New Year’s Resolution

This blog was written by YMCA Newcomer Information Centre Information and Referral Specialist Prashant Shori.

The word ‘resolution’ is very closely attached to New Years’ time. Many of us make resolutions at the beginning of the New Year and when asked, we often declare them with full confidence, without any hesitation. Most of the resolutions reflect pledges for self-discipline, either to achieve better health, a better job, education, financial goals or all of them. It has been seen that irrespective of what the resolution is, most of them don’t last for more than a few days. And within three months, most of us do not even remember what we had pledged for that year.

One of my friends said to me that his resolution lasted for twenty days and he was happy about it because he was thinking that something was better than nothing. But this approach is not a progressive one and is not what we should expect from ourselves. There is not much point in making a decision if we are not even going to try to stick to it. It causes us to become even more unmanageable and undisciplined.

So what can we do to make our resolutions long-lasting? For that, we have to analyze the resolution-making process. I actually asked a few people as to how they came up with new year resolutions or what process they followed. To my surprise, they told me that they really did not give it too much thought. They came up with an idea right at the spot when the topic of resolutions came up. It shows that there was no work done in planning and understanding the process of the resolution. No strategies were made for the successful implementation of what had been planned. The whole idea was merely wishful thinking.

People use the word ‘resolution’ without even understanding its depth and power. The amount of time and effort spent on the preparation phase and strategizing phase of a resolution determines its depth and longevity.

Take the example of building skyscrapers. As an immigrant to the Greater Toronto Area, I was initially very intrigued by the massive construction sites in Toronto. One day while strolling on the streets of downtown Toronto, I saw a gigantic pit in one plot of land. It was approximately 200 feet deep. I had never seen such a huge and deep, excavated piece of land before. I started talking to a civil engineer standing at the site and he replied, “You have to go two hundred feet under the ground in order to go four hundred feet over the ground”.

The stronger the foundation, the higher we go. Similar should be the approach for making resolutions. The following are the ingredients of a good resolution:

  • Step 1. Figure out the needs (flaws and shortcomings) in ourselves.
  • Step 2. Prioritize these needs based on severity.
  • Step 3. Choose one of these needs, which we believe are prepared to work on (not just desire to work on, but prepared to work on)
  • Step 4. Create a plan
  • Step 5. Reflect on the plan and study the practicability and genuineness of those strategies.
  • Step 6. Try out the plan. Give yourself enough scope to make any change if required, in order to make it more applicable and useful.
  • Step 7: Keep on evaluating the progress periodically and make the necessary changes if required.

These are the steps that one should follow before coming up with a resolution and especially before declaring it. A resolution can change our life, and possibly the life of our loved ones. It can help us on the path of achieving our long-term goals and dreams. A wise plan will go a long way in ensuring the success of a resolution.

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