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New year resolutions

New year resolutions: thoughts for the new year

I hate new Years’ eve or maybe I should say I used to hate them (though I know deep inside me that I still do). I hate all the fuss that people make about new years’ eve, that unnecessary countdown, ugly sounds of firecrackers and sometimes beautiful fireworks (only thing I appreciate when I’m not asleep by then). I never understood them (new years’ eve) or even their significance, I just saw them as a normal day that continued (not that it went from Wednesday to Saturday ever). People made promises that they broke that same night or maybe just days after that. Resolutions are never my thing, I never made them.
Once my mom sat me down one cold morning (was still feeling so sleepy) and explained the significance of New Year though we disagreed on every point she brought up, I began to appreciate it better. My mom made me write resolutions for the upcoming year every year after that night. I began to appreciate these resolutions, it was good to have an idea of things I might want to do. Writing resolutions are never easy, they take one to his innermost soul and make him pour out things they regret, things they want to change and things they hope will make the world a better place for them or their loved ones. Then the idea nudged me, why don’t I write a resolution for all, one that will make the earth a better place, one that’s easy to follow. I drew up a long list (scary one by the way, just kidding).
Firstly, smile more, do more than just showing your teeth. Let your eyes glow in a smile, let you heart follow your smiles. Make it a priority, let others notice your smile; it attracts and also opens doors. Watch a child and learn something new. The innocence of a child is shrouded; there are lots you can learn. Watch the footsteps of a child; watch how they figure out things. Be patient and learn; it can save you a lot of trouble and time.
Don’t be too serious always; once in a while do something you’ll often not do. Enjoy the experience and learn how to apply them. Make way for those; don’t do too much, just once in a while. Take responsibility for your actions. The most annoying thing is blame-giving. People who don’t take responsibility for their actions are often hated in private, they drive everyone nuts. Be sure you take responsibility, it gives confidence and also makes others think well of you. It’s easier to forgive when one admits and takes responsibility for their actions.
Make room for new friends. Socialize freely, make it a priority to get new friends. Don’t be awkward and start acting all weird around new people. Learn how to approach and also make people feel comfortable around you. Compliment freely but don’t overdo it, else they lose their value. Encourage someone every day. Tell people close to you that you love them and tell them how much you care about them. This may seem trivial, but it goes a long way in making things smooth and sweet for you. Never underestimate the power of a simple “I love you” statement.
Read for at least fifteen minutes a day, knowledge may be hidden in books, opening and reading it may just solve the problem for you. It doesn’t have to be purely educational, just grab a book every day and read it. Also call old friends and catch up with their lives. This opens new doors, call friends you’ve not heard from in a long while. I know friends who’ve gotten jobs and other stuff just by calling their old friends. This can rekindle old friendships and can go places.
Be less critical of others. I might not be affected by criticism but someone might, some can take it all the wrong way. Know how you go about your criticism, apply wisdom and approach it with care. If possible praise and encourage only, nudge in your criticism after a well said praise.
Volunteer for a good cause. It’s not always that you have to get paid to do something; once in a while, do something for others and expect nothing back. You never know the number of hearts you melt with this act of kindness. Being a volunteer can gladden your heart and you never know what you can gain from these experiences.
Don’t look for someone to blame when you’re not happy. Blame yourself (though not too harshly), take responsibility for your actions and learn from these mistakes. It is helpful to make your own decisions and it’s nice when you accept blame for it. Learn from your everyday failures and set reminder on those so you will not repeat them. It’s nice to go over your mistakes once in a while and see what you learnt from it.
Pray more and worry less. Are you religious? If not don’t worry, find a way of releasing your burden. Get someone to talk to. Talking to someone helps a great deal and removes an awful lot of load from your shoulders. Worrying too much never solves a problem, it just builds stress. Instead of worrying, find solutions. Thinking and worrying too much over past issues makes you never get over them and get to new heights. It stagnate your growth and makes you look scary (trust me on this).
Be quick to forgive and forgive others. Forgiveness is a medicine that heals the soul; it reaches into the depth of your heart and cleanses it. It has a way of making you feel whole and new again. It opens new doors and can make you reach heights you never know. It buries others in guilt and the may feel buried in your debt. They may trade favours even if you never ask for them.
Whatever you do, give it your best shot. I remember a rhyme I learnt in kindergarten that says “All that you do, do with your might. Things done by halves are never done right.”  I reflect and I see how true it is. Focusing your energies on what you do ensures you do it and also do it well. Accept help when it is offered. Hold your pride sometimes, don’t do everything alone. Sometimes genuine help is worth it, two heads are also better than one (not saying a person with two heads).
Bury your prejudices, it may harm you. Don’t carry it everywhere, more often things may not be as you see it. Study the problem at hand before you take decisions. Prejudices may hurt you or others, take time in every situation to consider the issue at hand.
Accept yourself for who you are. No one is going to live your life for you, the earlier you accept yourself, the better. Knowing what you can do and can’t do helps a lot. Accept them and work on them. Challenge your body and brain. Force them to extra limits; don’t be too harsh on them. This opens new avenues and teaches you places you could go and can become.
Be generous not only with money but also with time. A kindness shown to someone may last a lifetime. It doesn’t always have to be money or material object but can also be time. The little minutes you sat by someone and listened to their problem, or the minute you spent helping your neighbour or old person, or the thirty minutes you spent playing with your kids. These may seem trivial but they count greatly in the long run. Don’t pose too scarily, approach and give a helping hand, you never know how far those little minutes spent can enlighten someone’s’ life.
 Always look at the big picture and don’t fret the little stuff. Don’t always give up hope when something little happens or a hindrance comes in your way. Always take positives in your drawbacks or defeats. Look at the big picture and don’t let small defeats or hindrance stall you.

Watch the sunset and realize that just as no two sunsets are alike so are you a unique and beautiful creation. There’s no one like you in this world and there’ll never be someone like you. You’re unique and special, you have special ability that no one has and no one can be better at being you. Draw strength from your potentials, maximise your strengths, explore your potentials and be happy that you are you. Know that there’s no one like you and only you can be the best you can be.

Joshua Mantey

This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.

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