Feel free to blame it on the spur of the moment. Everyone is excited and feeling like they can take on the world. At this point, we can promise God anything.

We’re gearing towards that time of the year again, the time for New Year resolutions. I hope you had a jolly Christmas, with plenty rice and chicken? Good, because it’s time for a blast of the naked truth.

We’ve all done it. Promised heaven and earth on New Year day. God, I will stop smoking. I will read my books this semester. I will serve you more this year. No sex for me this year. I’ll give all my time and energy to my business idea. Blah blah blah.

9 out of 10 times, we don’t even keep our promises till mid-January. After the first few weeks, everything flies out the window. It is okay to want to be better, set goals, turn a new leaf, but I think the concept of New Year resolutions is overhyped. I’ll tell you why.

If a person truly desires to make a resolution about his or her life, I don’t think they would wait for January first to do it.

So in 2019, instead of listing those things you know in your heart you probably will never do, why not set a definite goal? Don’t call it a resolution, call it a goal and map out strategic steps to achieve it.

A goal is the ongoing pursuit of a worthy objective until accomplished. Ongoing means it’s a process because goals take time. Pursuit indicates that a chase is involved. There will likely be some obstacles to overcome. Worthy shows that the chase will be worthwhile, there’s a big reward at the end to endure the tough times. Until accomplished suggests you’ll do whatever it takes to accomplish the set goal.

Instead of our usual litany of things to do and stop doing, why not choose one goal and give it all your energy?

Another mistake we often make is creating unclear goals, vague goals. I once had a New Year resolution to buy a car. I was 14 years old and in junior secondary school. Was it a reasonable goal for a 14-year-old? I think so. We’re supposed to dream big, right? But if you asked me then, how do you intend to accomplish this goal, I would have mumbled a bunch of good sounding gibberish because I always had an answer to everything. But I wouldn’t have had a clear answer. In creating goals, use this trick: Be more specific. When you write your goal down, tell yourself, Be more specific, then write your new answer. Keep repeating this until the goal is crystal clear and measurable. There are no such things as unrealistic goals, only unrealistic time frames. If I had said as a 14-year-old, “I’ll buy a car before I’m twenty-five,” that would have been more realistic, wouldn’t it?

Last tip for setting your 2019 New Year resolution (goals): What can you create using your unique talents? What do you do that other people find difficult? What opportunities exist in today’s marketplace for your area of exceptionality? I don’t know about you, but the New Year is about working smart, not hard.

About Chisom Winifred

Chisom Winifred is a creative writer with a flair for freelance articles. She’s currently a content creator for Blueafric Media where she also heads campaigns that focuses on brand introduction, positioning and promotion of its clients.
A red carpet and TV host, she was the red carpet host for Blueafric media at the just concluded 2017 AFRIFF. Reach out to Winifred on Chisomwinnifred.cw@gmail.com or her blog http://blueprintafric.com/