Lenox Lizwi Mhlanga
The dreaded first month of 2018 is off the blocks and if you made it this far without frayed nerves, you are strong. This was also the first week of school term that should add to your list of woes. If you are a parent, that is. It takes a miracle not to lose it.
The casualties of the holiday season litter the landscape as far as the eye can see. Yet, traditionally, my concern at this time is on New Year’s resolutions.
It’s already the second week and you have already broken them angithi? Why set them in the first place? To deal with the guilt after that bout of festive season over-indulgence, perhaps? Is it to create a sense of purpose when there is little to hang onto?
Yet we do it anyway. The question remains whether you will adhere to them this year. To help motivate you, there are things you may not have known about resolutions.
Just about half the people really do make a New Year resolution. All you need to do is to make sure you are not part of the non-participating half!
The reality is that most people fail to stick to their New Year’s resolutions. In fact, around 22 percent fail after week one, 40 percent after one month and 60 percent after six months! How about you?
Around 38 percent of people claim to never make them in the first place. They say they do not need them. They pretend to lead organised and well-endowed lives. That is a fallacy.
Among those that achieve their resolutions, only about 40 percent are successful on their first try. The rest make multiple attempts with as much as 17 percent taking over six tries. As if it were a game of rugby!
Why are so many failing? The main reason is lack of clear goals. For example, it’s common for people to say, “I will try to be healthier.” Is it not better to say, “I plan on losing 10 kilos by June?”
Your resolution should be smart, that is, specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely or time-bound.
If you are like me, perhaps you are among those who are still looking for an appropriate New Year’s resolution. I have managed to trawl for the kind of resolutions we can choose from. Remember to make them smart kuphela.
The most popular have to do with fitness, obviously. After all the over indulgence of the festive season you need to shape up. It will also counter the effects of being a couch potato watching omnibus re-runs of Isibaya, Queen or Premier League football on television!
Eating better is another, though one could run into problems with the dreaded January disease ravaging pockets everywhere. The good news is that the healthiest foods are not the priciest. Ukujomba will keep you away from those greasy fast foods. Just go traditional.
For the chimneys among us, quitting smoking is a perennial struggle. So is drinking. The latter is easily taken care of by one’s dire financial status post-holiday. Unless, of course, you decide to go traditional (drinking amasese) out of necessity.
My favourite resolution is to learn something new. Try growing something for example, if you have never done so. There is nothing as motivating as discovering that you can produce something, besides children. Keep away from growing weed, though. We are not in California.
Travel more. If you are broke, walk more. In fact, the excesses of the holiday will force you to leave your car at home. Which is good, because you will need the exercise. Until you can afford petrol.
Volunteer. Go to the nearest orphanage, old people’s home or clinic and lend a hand. If you are back from the UK, this shouldn’t be a problem. You will feel good afterwards. God has a way of rewarding people who do good deeds.
Meet someone new. Break away from your toxic circle of friends. They maybe the reason why you are so broke after the holidays. Look for people who inspire you. Remember, if you want to soar like an eagle, spend less time with chickens.
Sleep more. Your body needs rest and allow your brain cells to regenerate. At least 8 hours of sleep should give you enough fuel to be creative and productive. Just avoid making more babies.
Get out of debt. If that is not obvious by now, then you are in trouble. Avoid having to borrow to pay school fees. You should have set aside a bit to take care of that eventuality. If it is any comfort, the Government has said that no school will turn away pupils for lack of fees. Just don’t bank on it.
As you start the New Year on a fresh slate, make it a point to be happy. You will attract like-minded people as a result. Avoid doing things that you will regret. Be positive about life and avoid negative people. We are all living on borrowed time.
Whatever you do, I wish you the best of luck in sticking with your 2018 resolutions and compliments of the new season.
-Lenox Mhlanga is a Bulawayo born and bred writer and father. He has difficulties reading things that he has not written. Unless he is paid to do it, would fail if he didn’t or they are accompanied by pictures. If you want to share something with him or to engage, write to: [email protected]