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Published On: Fri, Jan 1st, 2021

New year resolutions and the consistent self-deceptions

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By Clement Uwayah

Human desires to regularly do away with identified weaknesses and traits that are considered unbefitting, unproductive and inimical to the ultimate realization of expected goals, as well as setting of new ones has assumed a seasonal affair and mostly tied to what has become a yearly routine exercise- the new year resolutions. The belief that amendments of undesirable lifestyles and opting for better run and outcomes are best sought and achieved at a particular point in time, especially at the beginning of a new calendar year has been an age long thing, hence it is actually the rationale behind such resolutions. Across the globe, it is a common practice.
Wikipedia records that, ‘a new years’ resolution is a tradition, most common in the Western Hemisphere but also found in the Eastern Hemisphere, in which a person resolves to continue good practices, change an undesired trait or behavior, to accomplish a personal goal, or otherwise improve their life’. Thus, every new year is supposed to make individuals better. But in reality, it would appear that rather than get better, most persons become even worst on same traits for which they had resolved to change. From inferential statistics, less than ten percent of people are able to keep up with their resolves. It therefore means that every year has a history of repeated vein human expectations, occasioned by unachieved resolutions. Arguably, new year resolutions has repeatedly resulted to fixed false beliefs that conflict with reality, and that is exactly a delusion.
The failed expectations arising from resolutions do not make the resolutions unwarranted or worthless, but the timing and follow ups always does. New year resolutions seem to me an automatic way of allowing procrastinations and delays to hinder and overshadow the necessary actions that needs be taken for ones immediate and ultimate better outcome. The attachment of resolutions to New years seem to have introduced a measure of significance to some form of calendar related possibilities with respect to desired habit changes and expectations. Rather than a yearly resolve, it makes more sense to adopt some form of timeless resolves that gives the flexibility for immediate redress. When people fail in their yearly resolutions, they seem to await another full circle to make a comeback trial of the issue for which they desired a change. In the long run, ‘yearly’ resolutions most often leaves people in a perpetual state of retardation and inability to carry through.
More often, new year resolutions have had to do with an intent to correct undesireable habits than that of purposeful planning for better outcomes. Recalling that habits hardly die, one would rather propose for a more purposeful approach in the form of Personal Development Plan (PDP). Embracing such would in a way fight such undesired habits, even without knowing it, thus making it a case of habit replacement. For instance, rather than resolve to be less combative, insultive or quarrelsome, one could plan to be very slow to answering back or refrain from talking much generally. In the same vein, one who desires to change from being a drunk or from other habits may plan to become engaged at such times of indulgences in such activities. A shift from or change of friends, acquaintances and even routes may also come handy.
The hallmarks of human success and prosperity is deeply rooted in an ability to constantly rise up whenever he falls or fails in any given attempt. However, the often wrong impression associated with new year resolutions tends to make people give up on something so easily, terming themselves as failures and hoping for another opportunity in another year. For instance, does it not amount to self deception or practical insanity for someone to declare January of a new year as termination of his own self identified dislikes, as if it were on practice handed through a contractual agreement over a given course of time? Should the desire to change an undesired trait not be a mindset rather than the calendar timing we seemed to have so embraced? The saying that anytime we are aware of a thing means it is calling for attention or actions has taken flight with our reliance on new year resolutions to initiate changes
Truth remains that the power to bring about changes is always more spiritual than physical, and must be deeply rooted from inside (mindset) than a mere wish and reliance on some external forces, especially a point in time in a calendar year. Until the mind is conditioned to assume the position that ultimately alters a certain status quo, nothing can happen. For resolutions to yield its desired results, it should be considered as a manifestation activity rather than an expectation event. It is all tied to our belief system. Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, and your values become your destiny.
The quest for one’s betterment cannot be downplayed on, hence resolutions should not be restricted to New Year’s as it only promotes procrastination and perpetuity in wrong doings. Importantly, it must be noted that the ultimate force that creates the enabling possibility for the effective and positive outcome of resolutions is the recognition of God’s Power and Grace. Rather than work with the God of years, we often get carried away with the thought that a new year carries the power of change. This is in conformity with the thoughts of Reno Omokri, who warned that ‘The New Year will not lead to a New You if you don’t make New Decisions. Never believe that a calendar occurrence will just bring you blessings on its own without you taking action to agree with what God says about you. A date can’t make you great’.
In the final analysis, it is to be affirmed that our abilities to reposition ourselves towards better outcomes is not and can never be hinged on the delusional resolutions we make yearly. It is vein expectations to expect that resolutions would work out because it is tied to a particular calendar period. Indeed, it always amounts to procrastinations when one refuses to take immediate actions towards remedying an undesired state. Anytime a thing is known is the time attention to it is necessary. Procrastinations are thieves of time and that is one associated inclination we often harbor concerning making our desired changes using the instrumentality of new year resolutions.
Clement Uwayah is a Public Affairs Analyst.

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