TIPS ON PROMISES TO YOURSELF

How to make, stick to New Year resolutions

Another year, another set of resolutions to improve our lives

In Summary

• Be realistic, set doable goals with a deadline, write them down where you can see them every day. Break big goals down into smaller chunks so they're not so daunting.

• Be firm and committed. Will power is important but don't be too hard on yourself. Life changes so our goals and resolutions may change as well. There may be setbacks but pick up and carry on.

It is that time of the year again. As the merriment of the festive season slowly dies down and the hopeful wishes of the New Year stream in, we look forward to ushering in the year 2020 with optimistic expectations of abundant blessings.

But, before the hopeful outlooks, we start with the laments of how quickly time flies and how there was no time to accomplish all we had set out to accomplish by this moment. Just as we had done the previous year. And like a wound-up grandfather clock, we wind ourselves up to set a fresh timer for the upcoming year with a fresh load of goals for the next 362 days. Yes, the universe has given us an extra day this year. Will it make a difference?

The misconception is this, as the New Year draws nigh, we make wishes that have no solid foundation. The glorified hope of the unknown that will unfold in the coming year leaves us all too excited and hopeful of how different the upcoming year will be. We imagine New Year’s Eve as a magical time, where at midnight we all step through the magical archway from an unfulfilled present into a more promising tomorrow. We imagine ourselves, morphing into the people we aspire to be. 

 
 

Right now, New Year resolutions are being posted on Instagram stories and Twitter feeds, with everyone sounding none the wiser. Alas! The hopeful visions of 2020 will be thwarted by the five long weeks of Njaanuary and everyone will forget to check in on their resolutions. This article is a guide to help you to make sound resolutions that will help you reshape your ambitions of the coming year.

Making New Year’s resolutions should not be as easy as dreaming. If it were, then not achieving them would be just as easy. There are a number of things we must consider before making vows to achieve our desired goals. For starters, it is important to have an evaluation of yourself as you are and of all you have done in the past year.

With or without setting a list of goals one wishes to achieve this year, we will all change regardless. We all get a year older, we all experience the same 24 hours in a day. Growth will happen with time. Making New Year’s resolutions is a way of taking control over phases of our lives where we want to see change.

Just as companies find it necessary to have end-of-year appraisals for their employees to determine their futures in the organisation, it is equally important for one to evaluate their personal accomplishments. To go forward, it is necessary to look back. Looking into the past does not mean we wallow in our mistakes or lament over how little we did not get to accomplish. Looking in the past means we get to gauge how far we have come to determine how much further we have to go.

Appreciating the past is a way of reconciling the people we were, the people we are and the versions of ourselves we would like to be. We learn so much from the past. From the many ways we tried and failed, at the things we loved but outgrew, to the hopes we had that never manifested. To look back is not to lose sight of the future but to build it on a strong foundation of understanding who we are as a result of who we were.

It is true that we use this time to reconsider what we want in our lives however; hopeful thinking and writing a few goals on a piece of paper will not cut it. New Year’s resolutions are promises we make to ourselves to do better. Whatever the desired goal is, it is always centred on the aim of making ourselves a better version of who we are right now.

With or without setting a list of goals one wishes to achieve this year, we will all change regardless. We all get a year older, we all experience the same 24 hours in a day. Growth will happen with time. Making New Year’s resolutions is a way of taking control over phases of our lives where we want to see change.

I have had years where four out of my five written down resolutions came to fruition. I have had years where none of my written down resolutions came to see the light. As you can see, I put emphasis on the words written down. There is a great belief that a concept begins its materialisation journey when it is written down. When it is not written down on a physical thing, it is just a fleeting thought that never manifested itself into something physical.

However, it is important to talk about the fact that not all resolutions or objectives will come to fruition. Sometimes, life gets the best of us and resolutions become the furthest things on our to-do lists. And that is okay. There is nothing wrong with taking a different path from the one intended. After all, life lessons are just that, lessons.