As Santa’s glittering sleigh gives way to a bright New Year, it is time for yet another fad to captivate us – the creation of New Year resolutions. Though the practice of carving New Year resolutions on stone tablets (called smartphones nowadays), is not only as old as the hills, but also as fickle and short-lived a la Moses’ first inscription of the Ten Commandments. But what makes a New Year attract so many resolutions, while the gravitational forces of a New Moon cannot? Besides, do we really need one more, particularly, when the resolution made last year waned much faster than a full moon? A research by the University of Scranton, states that a whopping 90% of people fail to achieve their New Year resolution.
So, is making New Year resolution just a fad, which passes away with time? Yes, if your year is going to fly through aimlessly and you already have that year-end party in sight. But, “No”, if you have resolved not to give up on attending to your resolutions, until it achieves its purpose. Resolution is the noun form of the verb ‘resolve’, which borrows its roots from the Latin word resolvere, which means "to loosen”, “to undo” or “to settle”. It is always a temptation for human beings to give up so easily – be it career, jobs, dreams, learning, relationships, or worse, life itself.
On the contrary, notable achievements and inventions in this world have come only after much failures experienced by the successful. Behind every successful man, whether it is Thomas Edison, Wright Brothers, Michael Jordan, Abdul Kalam, Steve Jobs or Virat Kohli, there wasn’t just a woman (success knows no gender), but also tenacity that kept them pushing forward toward success. Therefore, not to settle or loosen the grip when the going gets tough is what determines one’s success. Confucius once said, “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.”
So, what is the determining factor to fulfill our New Year resolutions or let’s say, not to give-up? A quick diagnosis of people infected with the virus “Indiscipline”, indicate them manifesting four disabling symptoms. If one isn’t watchful of these symptoms, it can result in premature goal closure or even career arrest. Hence, it is highly advisable not to launch into new resolution creation this year, before undergoing the necessary treatment, if you observe one or more of the following four symptoms.
1. (P)eople Pleaser: This is the kind (the cool guy) who exists only to fulfill others’ dreams. And when they finally get down to working on their dream, if at all they get time, they get discouraged or distracted by others’ opinion of their ideas.
Treatment: They desperately need “a double negativity filter” fitted in their hearts, which could absorb any heartburns and fear of failure.
2. (Q)uick-fix Lover: This is the kind (the impatient guy) who just loves shortcuts to success and expect results overnight. They don’t have the patience and grit to convert actions into habits by diligently repeating the same actions day after day.
Treatment: They desperately need “a steely nerve” to see their idea through to fruition, through hard work and determination.
3. (R)epeat Offender: This is the kind (the bad guy) who prides themselves in getting arrested and often in style. They fail to differentiate the fact that while it is acceptable to make mistakes, it is abject idiocy to walk straight into that pit again.
Treatment: They desperately need “telescopic eyesight” to see why their last year resolution accumulated so much dust.
4. (S)tar Gazer: This is the kind (the lost guy) who is so awestruck with what’s going on around, that they hardly appreciate or find time for their own projects and goals. They fail to realize the grass would look greener wherever it is watered.
Treatment: They desperately need “a quick shot of self-esteem” which could help keep their head held up high.
As we begin (A, B, C, D…) a New Year with lots of hope and determination, it would be worthwhile to remember that any good start counts only when we finish well (…W,X,Y,Z). And to last long in this 2019 marathon, we need to be in good health to overcome some major hurdles along the way, namely the symptoms (P, Q, R, S), listed above. Else, we can slow down, quit, or worse, retreat to our blocks of doing things the same way as before. So, as you ponder on making a New Year resolution, resolve to hold onto your towel. Orville Wright, an aviation pioneer, believed he could go the distance when he quipped, “If birds can glide for long periods of time, then why can’t I?”
Billy Paul Ebenezer is Learning & Development Consultant – Behavioural Development Function, Wipro