by tope Ogundare
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Resolution: This word
becomes the most recurring word at the
closing of an old calendar year and at the
inception of a new one. When you hear the
words ‘happy new year’, then you will most
likely hear the word ‘resolution’ used in a
sentence- ‘what are your new year
Resolution means a firm decision to do
something or a firmness of purpose or mind.
Sadly, majority of people that use the word
do not use it in this context; perhaps the
word has become common place that the
meaning or weight had gotten lost in the
process. We now use the word to mean
‘wish’ or to express desire or need.
In my own opinion, ‘resolution’ is the end
point of a process that starts with
‘reflection’. Reflection means to give careful
thought to something especially in
reconsidering previous actions, events or
decisions. In order words, reflection has to
do with evaluation.
When careful thought is not given to issues
or happenings and events gone by, when
past actions and decisions are not weighed
critically and carefully scrutinized, then a
true and accurate conclusion cannot be
arrived at. And in the absence of this, a firm
decision cannot be reached and singleness
of purpose is far-fetched.
How many times have people recited a
‘new year’ resolution only to find
themselves wanting, just after a few days
into the ‘new year’?; Most especially when
it involves the breaking of a habit, or
dissociation from unproductive or harmful
associations and relationships. This is
because it takes more than just words and
speeches to change over and start anew. It
takes more than just the expression of a
desire or wish to turn in the right direction
and make progress in the positive direction;
you have to want it and want it badly.
And this wanting does not just arise out of
wishes, it stems from a deep seated
determination and passion for change;
change at all costs.
The willingness to give
it all it takes and to change at all costs can
only come about when you know exactly
what it takes, what the costs are.
It is comparable to building a house or
fighting a war; you always have to know
what you are up against. You have to know
what weapons you have in your arsenal and
determine whether it would be enough, and
if not, where and how to source for more.
Next, you have to have a course of action,
a strategy, a plan and mode of execution.
Then, you sort things in order from the first
to the last in sequential order; there can be
no true success without order.
Not to build castles in the air or live in
‘wonderland’, potential problems and
hitches in the plan need to be identified and
possible solutions worked out. This is best
typified by the game of chess where every
move is planned and played three steps
ahead; and to beat your opponent, you
never take any move, no matter how basic,
at face value; you always must look for a
catch. Also, every move that is played must
follow a line of reasoning, considering every
alternate moves, their pros and cons, and
all counter moves to the play. The path of
war is the path of the mind, and it is an art
not taken lightly; there’s only one objective,
All that been said, the most important
deterrent to the whole ‘new year resolution’
thing is the fact that people have come to
believe that it is only at the inception of a
‘new year’ that resolutions are made. Thus,
people wait till the beginning of a ‘new
year’ to make important decisions in their
A downside to this is that the timing is not
exactly right; the atmosphere is dominated
by festivities which does not bode well for a
thoughtful decision; people rejoicing that
they made it into the ‘new year’ which
actually is not ‘new’ but a resetting of the
calendar to accommodate an aging world,
one whose age is steadily increasing and
with it steady degeneration and decline.
Hence, the ‘resolution’ lacks the
seriousness that it needs, because in the
first place it was uttered out of an ecstatic
mind rather than a sober one.
In my opinion, resolutions need not (and
should not) be made at the inception of the
‘new year’, during the time of festivities.
They should be a regular exercise we
engage in following periodical self
evaluation and sober reflections. This would
give it the weight and seriousness it
demands and bolster us for the challenge of
taking steps in the right direction and
emboldening us to make the necessary
changes that might be needed to live right
and to live meaningfully and purposefully.
In conclusion, the change in attitude and
lifestyle needed to live a fulfilled life is a
process that begins with ‘reflection’- an
evaluation of past life- and involving the
popular word ‘resolution’- a strong resolve
in a direction- and moving on to
‘conclusion’- the achievement of set goals-
which leads to ‘satisfaction’- the end point,
So, what is your ‘new year’ resolution? (Or
is it ‘wish’?)
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