Resolutions & Revelations
“My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.” - Steve Jobs
‘Resolutions are meant to be broken’ is the most common excuse we hear people whine and pine about mid way through the year - say sometime in June (which is about 2 months from now). Come September - it’s ‘I know what - I’ll start making new resolutions for next year. This time I’ll STICK to them.’ Fat chance.
Yes. Been there. Done that. Felt them. I know how difficult it is to adhere to my resolutions. If you’re in the same boat as I am, I think I may have found an exigency plan for our quandary. I know I’ve discovered a solution to the resolution problem which I’d like to share with my friends at ICYM.
First of all, remember that making resolutions is a more mind-boggling process than sticking to resolutions. This is because we have to contemplate and search within the recesses of our minds and hearts what we are capable of. We have to be sincere and not deceive ourselves into believing that we can achieve anything that our minds can conceive. I’m sure you’ve heard or read motivational speakers harping on this old spirit-lifting maxim ‘What your mind can conceive and believe, you can achieve’. But what they sometimes forget or choose to ignore is that we must not deceive ourselves. We have to sit down and do some soul-searching. Our resolutions have got to be precise and within our reach. They must be realistic and reasonable. The most common resolution EVER is ‘I’m going to lose weight this year’. The rate of obesity in Malaysia has gone worrisome to alarming.
In a recent report, Malaysia was identified as having the highest obesity rate among Asian countries. New findings from a British medical journal, The Lancet, showed that 49% of women and 44% of men in Malaysia were found to be obese. With an overall 45.3% of the population hitting the obesity mark.
A recent study from the United States found that excess weight may account for 14-20% of all cancer. Obesity has been implicated in cancers of the breast, uterus, cervix, ovary, prostate, colon and rectum, kidney and pancreas, liver and in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. So back to our resolution solution. First of all, clarity is the key here. EXACTLY how many kilos do you need to shed? SPECIFY. Is it 50kgs, 20kgs, or 10kgs? Say you need to shed 20kgs. Sit down and plan as to how you are going to do this. This is important. How long will it take to shed 20kgs?
If your resolution is long term, say 10 months, then a reasonable and doable plan will be to shed roughly 2 kgs a month. That means you have 30 days to lose JUST 2kgs. THAT will be a resolution within you reach and very realistic. Next comes the interesting part. How do you go about losing 2kgs a month? You’ve got to be able to see the plan. What I mean is that you’ve got to have a chart of some kind - colourful and bold (huge manila cardboards etc) and it’s got to be hung somewhere you can be reminded of EVERYDAY. You see, sometimes it’s not that we purposely break our resolutions, it’s just that we sometimes forget to commit to them. What we had enthusiastically written down in our phones and promised ourselves to achieve in December will soon be forgotten by mid-February as we trudge along our daily chores and in the midst of assignments and projects we lose sight of our goals. Hence the chart. Hang it somewhere it can be seen DAILY so that your enthusiasm does not wane.
So now we find that resolutions that are made precisely will not be easily broken. And while you are doing this, you’ll be surprised what your resolutions will reveal about you. They will reveal how tough/weak, how enthusiastic/ lethargic, or how optimistic/ pessimistic you actually are.
Which brings me to another thing - don’t make 20 resolutions only to carry them fprward to the next year. You cannot turn into a svelte/toned person with a 4.0 GPA who donates at least RM500 a month to the needy, be fluent in Spanish and at the same time learn to play the guitar and become Jamie Oliver all within a year. Or CAN you?
“We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.”- Nelson Mandela
Tuan Mochtar is a writer whose books include The Teen Vestigators in Formula 1 Frenzy, Melaka Mayhem & Pahang Pandemonium. As the creator of the ‘We Nurture Your Future Program, he maintains that education without recreation is no education all. He can be contacted at 21mochtar@ kym.edu.my.
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