New Year’s Resolutions


It may be hard to believe but 2079 is almost over. It seems like just yesterday that this year began but in less than three weeks, it will be over and we will have turned our calendars to 2080. 

It is an occasion to look forward to as the New Year symbolises renewed energy and a new beginning. Some of us may choose to spend the first day of the New Year, that is, Baisakh 1, or April 14 in the Gregorian calendar, with our friends and family, some may go on a trip and yet others may visit temples and begin the New Year in the embrace of God. And many of us have also started to mark the New Year with resolutions.

The tradition of making promises to ourselves about eating healthy, staying fit, meeting deadlines, spending less money and others is growing ever popular in Nepal. 

Whether we manage to keep these promises is a different question but there is no harm in trying. 

But still, our goal should be to meet the goals we set for ourselves. So, today, let us ponder on a few things we can do to increase our chances of fulfilling the pledges we will hopefully make on the first of Baisakh.

The first thing to do is set realistic goals. If we have never even sprinted, our New Year’s resolution should not be to run a marathon. We must make promises that we can feasibly achieve within our time and resource constraints. 

For example, students or full-time job holders cannot work out as often as we would like. So, pledging to hit the gym seven days a week is an ideal desire that we cannot meet. Therefore, let us start small. 

Perhaps keep the gym for the weekends and work out at home or go for light jogs and walks on the other days. We cannot change our lifestyle so best to schedule around it. To set ourselves up for success, we need to start with what is attainable.

The second thing is to follow up with your goals immediately. Once you have promised to do something, do it. 

There is no point waiting a day or a week. Do what you have pledged now! 

Hit the iron while it is hot and begin the process while you are still motivated. And to keep yourself motivated, remember to set milestones. 

If your New Year’s resolution was to quit smoking, set incremental milestones to help you achieve it. 

That is to say, first try going a few hours with a cigarette, then a few days, then weeks and months and then, give it up altogether. Instead of trying to achieve everything all at once, build a process. After all, slow and steady wins the race.

Also, reward yourself every time you reach your milestones. If you are successfully able to go a day with a cigarette then go out with your friends. 

If you reach a week then you have earned yourself a new T-shirt. But do not gift yourself with the habit you are trying to break. 

You should not treat yourself to junk food if you have pledged to lose weight. Similarly, a day at home should not be your prize for walking your required number of steps. 

Something that can help in following your goals is if you have friends to do it with you. So find a jogging buddy or a gym mate. Things seem less tedious if you have friends to share the experience with. 

If getting a friend to join is not possible, join a formal group or support system where you will be able to make new friends. For instance, if you want to learn a new language, join a class. That way, you will have a daily routine, a group of people to share it with and an instructor monitoring your progress. 

But there are some things we have to do alone. Circling back to the smoking example, we are the ones smoking, not our friends or family members, and we are the ones who now have to quit. In such cases, writing our goals down on pieces of paper and putting them in places we will constantly see is a good idea. 

This ensures that we never lose sight of what we have planned to achieve and why we plan to achieve it. So, put up a note on your bathroom mirror, set alarms on your phone, carry a note reminding you of your promise in your wallet and stick a chit on your work desk. 

New Year’s resolutions have almost become a joke in pop culture, as if they are promises we make only to break. But they need not be. 

If followed up on, they can help us bring positive changes in our lives.

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