Many times in my life I have been incredibly thankful for the opportunity that each new sunrise and new year gives me to start afresh. With the benefit of hindsight; I plan to do better than I did yesterday or last year having learned and grown from my past mistakes.
Through last year’s trials, struggles, losses, I have been taught letter by letter,line by line and lesson by lesson in the ways of the world. The New Year presents me with an opportunity to die to what I have been and be reborn with a new level of experience. I am therefore wiser and less naïve.
Holding on to our dreams, hopes and visions even when things look the worst ; we all tend to begin the New Year with optimism, excitement, openness; trusting that things will go well for us during the new year. We tend to push the idea of what might happen right at the back of our minds other than let it rob us of new beginnings.
Life is said to be a journey towards becoming a better person so we enter each new year with a vision of what we want to achieve during the new year and with a road map guiding us on how to get where we want to be.
Now for 4000 years the Hebrews and Romans have prepared for the New Year by making resolutions they make promises to themselves to change and improve themselves and their lives during the new year. It has now become a common practice worldwide.
Statistics show that in USA, 45% of the people make resolutions for the New Year but actually only 8% of these achieve them!
Albert Einstein(1879-1955) the famous German Physicist defined insanity as :doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Each New Year presents new possibilities to each one of us so we have to train ourselves to do something different each new year. What you chose to do should be determined by the season of life in which you are – Spring, summer, winter or autumn and what you consider to be most important in your life at that moment in time. What you focus on grows.
This demands that each one of us looks closely at the year ending, analyse it
and use the lessons learned from the mistakes or successes to establish yourself firmly and reach prosperous new heights. Then you should close the old year completely and enter the New Year with a new attitude and new thinking while at the same time holding on to your dreams and ideals. Our thoughts determine the outcome of our goals.
The Roman god Janus after whom the month of January was named, was believed to have two heads: one looking backwards while the other one looked ahead into the future – a future pregnant with possibilities.
We all fear what we do not understand or know just because we are used to controlling things so it is a great challenge to plan for the New Year. Without a plan to guide us through the new year, we hardly get anything worthwhile done – too many demands on us and these most times crowd out the most important in our lives. Like any good marathon runner, we have to learn to plan for the race of life year by year. We should set realistic, measurable goals and sometimes we need to adjust our time goal. We have to ensure that we do not run out of energy to complete the last few miles – start slow and gradually increase.
Michael Hyatt, the renown American life coach and Virtual mentor has some very good, tried and tested advice to us all on how to make the next year your best year ever.
He advises us to make new goals in all areas of our lives using the SMART acronym:
S- our goals should be Specific
M- should be Measurable.
A- Should be Actionable
R- should be realistic- unrealistic goals put you on pressure.
T- should be time bound
At each point in time you should focus on what is most valuable and most important in your life.
Last Friday , I was thrilled and inspired as I watched Retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice George Kanyeihamba launch another of his many books and later watched on television a twelve year old student of Buddo Junior School do the same! These two are two poles apart in the seasons of life but each one has embraced his season and worked hard to live his dream.
At this juncture I would like to remind each one of us that Life is essentially about Relationships- the relationship between you and your God, Yourself, family and others.
Michael Hyatt also advises us to write down our goals and keep them visible on your desk,desktop or any other place which you look at every morning and to review them regularly. We should ask for help when necessary and celebrate the little progress we make day by day. The times when we feel fearful, uncertain and inadequate, he strongly advises us to push through these obstacles. Since our thoughts lead to our actions which themselves lead to the outcome of our goals, he advises us to get rid of anything that does not serve us well and replace it with empowering and affirming thoughts.
While doing all these, you should continue living your life fully by dreaming big, continuing to learn, having fun , having a zest for life- waking up each morning and picking new shells from the lake of life. Any time you stop doing any of these, whatever the age, you will be as good as dead.
As we complete 2016, let us process it fully and look to the future with confidence.
Take great courage to paint the blank canvas to your heart’s content, to write a new chapter in your book of life or fill the clean slate to your huge satisfaction.
Tony Robbins another American life coach says : Your Past does not equal your future.
And I for one would love to encourage you by telling you that beginning again is both a gift and a beauty in itself.
May 2017 turn out to be your best year yet.