Feature Article of Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Columnist: Idun, Efua Osam

What is a New Year resolution? Cliché?

A New Year has once again dawned on us and as it is with humans, our excitement for new beginnings makes us promise to do better in the coming year; hence New Year resolutions.

Each and every one in one way or the other resolves to make a change in his or her lifestyle, career, family life, interpersonal relationships, health wise and anything worth changing or improving upon.

Some make theirs publicly by bringing it up in conversations with close friends and family. Others however opt to tell the world through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Google plus and Skype.

The very private ones choose to keep their resolutions to themselves as some have explained that they are accountable to no other but themselves. Some also fear that their plans and hopes may be jinxed therefore its realization may be stalled.

Some experts have on countless platforms advised that it is much more prudent to write down the resolutions to serve as a constant reminder that you promised at the beginning of the year to make a change. This they say will aid your efforts to achieve your goals and dreams.

But at the end of the year, when all is said and done, how many of us were really and truly able to stick to the resolutions and how many of them were realized?

How many of the goals did you drop along the line in pursuit of a new one? How many did you postpone to following year? If you wrote it down in a dairy or a notebook, did it help you to achieve them? Did it serve as the reminder the experts said it would?

How many excuses did we give for not being able to achieve our dreams? Did you procrastinate?

New Year resolutions to me have become a repetitive cycle which I consider more of a cliché. Most people do them because the season calls for it!

Only a handful of people are able to stick to the plan and make things happen according to their resolutions.

Personally, I see nothing wrong with making a New Year resolution; it’s fine but as things stand, it is obvious that many people find it difficult to achieve a long term goal which is what a New Year resolution usually is.

My prescription is that each new day should be a new beginning. This calls into play the resolve to do better every single day. What did you do wrong yesterday? What shouldn’t I have said or done yesterday or what should I have said or done yesterday?

What did I eat that I shouldn’t have eaten? Where did I go that I shouldn’t have gone? When you know and acknowledge these, let it challenge you to face the new day with the determination to do better.

These are short term, here and now, in the moment, easily achievable and not in the next 3 to 6 months.

It is good to take stock of what transpired in your life during the 12 months of the year and by this I mean being very honest with ourselves, taking a step out of the life we have been living lately and giving ourselves a fresh reality check.

It is also good to celebrate your achievements by patting yourself on the back, buying a present for yourself or anything which will show that you did yourself proud.

While doing that, don’t forget to acknowledge your weaknesses and shortfalls. It is very necessary. What did I do wrong? What can I do better? When all is said and done, get back on track and let God sail us through the New Year. Live each day as it comes. Plan for the future but concentrate on the daily baby steps that will get you to the ultimate goal. What you do today, in the next minute or hour is what will get you there.

Happy New Year!!!

Author’s email: osamidun@yahoo.com