2012 – A New Year, A New Start For You
Will 2012 be your year to make money, find true love, take up yoga, give up cigarettes and booze and stop dating mad people? If those are your plans, the very best to you and I mean that sincerely.
As I spent the last five days of 2011 in studio listening to calls coming in from those who couldn’t wait to see the back end of 2011, I couldn’t help but reflect on what the year held for me and if indeed it was all bad. Yes, the economic hurdles have been almost crippling, but I’m thankful because I learnt to redefine what’s necessary and what isn’t. Same goes for the heartache and other disappointments, once again – a chance to figure out who or what was necessary and what wasn’t.
Since you’re home or office today kicking back and bracing for the new year like an athlete braces for the starter gun at the beginning of a race, let me let you into a little secret. Don’t throw away the old year in total and if you must, then plan truly and honestly for a new and better one.
Let’s be honest with each other, without reflecting on the past positively you’re wasting time making those new year resolutions – if that had worked, then by now you’d be in fabulous shape, a great cook, faithfully dedicating five hours per week to charity, never in debt, earning Sh5 million annually, going out twice a week to find Mr Right… you get my point. There’s another way to do – I don’t want to take the shine out of your new year.
Steven Covey says this is the perfect time to “sharpen the saw.” It’s a habit (the man is all about habit) he breaks down into four elements. The first is mental, which includes reading, visualising, planning and writing.
The second is spiritual, which means value clarification and commitment, study and meditation. Third is social/emotional, which includes service, empathy, synergy and intrinsic security – this one is tough.
Finally, the physical element includes exercise, nutrition and stress management. I like to use the last week of the year or the first week to create those parameters in my journal, create a page for each and truly write down what I believe I can do. I have to emphasize on the writing part. Believe me, if you don’t write it down you won’t get it done. Write it down and write it where you can see it daily.
It’s a very common occurrence to ask, “So what are your New Year’s resolutions?” but the question that I’ve been pondering recently is, “What do you want to stay the same?”
Of course, one cannot defy change, and shouldn’t want to but we must not overlook what remains the same, because as humans we rely and at times thrive on routine and repetition – just watching my daughter dose off at her scheduled time every afternoon and evening is enough to tell me routine is king. I guess what I want the most for 2012 is a sense of routine and stability even amid all of the chaos and excitement that makes up my life.
Given what I’ve accomplished and experienced in 2011, I am extremely grateful. Motherhood, redefining my goals, objectives, boundaries and even stretching my horizons have been major milestones for me in 2011 and all things being equal, I want more of the same in 2012. So while it may be a new year, you best believe that I’ll remain the same girl dealing with new struggles, harbouring new talents, meeting new people, and achieving new ambitions. My motto is “enjoy the journey.”
Now my epiphany isn’t due to any sublime insight, but rather a humbling admission I made about five years ago when I stopped the whole ‘new year resolution madness’: Every year, regardless of what I vow to change on December 31, I’m still me. And you know what? I like me. I’m not perfect. I am improving. I hope you can look at yourself today and say the same and with that blow yourself a kiss and get on with life.
Cheers to a New Year and another chance for you and I to get it right.
Caroline Mutoko works for Radio Africa.