By M. Babajide-Alabi
The first of January of every year is always a remarkable day for all of us. Not because it is different from other days of the year. No. It is same as December 31 or April 3rd. There is nothing that happens on any other day of the year that does not happen on this day and vice versa. The day breaks like every other day. The sun rises like every other day. The moon comes out same way like the previous day. At the end of the day, we retire to bed like any other day. We sleep like any other day.
But there is still something different about this day. January 1. Just a few people think the day is ordinary. They may think it is a turn of the calendar, or a transition from one month to another, of which happen eleven other times in a year. Yet there is still something remarkably different with the date.
We all celebrate the First of January every year, because, to every human beings (do not know about animals, really) it is a new day. It is accepted as a new dawn and a new beginning with lots of possibilities and opportunities in a fresh year. Our mental attitude towards this day every year is always positive because we have conditioned our minds that another season of starting afresh has come and old things have passed away.
January 1 holds hope for so many people for inexplainable reasons. The hope of better things to come is always thick in the air. I wonder why we think things are going to change just because we have January 1. For the unemployed, for example, the hope of getting employed is suddenly high. Despite the fact that this might run against logic, as no company or employer will conduct mass recruitment in January.
Yet the positivity is infectious.
Speaking from personal experience and what has now become an annual routine for me, I spend the first few hours of January 1 looking back at my mistakes in the preceding year and setting out plans for the new year. Looking back at mistakes is not to kick myself for them, but to put in place plans that will steer me away from committing same mistakes in the new year.
Some of us are committed to making resolutions for the year. When I was young, my Dad would always ask me what my resolutions for the year were. Unknowingly to him and to me his questions were turn offs for me in setting resolutions. I knew what he wanted, so through out my teenage years my answers were same. I would say “Daddy, my resolution this year is to be a more responsible boy. I will wash the car and help around the house” or say something, such as “I will study more this year.” I remember always telling him. He was always happy to hear these positive words from me at the start of a new year..
But making these resolutions were traditions for me. My heart was never in any resolution. Despite the fact that sometimes I wrote these resolutions down in my diary, there was no will power or the grace to carry through. It is when I had done wrong that I got reminded of the resolutions that I made. And most times I would have forgotten. There was no commitment.
However as I grew up, my thoughts about resolutions changed entirely. I realised that there is a difference between making resolutions and setting goals and making plans for the tasks ahead. Making resolutions have not stopped making resolutions, I have only changed my perception of it.
I know a lot of people make New Year’s resolutions. This is good. But ask most of us what our resolutions are, you probably will hear people say “I am eating less this year,” “I will drink more water this year”. Then you wonder, if sometimes resolutions do not make kids out of adults.
Have you made your resolutions for 2016? Does it include that you will be a better person this year? If yes, I am sorry to say that you may never ever achieve this. You ask me why? Because it takes more than resolutions for a bad person to turn around just because it is new year. You will need to work on so many things. And above all, you shall need the God, to help you in the turn around.
The first few days of any new year must be slow business for pub owners and cigarette manufacturers. This is the time of the year when a lot of drunks and smokers turn around, “deceiving” themselves they can hide behind a new year and “forsake” their habits. It does not take too long before they find their ways back to the pubs, and on the way down, lighting a stick of cigarette is definitely not a bad idea.
I know some do turn it around for good, but to be honest, the percentage of these people is low.
So what’s your resolution?