 years, Walsh's first year will likely go down as having no major achievements. Quite the opposite, even though key problems weren't of his making.

The abrupt closing of the Long Island Bridge, a vital travel route for hundreds of the city's homeless, drug addicted, and social services workers threatened the Mayor's first year. Homeless advocates questioned Walsh's decision, blaming him for the rushed evacuation and for having no real plan to relocate the homeless. When it came to economic stimulus, the Mayor spent much of his first year in the shadow of Everett, of all places, thanks to a gamble that didn't pay off. When voters said 'yes' in Everett and 'no' in East Boston, and when statewide voters refused to repeal casinos, Boston stood to lose millions in gambling revenue to pay for a lot of things in the next decade.

The Bridge

As hard as you try, these two issues can't be corrected with just spin-control. So on the first Monday of the new year, Walsh made decisive moves that sent a signal to everyone watching and waiting for him to lead. At 8:13am, a press release from City Hall stated "that the demolition of the Long Island Bridge will begin today" and a new one "can be completed in an estimated 24 to 36 months."

The Messengers

At 9:20am, another press release that signaled either the messaging was broken or the messengers were fed up and left. Either way, two spokespeople with Beacon Hill experience are now leading the messaging at Boston City Hall. Out was the Mayor's Press Secretary Kate Norton who leaves for a job with Boston political consultant CK Strategies, a firm that worked on Democratic campaigns, including Walsh's run for Mayor. Taking her place, Bonnie McGilpin who until recently was deputy press secretary for Governor Deval Patrick and spokeswoman for Martha Coakley's run for Governor. Walsh also hired new communications chief Laura Oggeri, who had been communications director for outgoing state Senate President Therese Murray. Oggeri replaces Walsh's first communications lead Lisa Pollack, who quit after just four months on the job.

The Casino

One could see the back-to-back morning announcements, the demolition of the bridge and a shakeup in communications, as ways for the Mayor to kick-start the new year. But as the infomercial says, "wait, there's more." In a sign that Walsh is looking to be more aggressive in 2015, a media advisory at 3:32pm from newly installed press secretary McGilpin. In less than an hour, Walsh will hold a press conference at City Hall. WGBH News Statehouse reporter Sarah Birnbaum was quick to confirm "Walsh is suing the Gaming Commission."

The Message

While you could question the timing, there's no denying Walsh needed to start the year being bolder. How many of us could say on our first day back at work 'we started to demolish a bridge and sued a commission'? Then, as if he was tired of trying to convince everyone he had a good 2014, the Mayor's office released a music video with a driving beat and Walsh stating all the promises he kept in his first year." I will listen, I will learn, I will lead," Walsh declares. There was no mention of the long delay, now more than a year, in naming a new school superintendent.

Being a big city Mayor is tough. Look to New York City and what Bill de Blasio is facing with his police force. But short of any tragedy, leading a city has more to do with the day-to-day decisions you make, the tone you set, and the vision you describe, hoping that people you're leading can see the unseeable of the future. Walsh will no doubt face real tests in the coming months and years. But on January 5, 2015, whether the bridge demolition started too late or a casino lawsuit is a shakedown for more money, Mayor Walsh decided to shape his leadership, if for just this one day, as leaders do.