THINK TALK: Guide to Better and More Successful New Year’s Resolution

MATALAM, North Cotabato (MindaNews / 29 December) – New Year’s Resolution. This is one tradition that never dies. While Christmas celebration is for a third of the world’s population (I am guessing), New Year’s day celebration is engaged by more than two-thirds of people around the globe (I am not guessing here).

We have yet to hear or read about a study that says how many percent of people have stood firm on their New Year’s resolution. Some may have even cared less about what happened afterwards while a few serious ones celebrate victories over resolutions fulfilled or done and a few more may have remembered unfulfilled resolutions or left undone.

Don’t you think it’s time to ponder on why some have successful resolutions, others have failed, and still others have completely forgotten?

Well, I tried to pen down some tips here which will certainly help you improve your batting average on your New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Treat your resolution as a “goal” that must be achieved within the time frame you have set for yourself which is usually not more than one year. Next year is another time for a new set of resolutions which may include those that were not fulfilled in the previous year/s. Goal connotes a desired condition in the future that is to be achieved rather than ordinary resolutions to be resolved.

2. People tend to approach New Year’s resolutions from a position of deprivation, restriction, and worst, punishment. For example, we always equate staying fit as having to eat less. If we want to be healthy, maybe we should start moving our body in ways that feel good to us and pay attention to what and how healthy and nutritious foods and exercise make us feel energized, healthy, and strong. This way, we are not in a deprivation and/or self-imposed restrictions mode by getting into the bottom of our goal/s. Our intention, action, and energy synchronized in a way that supports and leads towards the fulfillment of our goal/s. Remember, your goal should not be exacting and uncomfortable but exactly the way you want your life to get better while enjoying every bit of the process.

3. Write your goals as “draft” and select from among them, if it is not possible to have all of them at one time, using the following guide questions:

a. Is it achievable or doable within the year? Otherwise, you are just making a collection of them after several years.

b.  Is it beneficial to me and to people I love? You don’t simply say, “I will reduce from two packs of cigarettes to one pack a day.” You should quit and that should be the goal. Why? Because, while this seems to be good on the surface, it still is not beneficial for you and the people around you.

c. Why do you want what you want? If your answer includes a “should” or a “have to,” you better scrap that resolution. When we have an intention that is rooted from a deep desire and we can identify and stay connected to the WHY of it, it makes for meaningful and achievable goals that create happiness in our lives and for others.

4. The next best thing to do is to make a list of your “goals” especially if there are several of them, or even if it is just one. And the best way to write them down is at the back of an old calendar which has all 12 months in one page, for obvious reasons. List them down from the most beneficial to the least and engage them one by one in that order, that is, if it is not possible to address them all at the same time. Be sure to hang the calendar in a place where you see it more often, as for example, at the back of the door. This will always remind you about those written goals that you have to do something about to attain them.

5. Check the ones that were fulfilled and focus on the few ones left. Your goal should be to increase your batting average as the years go on by.

6. Never entertain any negative thoughts you may have with respect to achieving each goal. If you find one goal to be too difficult to achieve within the year, then drop it for the time being, rather than waste your time at it. Remember that negative thoughts may affect the other relatively easier goals.

7. Engage the positive thoughts in each goal that you have to make. Positive change comes, not from pushing so hard with determination and perseverance, but rather by making your way through in an artistic and skillful manner as you avoid the hitches and obstacles to your goal.

8. The strongest and most relevant goals are those that have something to do with your success, health, happiness, and values formation especially when they are stated in a way that includes the reason/s why you want and need them. For example: “I will participate in enjoyable physical activities three times weekly to feel strong, boost my mood, and improve my overall sense of health and well-being.” This way, you know outright how your goals benefit you.

9. Finally, do not forget that at least one of your goals shall have something to do with your Faith and God. We all believe in the Quranic/Biblical provision: “From Him we come, to Him shall we return.” This is not to say that Faith is a matter of resolution but God’s pleasure should be our most important goal in everything we do.

New Year’s resolutions get a bad rap mostly because we set restrictive conditions that do not tend to inspire values formation, our well-being, as well as our Faith. Sometimes, these goals are made minutes before the ball drops, or worse, under the influence of liquor. Setting good goals requires well thought-out planning and ample time.

For the year 2023, let the above tips guide you to create positive, nourishing, and lasting harmonious goals. I am sure your goals (resolution-making) this time will be a lot better and more doable.

I will keep my New Year’s Resolutions to myself but I have two supplications for the year 2023: 1. “Almighty God, please make Vladimir Putin return to his humane senses because the war in Ukraine is threatening world peace.” 2. “Amighty God, please give more blessings to the less fortunate amongst us in this world.” Amen.

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Maugan P. Mosaid holds a doctorate degree in rural development. He is a planning consultant and teaches Statistics and Methods of Research in the graduate school. He can be contacted at mauganmosaid6@gmail.com).