New Year’s Resolutions

September 7 , 2019 . By Tsion Fisseha

The Ethiopian year is almost over and the New Year is around the corner. Ethiopia’s 2012 is almost here with all the hopes of prosperity and happiness. The New Year, besides the mere change of numbers on the calendar, also marks a shift in day to day phenomena both on a personal and societal level.

The Ethiopian New Year is also a holiday that brings the entire nation together. It is a celebration of crossing over from the old to the new. The day is celebrated in different ways: from spending time with family to volunteering and sometimes, for the ones who happen to be too tired, sleep.

Another thing that is very common during this time of the year are New Year’s resolutions: a to-do list meant to change one’s life.

Almost everyone, both consciously and unconsciously, build a list of things they want to achieve for the coming year. From wanting to change the past by getting rid of bad habits and addiction to developing new habits like saving more money or learning a new skill. Despite the variation, in one form or another, human beings have developed a belief system that pressures them to come up with resolutions attached to a new year.

Even though resolutions are a marvelous way to get what one wants, more often than not, they are forgotten, or they fail completely and utterly. In fact, studies show that 35pc of us who make New Year’s resolutions break them by the end of the first month. And only 23 pc of everyone who makes a resolve will see it through to completion.

Despite our intense desire to come up with a beautiful chart that displays steps to make our lives better, we make very similar mistakes in our efforts to achieve those desires.  Catherine Pulsifer, the author of Change Your Life, put it this way, “Why do New Year’s Resolutions fail? Mainly because they are only a statement or what we wish for in the coming year. There are usually no action plans, no deadlines, no backup plans. Sometimes they are unrealistic resolutions, with no other thought or plans besides the statement.”

Our desire to change keeps getting pushed to the new year instead of being done right then and there. We spend more time thinking about the plan and the to-do list than actually having to do anything. We also fail to believe that we are capable of doing the things that we set forth. We even fail to realise that it takes more than a scribbling to make the difference we wish to see. It takes a good deal of discipline and commitment to get results. It also takes a great deal of sacrifice and the ability to break away from comfort zones that have created one until this point in time.

This isn’t to say resolutions are bad or a waste of time. It is not to say that time and energy should not be spent trying to make changes worth making. It is not to say that the new year is not a splendid opportunity to start from a clean slate or a blank canvas. It is, however, to say that the blank canvas, whether by desire or design, will be painted on. And if one wants to bend and alter the shapes of their masterpiece, then one should be careful not to choose the wrong colour pattern nor should one try and finish the picture in one day. Painting takes time, and so does the achievement of goals.

PUBLISHED ON Sep 07,2019 [ VOL 20 , NO 1010]

Tsion Fisseha is a writer and head of foreign languages in the news department at a local TV station. She has been a part of a pan African poetry slam competition representing Ethiopia and is a member of a rock band entitled the Green Manalishi. She can be reached at [email protected]

Editors' Pick


Fortune news

Drop us a message

Or see contact page