With the New Year upon us, it is hard not to pick up on the contagious positive energy of making powerful life-changing intentions. Someone once said that ‘New Year’s resolutions are a bit like babies: They’re fun to make but extremely difficult to maintain.’ I don’t know if to agree with that or not. Each January, roughly one in three people resolve to better themselves in some way. It is , however, no news that a much smaller percentage actually make good on those resolutions. While about 75% of people stick to their goals for at least a week, less than half (46%) are still on target six months later, a study found.
It’s hard to keep up the enthusiasm months after you’ve swept up the confetti you threw at yourself when you made it into the New Year, but it’s not impossible.
I remember the first time I made a New Year resolution. It was 1985. I made it only because the older children from our then neighbors, the Ogunbajo’s and The Anochie’s mentioned theirs. Back then, it was all about what ‘I will never do again’. Well, that’s for obvious reasons of continuously running into trouble with our folks. As I grew older, I added the theory of things ‘I want to start doing’ to it. One thing was sure common with both of them though: The enthusiasm dies down with the New Year merriment around February. This went on into my teenage, believe or not, my career years until I learnt that the difference between those who succeed in turning their vision into reality with those who quote religious verses to justify their laziness or blame demons for failure is that, achievers know that while intention is a powerful first step, it also demands additional action and steps to actually bring the vision to life. In simple words ‘A goal without a plan is just a dream’ (Elbert Hubbard).
For the first time in my life, with dwindling & trying again after failing and depending on God and surrounding myself with the right people and information, I got to achieve 90% of goals I had set for myself beginning of 2014. I know some got theirs 100%. Good for them. I am glad I got to 90% from the constant 10 or 15% I have constantly ended the previous years with.
It is possible to have a New Year resolution with a lasting and productive value.
Here are some concepts that worked for me.
Get to know yourself
Do an honest self-reflection. Find out why you do the things you do and why you believe what you believe. Admit who you are to yourself. It is a very powerful step to change, cure or healing.
Keep at the heart a social cognitive theory called the concept of “self-efficacy”. As explained by Albert Bandura, “Self-efficacy” is one’s belief in one’s ability to succeed in specific situations.
Set Goals & objectives
I found out that I had always set goals without objectives. Goal setting involves establishing specific intent. The clearer your goals, the easier to facilitate!
Objectives’ setting is the breaking down of goals into smaller, measurable and time–targeted more manageable chunks. In a nutshell, they provide a sense of direction and purpose. (This I learnt in a Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) instructor of teachers training I attended 18 years ago). Wonder why it took me this long to put it to work.
Make the Goal Public and Ask for Support
Making a goal public and asking for support and encouragement from the people around us is also important for goal attainment and can be a powerful strategy for achieving our personal goals. Don’t be discouraged if things don’t go exactly as planned or if you get thrown off track along the way. The road to success is rarely a straight line! Be ready with a support system when that stuff arises.
Understand that everybody works differently
It is impossible to avoid meeting misanthropically minded people, so feel free to let their snarky comments and manipulative sentences roll off your back. This is your journey, not theirs. You know best what is best for you.
Understand that everybody works differently – maybe a timeline works for you, or a checklist, or checking in with an accountability partner. What resources do you have available to help you on your journey? There are many methods that can help keep you on track. Whether it’s a good old-fashioned notebook and pen, or a smart phone app, find the method that works best for you and run with it.
Work as if everything depends on you but pray because everything is only possible through God
I knew there was a next level in all the paths God has created me to walk and work in. I explored them and embarked on an unrelenting mission to attain the levels. This I did and still doing as I have seen remarkable results.
Human nature is unpredictable, unreliable, have limited wisdom, and subject to bad choices and decisions swayed by emotion. I realized that only trust in God can make one wise, knowing, powerful, gracious, humble, merciful and loving. I went with Him cos He has proven Himself to be trustworthy in the lives of people who depended on Him.
My baby called ‘New Year Resolution’ has survived child mortality that has robbed me for years
Happy New Year!