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new year resolution

Why I think new year resolution has become a cliché

We are in the sixth month of the year 2016, and it seems most of us are already faltering on our new year resolutions. Others have even given up on theirs. Slowly we have crawled back to our old habits like a mother tortoise back to the sea after laying it eggs at the shore. Upon all the resolutions we made to ourselves earlier this year nothing seems to have resolved. I have come to see new year resolutions as a platitude; a to-do list for the first month of the year.  Research shows that over 90% of new year’s resolutions end up as a failure. The coming of a new year to me is just a counting system for the world, so we keep in perspective how far we have come in years. Below are my reasons why I think new year resolutions has become a cliche.

We focus on the starting and ending of a year, instead of the whole year itself

There is a lot to be done in a year and it does not matter whether it is the start of a year or the end of a year. If you are someone who waits, uses the end of the year and the start of a new year to examine your actions, evaluate your performance, become more conscious of your life purpose , then am sorry. Business companies who deal in fiscal year’s even have weekly and monthly reviews and try to evaluate themselves quarterly to see how best they are faring. Why not forget whether it’s a new year, when you want to make a change and give up that habit, do it as soon as possible. Making changes because it’s a new year does not make things any easier. If you decide in your heart to make a change, be on it 1st January or 13th August. What we fail to understand is that, a shift from 31st December to 1st January of another year is no different from any other shift of day to a new day of the same month. Do you see  any natural change in the environment or in our lives to tell we are in a new year?  Have you ever asked yourself why the academic calendar does not start in January and end in December? You have to be conscious of yourself every moment, putting your actions into perspective, evaluating every event of your life as they happen throughout the year. Something interesting happens when we are 6months into the year. That is when it hits us; we are halfway into the year what have we done so far, what am I doing? Pastors make it their sermons; there and then we reaffirm our commitment and start pounding on our bleak resolutions again, to make them a December reality. When it is 3 months to the end of the year, we become frustrated, since our hope of what we wanted to achieve, who we envisioned to be at the end of the year have all eluded us. The funny thing is that, the same excuse surfaces the next year into a number of years to come.  To achieve your new year resolutions, focus on what you do throughout the days, weeks and months of the whole year instead.

We rely on external motivations without any self-motivation

If you are someone who always relies on motivations and encouragements from family, friends, church and your superiors to act, then you are nearing a robot, these sources of motivation are not going to be around forever. Eventually, it will come down to you what you can do for yourself, external motivations will come and go but is what you have within that is going stick with you forever. These external sources of motivation and encouragement are very important in helping a person change, but they must be there to compliment an already existing self-motivation from within. An inner burning desire by the individual to change not taking into consideration whether its the end of the year or the beginning of a new year. This desire can keep you going through the lonely but not alone journeys of life to do the right thing. Most of us make the arrival of a year,our pool of motivation to change. During such times, we could hear the world whisper to us, it’s a new year; won’t you change that habit once and for all? Truly it is a new year, but that’s not all it takes to make a change or see a resolution turn into a good habit. You need to be self-motivated, self-discipline, determined and proactive. Believe me, it is not the happy new year greetings from friends and family that is going to make the year a happy one for you. Nor the well wishes that follow, but the quality of your choices, decision, actions, and reactions. Since it is a start of a new year, some think God is going to come down like “Father Christmas” and start sharing good grades, financial freedom, righteous life, a good marriage, American visa, employment and promotions. No! it does not work that way. So stop focusing on the new year like it holds some mojo for us to achieve all that we wish for. It all depends on something inside, so strong that it makes you wake up every morning ready to do your best for yourself and the world be it in the mornings of January or in the mornings of June.

We make resolutions without setting goals

A new year does not automatically mean new things will come into our lives; it will all depend on you. Resolution is a vow, a promise to oneself, to change for the better. The desired result to achieve because of the resolution is the goal. Whenever we want to make a change or achieve something in life we don’t sit and watch it unfold like an adventure movie story unraveld.  Whatever you want in life, a change you desire, a relationship you want to build, we need to plan,set goals and milestone of achievement that will make that resolution a reality. Then resolve every day to act a step closer to your set goal. Don’t worry about the resolution you’ve made, so far as you have goals emanating from the resolution, you are on the course.  The thing is, there is no need to be chanting new resolutions every new year but it can be an old resolution moving to the next level the next year. For me, yearly resolutions come down to daily activities geared towards achieving a goal to make that resolution a reality. As I said in one of my daily quote messages “we don’t need a new year resolution but a new day resolution to a new year goal.” This is the reason why I believe as i ndividuals, families, organization and even as a country we don’t need a resolution every new year but a resolution every new day to commit and work towards achieving a set goal. For instance, if you want to get better grades at school this year that’s your goal, then you resolve to do something every day to achieve that resolution in the end; which will your resolution. maybe I will have to learn 2 hours every day, go for every class and solve a lot of questions. and in so doing your goal will be realized and you will have that better grades at school.

It is our attitudes, habits, focuses and believes that needs a resolution otherwise you can have 1000 new year come and go and you will still remain the same, unable to accomplish anything. So although we are already in the sixth month of 2016, you can still make that resolution and start your quest of making some changes, improving on your human relationship and self-development. Shift your focus from the old or new year and focus on your life decisions as the days go by, set goals to match your resolutions and finally relying on self-motivation, determination and discipline; for in these lies the realization of your resolutions. Selah!!!

Desmond Kwame Paku

The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by sceptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were.

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