At the beginning of each New Year on this planet, as individuals, we get to look back at the past year and do some form of self-appraisal. We estimate how successful we were in achieving the goals we set at the beginning of the past year. This period is filled with a victory dance or two when we are able to successfully stick to our resolutions. Alternatively, we get to cry ourselves a stream or a river when we don’t achieve our set goals.
The beginning of the New Year is usually the perfect time to flip the pages in this book of the life we are living. Not the biblical book of life actually. We decide to try again and hope not to fail this time around. So we write down our resolutions and swear by our guardian angels and the ghosts of our forefathers that we must actualize them. And when we are done, we sing along with Diddy: can’t nobody take my pride…can’t nobody hold me down…I gotta keep on movin’. Right, Right? Wrongggg…you are so wrong! Often times than not, we don’t succeed and eventually cry ourselves a stream or a river once again. It is like an evil cycle repeating itself all over again.
Personally, I find myself in this same milieu. I made a resolution to get my total body fat down to about 10%, so that my Abs will be visible. It is not every time I go to swim, I will be holding my tummy inside and flexing non-existent muscles. So basically, I was attempting to get that Hercules-like body. You know the type that armed robbers that came to rob you in your house will see, and instead of beating you and the rest of the family, they will first of all call you ‘Bros’ and eventually beg for mercy prior to an impending pounding you will give them! The type that a conductor will see and instead of asking you to pay extra because fuel don cost, he will first of all call you ‘Egbon’ and eventually ask you to forget about the fares entirely. Yeah, that’s the type of body I am talking about.
So I have religiously stuck to my intensive gym routine, intermittent fasting, carbs cycling, weekly updates from bodybuilding.com and other dreadful shit I had to do. Pheww, e no easy aswear! I found myself turning down invites to better parties where shayo and orisirisi plenty. Owambe is now my worst enemy; fufu is now my sworn adversary. And anytime I am passing by the shop that sold pastries in my neighborhood, I would just keep a straight face and hold my nose so as not to inhale that lovely bae-like aroma emanating from the shop. Guys, basically, I was living in bondage.
But on this glorious day, I attended a cousin’s wedding and still wore my fitness mindset like a cloak on a priest’s body. I decided I wasn’t going to take in more calories than my body needed. Boy was I dead wrong! It was as if the caterers had an unholy agenda to get me to commit fitness hara-kiri. Boy, come and see all the isi ewu, pammie, anu nchi, nkwobi and rebranded jollof rice that were littered on the table. These enemies of my fitness progress were staring back at me angrily and my tummy was making all those unruly rumbling sounds. Chai, the sacrifice no easy at all jor. Mi o le wa lo ku! So I decided to chop just a spoonful of nkwobi. From one spoon, e don enter three spoons o. From three spoons, I don top am with one tumbler of palmwine. By the time I was done with the meal, my tummy was saying ‘Thank You’.
Boy, I was happy with myself because e don tey wey I tasted such scrumptious meal. But the next day, the regret was all over me. Pheww…Tragic!
Sometimes in our bid to fulfill the New Year’s resolution, we hit a brick wall. We just stare at the broken clocks and watch the pieces fall to the ground. But don’t give up hope my friend, this is not the end. You just gotta rip out the pages of yesterday, dust yourself off and try again. But while trying again, it is pertinent not to make the same mistakes that prevented you from achieving your aim of sticking to your resolutions. Ladies and gentlemen, we’ll now take a look at five (5) of these mistakes.
Your expectations are unrealistic: Maybe you didn’t get to lose 20 pounds of fat in 2 weeks as you hoped. And you are furious and angry. Or you expected that by now, your triceps, biceps and quads would make Dwayne Johnson jealous and review his gym routine. But ironically, you have only been to the gym twice in the last month. You be winch? Who you dey deceive? And the food sellers at Iya Bisi’s spot know your name specifically because the amala that you order everyday would rival the height of the Tower of Babel. And you will chop finish and clean mouth, then come out to be claiming Gym Rat.
Where do you want the muscles to come from? My friend, you neva see sumthing yet! Monkey kill Monkey. While making resolutions, it is better to make VERY realistic ones. My brothers and sisters, this is not a matter of having faith as small as a mustard seed. Who mustard seed don epp? Realism should be the key while making these resolutions. Na so!
You don’t have the willpower and the right mindset: When you want something, you gotta work towards achieving it. OK? Incantation no be for stammerer, you hear? I know it is not easy at all. But the battle has never been fought by folks that weren’t willing to sacrifice their all.
Maybe one of your New Year’s resolutions was to learn an extra skill that will enable you climb the career ladder faster. But it is becoming increasingly difficult to joggle between family responsibilities, umuada meetings, doctor’s appointments, church programmes and still make out spare time to learn the new skill. I understand, it is not easy. But all things are possible not only to them that believe, but also to them that keep pushing. So do your best and create that spare time for yourself to learn that new skill. Because when you eventually reach the top of the career ladder, you will look down and remember all those times you struggled as the ghost of a smile will play across your lips. Ezege!
You don’t get support from a buddy: Bro and Sissy, this is not the heavenly race where we are meant to run alone. It will be really tough going the distance alone. While trying to actualize the New Year’s resolution, it is pertinent to get a ‘Resolution Buddy’ – someone that has similar resolutions as you do. You guys should make a pact to support each other, even if it involves employing tough measures. If both of you have resolved to quit smoking, the pact might involve giving the other person a hot slap whenever he/she smokes. Or paying a ‘buddy fine’ to the other person when you are caught sabotaging your resolutions. I know say na Naija wey we dey, and no one would calmly and jeejely chop slap because of ordinary fuckup.
But having Resolution Buddies have been shown to be effective in helping folks actualize their resolutions. Sneh!
You give up too easily: Long term consistency is what breeds success, and the way to do this is to set goals and hit them week in, week out. By the time you review how far you have gone in actualizing your resolutions, you will see positive changes and feel like a new person. Having a checklist will also help in your self-appraisal so as to know the times you fumbled and when you didn’t. Give yourself a pat on the back and keep pushing. But giving up shouldn’t be an option.
Nothing good comes easy, OK? Loke!
Your resolutions are not properly defined: You can’t decide to save 60% of your salary as a New Year’s resolution because you plan to complete your house in the village. Chineke Nna, that is akin to deception na; that is too much to undertake. By the time you pay tithe, only 90% will remain. Fuel, generator, underwear, foodstuffs, Nigerian tomatoes, mama’s ill health, and baby’s pamper plus SMA-Gold will take an extra 30%. Sharwama and Orisirisi nko? What about Netflix Naija and Data subscription? And your relatives that will remember you only when things don hard for them. By the end of the month, you realize you are only left with less than 5% of your salary. Tragic!
In all honesty, it seems like every factor conspires to frustrate our resolutions. So maybe next year, you should properly define your resolutions. Yowa!
Word to Mutha: My good people, my personal people, I hope I have made common sense with respect to mistakes that keep us from sticking to our resolutions. Glory, Glory! And there is good news: you don’t have to wait till next year to review your resolutions. You can review them now and do your best to accomplish them before the year runs out. And by the way, if you are looking for a Resolution Buddy, yours truly is available. Lord knows I have been looking for people to dash better slap on a regular basis. So what are you waiting for? Send that email while the offer lasts. Go’bless!