It’s another year! Year 2020 is now history. Yea…we are right here in 2021 and it has started racing already. We are indeed excited and grateful to the Most High God for sparing our lives and showing us great mercies.
Indeed, many new year resolutions were made in 2020 but have you sat down to evaluate and ponder on how successful you were in keeping those resolutions? A new year is here again and many have resolved to be better and do things differently this year in their lives, career, families and ministries.
Specifically, others may have resolved not to live recklessly again, borrow money randomly or engage in unprofitable businesses this year. Some people may have equally resolved to be better students, better teachers and mentors, more loving and caring spouses and more committed parents to their children. There are a million-dollar resolutions flying accross the “spiro-mental” hemisphere of human existence but how many of these resolutions do we actually keep?
In this article, I will share with you three keys that will help you keep your resolutions this year so that they will not end as day dreams like in previous years. They are not exhaustive but can really help if you are willing to make a change.
1. Write them down
Mental resolutions are good but you need to write them down if you want to achieve significant success. Mental imageries can easily be forgotten when the real business of the year starts but what is written down can easily be consulted from time to time to evaluate progress. Even God knows the value of written documents that was why he didn’t just dictate the ten commandments and asked Uncle Moses to memorise them on the mountain. He had to write them down and gave them to Moses as tablets of stones (Exo. 24:12). When Moses couldn’t control his emotions and broke the written because of the irrational behavious of the Israelites, God told him to come up again so that he (Moses) can rewrite the commandments and take to his people (Exo. 34:27-28).
No matter how sharp one’s intellectual acumen is, there are still limitations to what one can remember per time. Thus, it is necessary to write things down so that you can always refer to them from time to time. If you have a good vision for the new year or you have made some striking resolutions, please write them down.
“And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.”
Don’t claim to be a super star with magnetic power of memory. Be humble and write things down so that you can always read them and pursue them towards great accomplishments.
2. Be disciplined
Discipline involves the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behaviour, using punishment to correct disobedience. Self-discipline entails trainings your will, mind, emotions and whole body to obey the rules or resolutions you have made to guide them. Discipline helps to put a check on your actions and inactions. Discipline enables you to set boundaries and live within the boundaries. A disciplined fellow does not engage in excessive eating, sleeping, drinking, talking, or even excessive unwarranted discussions with the opposite sex, when they are not spouses. There are operational guidelines you must set for yourself and train yourself to work according to those specifications if you want to succeed in your resolutions and go far in life.
One of the greatest tragedies of our time is the tragedy of undisciplined lives. Little wonder Jim Rohn affirmed that we have two pains in life: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.
Paul alluded to this and tells us what he did to help himself
“But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”1 Cor. 9:27
It takes a disciplined heart and body to maintain resolutions and consecrations. Please be disciplined this year!
3. Engage in consistent positive actions
Your resolutions are mere desires and wishes whether written or unwritten until you decide to engage in deliberate actions that will guarantee success in specific areas of your life. Desires and words of resolutions are good but it is golden to put into practise those things you have resolved to do or not to do. For instance, if you are addicted to sex or lust and you resolve to repent and change your ways this year, the best action is to cut off the relationship or channels through which such illicit lifestyle flows. Merely resolving to stop or even praying about it is good but the real solution comes when you take action and flee from the source or environment of that temptation. If you have been lazy in your studies as a student or lousy in writing papers for publication as a lecturer, you need to wake up and start studying intensively (as a student) and also start writing extensively (as a lecturer). You can also collaborate with others since iron sharpens iron. This is the right action to take and it is also applicable in other areas of our lives.
We must be ready to take action and our actions must also be consistent. Consistent actions are the real issuse in transforming our new year resolutions into practical change of life and success in every area of our endeavours.
This year you must be ready to act and be consistent in your actions. Consistency ensures that you don’t end half-way. You may start well in your pursuit of a better year but if you are not consistent in your actions, you may stop in the middle of the game. Be tenacious. Be consistent. Learn to follow through to the end even when storms arise to challenge your resolutions. Don’t give up! Don’t give in! See you at the top!
Dr. Tony Orji writes from Department of Economics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.