So I asked this question on the poll a couple of days ago, and the majority leaned towards resolutions not being nearly as important. I think it is because most people usually don’t follow through with the goals they set out for their lives each year; we are easily caught up with the hype of the New Year (or decade) and want something exciting for ourselves. But just because the earth has successfully made an orbit around the sun doesn’t mean that if you don’t put in the work, then results will magically emerge.
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If we want to make New Year resolutions, we have to make sure that they are tailor-fit for what we want for our lives and that they are also S.M.A.R.T goals. In this era of social media, it is easy for us to buy into whatever everyone is selling or feel bad that we haven’t accomplished such and such at certain times in our lives. What you must have at the back of your mind when you want to set out goals/resolutions for your life is the fact that everyone’s journey is different.
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Everyone is on a different path; because person A sets out to lose 50 pounds in 2020, that doesn’t mean you must go for 50. 50 pounds might not be realistic for you but attainable for person A. Even if 50 pounds needs to come off you for whatever reason, how about you start out with a number which you can achieve. Because by the time you hit that gym and see no signs of weight loss in 2-3 weeks, you will lose something quite alright, but it wouldn’t be any lbs; rather some hope.
How about you start off with a realistic number for you; let’s say you can handle 10 pounds for the year, when you see the actual 10 pounds off you, you will feel more fulfilled than to start off the year with the goal of losing 50 pounds and nothing comes off eventually.
A question you should ask yourself is—what is the end goal of this resolution I am making?
Are you just jumping on a bandwagon because everyone else is doing so or do you actually want to see a difference in your life or in the world? When you begin with the end in sight, you will want to stick things through even when the going gets tough because 12 months is a long time to be consistent with anything.
Should you wait till the beginning of a New Year to start making changes?
Personally, I don’t think so. If you notice something you want to change in the month of March, don’t wait till the following year to make the changes. The thing about change is the minute you dedicate yourself to making a difference in any aspect of your life, the results are already set in motion even if you cannot see it.
Slow & Steady wins the race
I am reminded about some of the stories we read as children, especially the ones of the tortoise and the hare. The premise of the story was that the hare was a very fast animal while the tortoise was very slow. Now when they got into a race together, the hare took off running immediately, while the tortoise continued at it's slow and steady pace. Eventually the hare exhausted itself, then the tortoise took over and won the race.
We see this same tactic play out with the participants in long distance races. They usually don't start off with the speed off light because of the distance they have to cover ahead of them. Just like the tortoise they start with a steady pace and then pick up towards the end. What that strategy does is that it saves them a lot of energy; if not they run the risk of not just losing, but collapsing.
Each day at work, I have a to do list; a set of things I want to accomplish for the day. Depending on how long a particular task takes me to accomplish, I might not be able to get to everything on that list for that day. In fact most times, my to do for the day eventually becomes my to do for the week.
Initially I used to beat myself up about it, but now I understand that it is better to put in the time to get quality work done, than to speed things up and deliver sub par work. Where are we rushing to? plus I cannot come and go and kill myself!
The Comparison Trap
As humans, it is easy for us to get caught up with what everyone else is doing, and then put added pressures on ourselves if we feel like we are lagging behind.
Xyz: I just got 1 million subscribers on YouTube!
Me (as a Youtuber): let me come up with content that I am not even passionate about so I can attract more subscribers or better still let me spread myself thing, constantly creating content, even if it doesn’t make sense or serve my audience, just to garner more subscribers.
What this does is that it introduces burnout and you end up quitting altogether when you don't see the desired results.
Xyz: I just bought a home at 25!
Me (as a young 20 something year old): Ah! Look at what my mates are doing! Meanwhile, I am here living in a rented property. Let me model my life after Xyz so I can get money to purchase a home.
This kind of mindset introduces discontentment.
The reality is not everyone puts the total truth on social media; everyone wants to paint a picture of success without truly being successful. People oftentimes get depressed at where they are in life and then go ahead to set unrealistic goals or resolutions for where they want to be and when that isn’t achieved, they lose sight of the true essence of life. In a fast paced world, an instant gratification generation; I think there is value in slowing down.
You have to go at your own pace, focus on what you want to accomplish and then stick with it.
There really is no point of resolutions if you are not going to honor them. Yes, it is a New Year, it is the crack of a new decade; get a sheet of paper out and set realistic goals/expectations for yourself. Don’t wear yourself out trying to accomplish 1000 things in 12 months.
There is time for everything; everything has its place and should be handled accordingly. Maybe this year it is only one thing you want to change; that is awesome, as long as it is a realistic goal for you. Don’t make others who appear to be achieving much, cause you to feel bad about yourself. After all, the Bible says:
“The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.”
Timing, sprinkled with a bit of luck is everything!
So to answer the question: are New Year resolutions necessary? They are as long as they are realistic and you follow through with them.
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About The Author: Evi Idoghor is a Christian, writer, and content creator on Letstalknationblog.com. She is a chemical engineering graduate from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Consumed by her love for writing and desire to effect change, she launched her online platform––Let’s Talk Nation––to tap into her creativity and start meaningful conversations that would make a difference around the world.
Most of her writing has been influenced by her time spent in America, where she lived for about 11 years. Also, she lived in Nigeria and South Korea and currently loves traveling the world while learning about other fascinating cultures. You can find her on all social media platforms with @eviidoghor.