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Opinions of Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Columnist: Adzokpe, Jonathan

You Don’t Need a New Year’s Resolution!

The beginning of a new year comes with the feeling of newness. We yearn to be the new “us” in our relationships, jobs, spiritual lives, etc. This has thus led to many people the world over, write resolutions that they hope to stick to throughout the year. People resolve to eat healthier foods, work out to lose weight, improve on their spiritual walk with God, and so on and so forth.
While it is a laudable thing to do, this approach has become non-functional for some time now. Many people write their new year’s resolutions and before February, they have no idea what they penned down before January 1 of the New Year. What then is the essence of writing down resolutions if one will not stick to them?
Indeed, according to an article on Forbes, only 8% of people who write down their new year resolutions get to achieve them; I presume the rest go to sleep. It is fun to feel new, isn’t it? It is even more fun to set a target to do better than you previously did. But the mere penning down of resolutions is not its real achievement.
Resolving to eat healthier doesn’t prevent you from eating junk food. The urge will still be there. You’ve got to exercise enough discipline to avoid eating them. Oh, you resolved to reduce about 50 pounds this year. Fantastic! But come to think of it, the gym isn’t going to come to you. You have to pull yourself out of bed and hit the gym. You have to sweat. You have to lift the weight. You have to endure the pain. You may feel like giving up, of course! But you’ve got to do it, anyway.
What you need is not a new year’s resolution. You don’t need all the long to-do list as you’ve done over the years. Ask yourself how many of those have you achieved over the years? What you need is a renewed mind. If you feed on unhealthy foods, it means your mind is unhealthy. If a sound mind lives in a sound body, then it is right to say an unsound mind lives in an unsound body. Begin to tell your mind what you want. Over time, it sinks in. Before long, you will begin to do what you so desire.
Inasmuch as I am not discouraging anyone from having a new year’s resolution, it is crucial to know the reason why you might have failed to achieve your resolutions. Just two things;
1. You go through the new year with the same mind with which you created the mess in the previous year that you hope to undo. No wonder Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” You don’t expect to eat healthily when your mind is set on eating junk. Change your mind, and your life will change forever.
2. What you lack is the will, the discipline, and the resolve. Many of us see it as fun to be a part of the New Year’s resolutions spree. It doesn’t work like that. It takes sheer discipline to stick to your resolutions. It makes no sense investing so much time putting down these resolutions, and end up not following through.
Resolve to do just two things this year. Whatever it is you want to change about your life, begin feeding your mind on it. If yours is about losing weight, feed your mind on losing weight. Fill your mind with the idea of eating better foods that won’t undo your efforts. Also, be willing, and disciplined to work your plan.
As we all celebrate the New Year, I urge you to make this year less of you, and more of others. Reach out to someone. A simple hello you can tell someone might be what they needed to save them from a mess. The greatest blessings do not come to us while we’re concentrated on our own selves. The greatest blessings come to us when we’re bent on being of service to others.
Have a blessed, prosperous, and fruitful 2014. Don’t only make it to the top in 2014, stay there!