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New Year Resolutions: Yay or Nay?

Are you a big fan of making new year resolutions? Amid all the pomp and festivities that come with entering a new year, there is also the tradition of setting new year goals and plans.

Growing up in my family, having new year resolutions was a part of our traditions. On New Year’s Eve, we would gather together as a family in the living room. With the Christmas tree still in its revered place. This tradition started when we moved to Zambia.

A Look Back at Previous Years

I can still remember what my New year Resolution was in 1998. I wanted to have fun while soaking up all the new experiences, and I did just that. It wasn’t easy; I struggled with navigating a new school in a new country. I had to step out of my comfort zone many times, but I did. At the end of 1998, I had assimilated, made friends, done well in my Maths exam and moved up to the extended class, and successfully climbed Mount Mumpu with my classmates.

Now the following year wasn’t so successful for me. By the end of 1999, I disillusion set in, and I was unmotivated. But you know what? That gave me the hunger to do better, and by the time the Year 2000 was coming around the corner, I had recharged my energy. I was going into my final year, and I had a lot to accomplish. I wanted good grades in my IGCSE’s and I wanted to get good SAT scores to qualify for university.

Looking back now, I can see that it wasn’t necessarily about having the New Year resolutions at the beginning of the year. You can always reflect at any point in the year and develop goals to help you succeed and achieve your dreams.

Tips to Setting New Year Resolutions

What I have found that work for me is to first is to have a purpose. Why am I pursuing a specific goal? Having this clear in my mind is like fuel that keeps me going even when there are diversions along the journey to my destination.

Having a time frame is essential in motivating me to get things done. Otherwise, I shall procrastinate like nobody’s business. I have discovered that when I have deadlines to work with, I push hard to get things done.

Sometimes it helps to look at the mistakes made in the immediate past and draw lessons from them. I have found in my life on several occasions that failure can be the fuel needed to push you further towards success. I found that to be true in 1999 and certainly in 2016 when I had to go back to the drawing board in the middle of the year.

This year I have not gone out of my way to make New Year’s resolutions as I have done in previous years. The Old me would be in a panic now. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my goals. But I am not sitting down to list out and make so many goals, all in the name of starting the new year.

I have kept them short and simple this year. They are meaningful goals to my relationship with God and others, my career, my development and my growth as a leader. Some of the plans are new, and some are in progress from the previous year.


As the new year begins today, do you have resolutions? If you do, how are you going to stay the course? Leave a comment if you have any tips to share.

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