New Year Resolutions
By Sheillah Maonga,
Lifestyle Writer, KDRTV
In a previous article, I asked why often we fail to accomplish our New Year’s resolutions. Why do we give up on the lists that we take time to draw up?
I believe that is because of the following reasons that we give up on our lists:
- We set unrealistic resolutions. We are too ambitious when setting them up that we throw practicality out of the window. We prefer idealism to realism. For example, when we say that we will stop smoking with immediate effect, yet it is a habit that we have been diligently feeding for a good number of years, how feasible is that! When we say we will take up a new hobby immediately, when we struggle with time management already, where in our day is the new hobby going to sit?
- We don’t pace ourselves. A year has 365 days (366 days for the leap year). Often, we set up resolutions with a very short time frame of, one day for example. Or 7 days. Lists that have things like – I’ll lose weight immediately. I’ll stop drinking immediately. I’ll start visiting family immediately. I’ll start running 10km daily immediately. You set yourself up for a fall. There is need to pace ourselves. We need to spread these resolutions evenly throughout the year; or at the very minimum, give it a longer time frame, like several months.
- We don’t have conviction in them. Often, we have set up resolutions for the sake of keeping appearances yet in our heart of our hearts, we are not sold on them. We put things on our lists that we haven’t thought through but they look good (on the list), so on it they go.
For example: Those of us who resolve to visit family more this year, when we know that we have family issues that make us subscribe to avoiding them. Those of us who say that we will become active members in the church this year when we struggle with the concept of religion. Those of us that say we will enrol for a course this year when we hate learning with a passion.
- We don’t think them through step by step. We may have resolutions that are the desires of our hearts. Those that we feel deeply in our core. Those that we do for us intrinsically, for our self improvement. We know these resolutions are vital for our own development. For example that book that you want to write this year; that competition you want to enter; that orphanage you want to volunteer your services; that friendship you want to invest in; that extra weight you want to shift and so on and so forth. However, we fail to think it through and plan for it as a step by step guide. We have the idea, but we don’t know how to put it into practice, therefore leave it open-ended.
- We give up and give in too easily. Often, we throw our hands in the air at the whiff of the first hurdle. We fall off the bandwagon never to get on it again. We ought to take lessons from a fledgling. This baby bird has so many failed attempts when it is learning to fly. It takes off as it falls, over and over and over and over again. But one day, it takes off and doesn’t fall. The wings are working and the bird soars up the sky. It has finally succeeded after so many botched starts.
That’s how we should be with our resolutions. We falter this week, we try again next week. We falter today, we try again tomorrow. We falter in the morning; we try again in the afternoon. We need to keep at it, and before long, it will be the end of the year and we will be looking back with satisfaction and pride as we review our resolutions set at the beginning of the year.
Resolutions are a good thing. Because the ethos behind them is self improvement. Let us draw up that list and keep it. Let us catch up at the end of the year for an appraisal. May this be the year that our resolutions stand the test of time! Until then, Happy New Year.