Make The New Year Count

Today is December 31, 2021. Where I am from. Maybe as I write this, somewhere in the world it is already 2022. So, we already have persons embarking on their New Year’s resolutions or not. Many see the New Year as the best time to forget about all the bad things that happened in 2021 and embrace all the good ahead, all the possibilities waiting to be picked from the tree of opportunities. That is how we have been told to think of the New Year.

So, there is no surprise when many are disillusioned with what the New Year does not bring: a fresh new start and a brand new me, and you. The idea that we can start new when the new year comes is for many a fallacy. The problems that created those challenges more than likely are still there because there has been no attempt to get to the root cause of our issues. Therefore, diet plans will fail, so too will financial goals and any other type of New Year’s resolution we may have. I myself have had many such resolutions that have not panned out within a specific time were abandoned for the familiarity of mediocrity: why bother, it was a long shot anyway, it would have never worked anyway, maybe this is how things should be.

But for the New Year let us not abandon those changes that we still have not made, the many things that we already wrestle with and need to change. Let’s not add a new set of goals when we still have some fundamental things to work on about ourselves that has limited us so far. Let us not use this new year as an excuse to give up on areas that we still have to work on.

Instead of plunging headlong into new resolutions, we probably need to do a little self-examination, be honest with ourselves and act on that honesty. What goals did we have that we did not achieve and still would like to achieve? How will we get them done? There are habits that we may still struggle with, and we need to daily work on them. What can be done differently to finally start seeing positive and consistent changes in this regard. There may be a way of thinking that has harmed others or held us back, and we need to work on this.

Maybe it is best not to leap into the new year but take it a step at a time, being aware that we carry baggage from the previous years that we need to work out how to finally unload them.

About New Year’s Resolutions.

I have observed that at specific times of the year, people make the effort to change some aspect of their lives, but the new year is when we see this need to change explode. I like to think of it as promises on steroids. We all have made countless unrealistic wishes and promises about how the new year will spawn a new us. This usually lasts for the first couple of days and then most fall back into old habits.

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I think a big part of why they don’t work is because we leave reality out of our new year’s resolutions. We forget for a couple of days, what our situation is truly like and make commitments based on dreams we have nurtured since childhood and comparing ourselves with other, which is always a bad thing to do.

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Also, we now have many self-help articles that speak to setting goals and not resolutions. But I wonder what the difference really is.

Goal:An aim or desired result.

Resolution: The quality of being determined or resolute.

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The problem I believe is not in creating goals or having resolutions. The problem is being unrealistic in making or setting either and having a spirit of stick-to-it-iveness, to see them through. I have had many great ideas of things I want to accomplish, but have fallen short because of my own self-doubts. Setting goals over having resolutions does not mean that you will achieve them. For both, you have to have a plan of how they will be realistically achieved. Further, I also believe that anything we want to do must have a purpose. It cannot be that we want to be rich or lose weight but it’s because that seems to be the trend. Our purpose for wanting to achieve something has to be clear. It means then that once we have identified realistically what we want for ourselves this year, we need to consider why we want to do so and if in the long run there are real lasting benefits to doing so.

At the end of the day, I say take your pick and call it whatever you will. However, what I feel is more important than the title you give it, is the need to ensure that you are mindful about the things you would like to achieve this year.

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