For New Year resolutions to succeed, they must be few. Most people take many things on board at the same time and end up getting confused
It is a usual practice that at the beginning of each year, individuals and groups make what is called New Year resolutions. These resolutions help shape the decisions of particular individuals or groups and equally help them change certain perceived bad habits which they may have formed years back. The decisions equally make people more disciplined and channel them toward salutary actions for good of the individual and the society. These resolutions may involve sincere personal reflections and soul searching and a strong resolve to change for good.
Thus making New Year resolutions has become one of the practices associated with entry into a new year. While these resolutions are welcome at the beginning of the year, it should not be limited to the beginning of new years rather it should be a daily occurrence in the life of an individual who should continuously reflect on his actions and resolve to make daily amends. Sadly most of these resolutions do not last as they are forgotten or broken few days after they are made. The maker would if care is not taken go back to his or her old ways of life and most often be in a worse state before the resolutions were made. There are many reasons for this.
First, most people lack the will power to sustain the resolutions. These resolutions will only succeed if the maker exercises strong will power and be determined to make a strong positive change in life. Again, the maker should avoid occasions where he might be strongly tempted to fall and temporally cut off from those friends who may lure him into the habits he may have resolved to leave. For instance, if a resolution is made that an individual would quit smoking cigarettes, one of the ways to succeed is to cut off from the friends that might lure him into the habit.
Thirdly, for New Year resolutions to succeed, they must be few. Most people take many things on board at the same time and end up getting confused or finding it difficult to sustain them. One thing at a time would go a long way towards ensuring success of resolutions made at the beginning of the year. Another point of note is the need for resolutions to be positive and the maker looking at the good results they are aimed to produce for the individual and the society.
Furthermore, for certain concrete resolutions to succeed they need to be replaced with another positive action to occupy the maker otherwise the maker may go back to the habit he may have resolved to leave. In principles of education, this is called elimination by substitution. For instance if a man resolves to quit drinking alcohol and decides not to visit a beer parlour which he used to go regularly, he may likely succeed in keeping to the resolution if registers at a gym centre and spends the time there rather than not having anything to do at that time. In other word, people should occupy themselves with actions that would produce good results as an idle man may be a tool in the hands of the devil
Above all, New Year resolutions can only succeed if the make relies on the power of God and not on his ability. Relying on our power, we may not succeed but God will surely supply the strength and the will power for the resolutions to come to reality. In other words New Year resolutions will see the light of the day if they are accompanied by prayer. As we enter 2019 may God give us the courage to make resolutions that will last for the good of the individual and for common good.
Rev Fr. Uganwa is a Catholic priest