Towards the end/beginning of every year, New Year resolutions are one of the most discussed topics. We tend to take stock of all the plans that worked out for us and those that did not.
We cross our T’s, dot our I’s and go through our progress report either nodding our head in approval or with a straight face, as though not entirely satisfied with our result. Whichever way, it should never be one of total bleakness as we know what they say about Life and Hope.
On a second thought, I may have quickly assumed everyone goes through the process of stock taking. Then again, maybe we wait till the New Year, jump into the bandwagon and scribble New Year Resolutions on all our social media platforms when we truly know that by the next month, those resolutions would have been broken.
We have reached that time of the year again and I have always been against the school that drives people to make New Year Resolutions. Not because New Year resolutions are baseless but because it has been misrepresented. I may have a problem with the way ‘new year’ is interpreted but these are the questions I always ask.
- Why do we have to wait till the New Year to make resolutions?
- If we have not been able to set and manage daily or weekly goals, why bother adding new resolutions?
- Why make resolutions for the wrong reason?
- What keeps us going once we start getting tired?
- How equipped are we for the set resolutions?
- Why make resolutions if we are not accountable to anyone?
Basically, these questions are to help give a clue on how not to make resolutions in the New year. The notion about ‘New Year’ resolutions have always been, make a long list of yearly goals and see them through but we all know this is easier said than done. Our reality is, we fall out of enthusiasm and get occupied with miscellaneous activities. There are clear cut processes that must be followed which will eventually lead us to achieving our goal(s). Anything asides following due process might fail.
Allow me say that I really did not plan to write about how to make your resolutions work but this needs to be demystified. If not for anyone, let us do it for those who need to re-strategize in the New Year.
Why do we have to wait till the New Year to make resolutions?
Resolutions are decisions to get something done. The depth of these decisions are relative and determined by individual needs. This just means that resolutions can be made any time in the year and according to how/when they are needed. We do not have to wait till the first of January in a new year to make resolutions about changes we desire or acquisitions that are beneficial.
If we have not been able to set and manage daily or weekly goals, why bother adding new resolutions?
Financial advisers and minimalists will tell you that the worst way to handle your finances is going into a store without a shopping list. I also like to believe that we shop for items we really need.
This is also the case for resolutions. If you must, make a really long list of all the things you need to get done in a year but DO NOT FORGET to break them down into daily or weekly goals. For example, if you intend to live healthy, start with something as little as drinking water daily.
If you are one to get easily overwhelmed, avoid making a long list that will leave you confused. Write out only your immediate needs and give them a timeline (weekly, daily or monthly).
Why make resolutions for the wrong reason?
‘What is your why?’ is usually the first question people ask when you tell them about something you want to start doing. Why did you start your blog? Why do you want to work in a bank? Even though it feels like we have to justify a lot of our needs/wants, it is important to know why we want to start doing something or why we need the change.
We should never make resolutions because it looks good on someone else. Follow through with your actual needs and get a conviction before you write it out.
What keeps us going once we start getting tired?
Resolutions should never feel like a boring chore. Never lose that initial drive, as it is what triggers us to continue pushing even when there are many hurdles to cross. This is almost similar to knowing your ‘why’ but for sustenance we need to remember what stands as a source of motivation.
It could be the end result of a task, the need to put a smile on our partner’s face, the need to be financially stable etc whatever happens, try not to lose the initial drive. Once the enthusiasm is gone, our resolutions will just be mere words on paper.
How equipped are we for the set resolutions?
Big goals and lofty dreams are beautiful. Our dreams are valid as long as we work towards achieving them. Before or after we make resolutions, we need to be equipped with the essentials. Get the necessary training, seek counselling, financial input, and break period e.t.c. Just make sure the required resources are available. On a lighter note, I have had to ask someone why he would come to a bank without a pen. It is called planning.
Why make resolutions if we are not accountable to anyone?
Most of the resolutions we make are usually self-introduced and if we find it difficult to be decisive, we might end up breaking the rules half way. It is important to find someone or people who can hold us accountable. We can submit reports while they help us monitor our progress.
At the end of the day, if we make resolutions and do not have an accountability system, it will be difficult to stick with the plan. We need to monitor time-lines, resources and we cannot do it alone.
Generally, making resolutions should be part of our lifestyle. Avoid waiting till the ‘New Year’ to make conscious changes. New Year resolutions as perceived by public opinion will only trigger our senses for a period of time but intentional and decisive resolutions will give us the right reasons to achieve our goals.
Share your thoughts.
How do you ensure you keep your resolutions?
When do you make resolutions?
Written by Faith Abogonye (Phaytea)
Asides going about her 9-5 in heels, Faith (also called Phaytea) loves to creatively write about everything her heart beats for on Phaytea’s Pulse (https://phayteaspulse.wordpress.com). She is enthusiastic about God, Media, Administration and her Family.
Fun fact: Every morning, she constantly resists the urge to have a cupcake instead of Green Tea/Lemon. So far, Green Tea seems to be winning. Find her on Twitter and Instagram: @phaytea