We are now counting down the last minutes to the New Year. If there’s something that 2013 owes you, this is the time to collect because soon it will be no more. But most of us already threw in the towel upon realizing that anything which we did not achieve in eleven months we are not going to achieve in one week. Therefore, if you are like most people, you probably already decided to write off whatever 2013 owes you as bad debt, there is just not enough time to achieve those important resolutions at the last minute. The glimmer of hope that shines for all of us is that it’s the year which is ending and not our lives. We still have a chance to reevaluate our lives, goals and strategies and start over with renewed energy in 2014. It is this hope which is pushing most of us to draft new resolutions or review the old ones in readiness for the kick-off come the New Year. A time like this last year, I had my list of four major resolutions at hand and was all prepared to start the New Year.
Today I am equally prepared. The difference now is that I have absolutely no resolutions. Looking at it from another angle, I actually have one resolution which is to not make any resolutions for the year 2014. Resolutions are good – they help us to keep the big picture in focus. Ultimately, they also help give meaning to our daily efforts and struggles. We do not get tired from nor feel bad about toiling day and night because we know the goals we are working for. As you can see, I did not do away with resolutions because I think they are useless. I appreciate the role they play in giving us a purpose and direction to follow. What then drove me to making this decision? Two things happened this year. First, a fellow student died from an accident. He was just standing there eating snacks and joking with friends as he waited to go home when the bus which was to take them home came and ran over him. It was really sad how he died, and before he reached the peak of his youth. The second thing to happen was me waking up one day to realize that I had achieved all of my resolutions for this year with satisfactory success. This made me to pause and reflect: How much can a person achieve in one year? Is 2013 a success because I achieved my resolutions or is it a failure because I did not get to explore the limits of my abilities?
During my reflection, it occurred to me that resolutions are bad for us in more ways than one and that we actually do not need them. After making resolutions, most of us proceed to procrastinate for the first half of the year thinking that there is still time. June jolts us back to reality making us realize that time is wasting. That’s when some of us will start working diligently to achieve the goals we had set for the year. We end up working in earnest for five months, July through November, and if we are not successful by then, we simply decide to wait for the next year to try again. In reality, the resolutions you are making now are not for the whole of the next year, they are for a few months in 2014. But this is not even the main problem with having annual resolutions. There’s a saying that goes: Mind your pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves. Resolutions get us fixated on what we are going to achieve in one year. In the process, we end up forgetting about the months, days, hours, and minutes that we also have in the year. Eventually, a day becomes just a day, an hour just an hour and a minute just a minute. These can be wasted as we wish, after all what is one day out of 365 days?
When we waste a minute, hour, day, week, or month by temporarily neglecting our goals, we are failing to mind our pennies. You know what happens when you misuse too many coins. At the end of the day you find that you have misused too many dollars. This is how it is with time too. All you have to do is waste enough days and then, before you notice, you have wasted a whole month or year. Personally, although I achieved my goals for this year, I have to admit that I wasted too much time; time that would have been useful in taking me one step closer to my dreams. In 2014, I want to concentrate on what I do each day. The man who does something profitable each day will have more to be proud of than the man who dreams of doing one big thing before the year ends. That’s the lesson I learnt from 2013. Life is short. Each second of each minute is important, use your time wisely. I know that’s cliché but it is true nonetheless. I realized that in 2013 I forgot one wise quote I used to love: Live like you will die tomorrow, learn like you will live forever. However, I do not want to carry any regrets over to 2014. So instead of being sad about the things I might have done differently or better this year, I am happy that I learnt this lesson which I am now sharing with you. God is fair – when he does not give us what we want, he gives us a lesson to help us get what we need. Take time to review your year, especially the things you failed to achieve, and find out which lessons you were supposed to learn. Those lessons will be indispensable if you are to make 2014 a better success than 2013.
Kay Qube, wishing you a prosperous 2014, and I hope you achieve all you desire.