Resolution: This word becomes the most recurring word at the closing of an old calendar year and at the inception of a new one. When you hear the words ‘happy new year’, then you will most likely hear the word ‘resolution’ used in a sentence- ‘what are your new year resolutions?’
Resolution means a firm decision to do something or a firmness of purpose or mind. Sadly, majority of people that use the word do not use it in this context; perhaps the word has become common place that the meaning or weight had gotten lost in the process. We now use the word to mean ‘wish’ or to express desire or need.
In my own opinion, ‘resolution’ is the end point of a process that starts with ‘reflection’. Reflection means to give careful thought to something especially in reconsidering previous actions, events or decisions. In order words, reflection has to do with evaluation.
When careful thought is not given to issues or happenings and events gone by, when past actions and decisions are not weighed critically and carefully scrutinized, then a true and accurate conclusion cannot be arrived at. And in the absence of this, a firm decision cannot be reached and singleness of purpose is far-fetched.
How many times have people recited a ‘new year’ resolution only to find themselves wanting, just after a few days into the ‘new year’?; Most especially when it involves the breaking of a habit, or dissociation from unproductive or harmful associations and relationships. This is because it takes more than just words and speeches to change over and start anew. It takes more than just the expression of a desire or wish to turn in the right direction and make progress in the positive direction; you have to want it and want it badly.
And this wanting does not just arise out of wishes, it stems from a deep seated determination and passion for change; change at all costs. The willingness to give it all it takes and to change at all costs can only come about when you know exactly what it takes, what the costs are.
It is comparable to building a house or fighting a war; you always have to know what you are up against. You have to know what weapons you have in your arsenal and determine whether it would be enough, and if not, where and how to source for more.
Next, you have to have a course of action, a strategy, a plan and mode of execution. Then, you sort things in order from the first to the last in sequential order; there can be no true success without order.
Not to build castles in the air or live in ‘wonderland’, potential problems and hitches in the plan need to be identified and possible solutions worked out. This is best typified by the game of chess where every move is planned and played three steps ahead; and to beat your opponent, you never take any move, no matter how basic, at face value; you always must look for a catch. Also, every move that is played must follow a line of reasoning, considering every alternate moves, their pros and cons, and all counter moves to the play. The path of war is the path of the mind, and it is an art not taken lightly; there’s only one objective, victory.
All that been said, the most important deterrent to the whole ‘new year resolution’ thing is the fact that people have come to believe that it is only at the inception of a ‘new year’ that resolutions are made. Thus, people wait till the beginning of a ‘new year’ to make important decisions in their lives.
A downside to this is that the timing is not exactly right; the atmosphere is dominated by festivities which does not bode well for a thoughtful decision; people rejoicing that they made it into the ‘new year’ which actually is not ‘new’ but a resetting of the calendar to accommodate an aging world, one whose age is steadily increasing and with it steady degeneration and decline. Hence, the ‘resolution’ lacks the seriousness that it needs, because in the first place it was uttered out of an ecstatic mind rather than a sober one.
In my opinion, resolutions need not (and should not) be made at the inception of the ‘new year’, during the time of festivities. They should be a regular exercise we engage in following periodical self evaluation and sober reflections. This would give it the weight and seriousness it demands and bolster us for the challenge of taking steps in the right direction and emboldening us to make the necessary changes that might be needed to live right and to live meaningfully and purposefully.
In conclusion, the change in attitude and lifestyle needed to live a fulfilled life is a process that begins with ‘reflection’- an evaluation of past life- and involving the popular word ‘resolution’- a strong resolve in a direction- and moving on to ‘conclusion’- the achievement of set goals- which leads to ‘satisfaction’- the end point, fulfillment.
So, what is your ‘new year’ resolution? (Or is it ‘wish’?)