BY THIS TIME SEVERAL MILLION NEW YEAR resolutions would have been made only to be broken with impunity weeks or months later and at any rate before the year draws to a close. Obviously such resolutions are either made purely as a year end ritual or in a half-hearted way without any real intentions to implement them. It may also be the case that some of us genuinely believe that we could adhere to the resolutions made without properly taking into account the homework or preparation required or for that matter the habits to be cultivated assiduously so that no breaches occur of the resolutions made.
THE SUCCESSFUL FULFILMENT of a resolution is actually dependent on the degree of our own determination to be the change that we want to be. That requires a great degree of mindfulness as well as a constant visualisaton of the outcomes that we seek to achieve. Sometimes it could be life-changing events that re-enforce our desire for change. I know two stories associated with smoking. A chain smoker gave up smoking after witnessing the death of a close friend who had a similar habit. It took him just a week after attending his friend’s funereal to kick the habit and as far as I know he has not handled a cigarette yet. Another quit smoking after his child was born and he has stayed resolute since. Interestingly enough, this person was actually wanting to quit smoking for quite a while but at the back of his mind still felt that he would indulge in his habit at least for the time until he became a father !
THERE ARE A WHOLE VARIETY OF RESOLUTIONS – some need external help for bringing them to fruition besides our innate desire for change that still holds the key. It is also true that the duration of sticking to a resolution is directly proportional to efforts required for realizing it. A website http://www.stickk.com has created a system of self rewards and penalties for its subscribers who are required to publicly proclaim the resolution that they have undertaken and the time frame by which they would achieve this.
MY MAIN RESOLUTION (AMONGST OTHERS !) has been to write at least 500 words a day of a novel that I plan to complete by June this year. Incidentally, this resolution has been a “carry over” of the past year and I have not really adhered to this strictly. I have now tweaked it to provide for 500 words – not necessarily for my novel, a work-in-progress. It could also encompass a poem, a middle, a blog post such as this or even a diary entry : but write, I must. I know that I need to only put pen to paper at the appointed hour every day and as Woody Allen aptly put it, I do have SHOW UP at my desk for the purpose so that the ritual of writing becomes part of my nature, my habit, my routine – an essential thing to be done without which I should not allow myself to retire for the day.
SHERRYL SANDBERG, THE COO OF FACEBOOK, recently spoke of “ruthless prioritisation” for achievement of one’s goals. Well, I am not so sure if we need to be so didactic. A day in anybody’s life may have unforseen emergencies and situations that compete for attention. If we are able to attend to these and still make sure that we have done what we resolved to do before we switch off the lights for the day, even the world would perhaps support us in achieving our goals. After all, as the saying goes, we cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.