Raise your hands if your new year plans went exactly the way you wanted them to.
Okay, what was your first new year’s resolution?
Many people don’t acknowledge it, but the first thing you plan for the new year is what you will do to welcome it. You attach the energy of the new year to the things you will do for the cross over. That is why some go to church and spend time worshipping, others go to the clubs, while some choose to stay home.
The things you do to celebrate the previous year and welcome the new one inform your perception of this particular beginning. So, you start planning, and you put thought into it. Some people go all out, but others are unimpressed and unbothered.
If you are a planner, did you do what you said you would on New year’s last year? You know, in that crossover moment when you are elated to see the new year, and you promise yourself to make sure the next crossover is as amazing as the one you are in. Maybe yours wasn’t that great, and you vowed that the next one would find you at a better place, in a better situation.
Okay, one year is too long, you say, things change, and there was no way to do what you had said you would do in last year’s crossover. But, did you manage to do the things you wanted to do a week ago? You know, during Christmas when you were lost in the moment, and you imagined that the next Friday you would be at a particular place doing a specific thing?
Did you manage to do the things you said you would do for crossover on 30th December? When you decide that since it was the end of the year and this would come with beginnings, you would do one, two, three things to mark the end of that exhausting and painful year? You had to abandon the plans you had made a year or a week ago and are now planning on the day before new year’s eve.
Failing in New Year Resolutions Before It Starts
This planning helps you prepare in advance for how the day will unfold. The problem is, since you are overly enthusiastic about the day and the new beginnings it comes with, any disruption to your plans is dangerous. You see it as a sign that you have already failed in a year that has not yet started, and this brings negative energy to your beginning.
This perception is then transferred to the new year resolutions, albeit indirectly. You maintain some level of enthusiasm but cannot keep the optimism to a maximum, which is crucial when it comes to hoping and dreaming.
I wanted to be in Naivasha for the crossover with my friends. I had promised it to myself when 2020 was starting. I had reiterated it throughout the year, told it to family and friends all of December. I was hopeful that things would work out somehow, and I would be in Naivasha for the crossover. Then, as the days came closer, I realized that my finances, which were not recovering, wouldn’t allow me.
I had been in a mental and financial pit through all of December, but my faith was strong, and it runs deep. I only accepted that I might not make it to Naivasha three days before the crossover. As the day approached, I made loose plans; I would stay in the house and watch movies all night.
On 30th December, as that day gave way to the next, I realized that things would not go the way I wanted them to. So, I decided only to do the necessary and let the day take me.
When you realize that your last day of the year will not unfold as you expected and that it will not pave the way for the new year seamlessly, you have two options. You could;
- Get angry at your ill fate and resign to how unfortunate you are. After such a long year and all the things that 2020 threw at you, you would expect that the year will allow you to mourn your losses and walk into the new year on a positive note. You can choose to get pissed at the situation, and this is a valid response.
- Ignore any negative thing that seeks to dampen your mood and walk into the new year with blind enthusiasm. You refuse to walk into a beginning with baggage from the past; all you want is to move on, so you shut everything out and start afresh.
Both of these alternative reactions are valid, and your choice depends on what you need at the moment. However, if you resign to the reality of your disappointment, it might take you a lot of time and energy to regain your enthusiasm for the beginning. You are likely to abandon your new year resolutions or execute them half-heartedly, which, in turn, influences the results you get.
Remember when you decided to do your best and follow your dreams in the new year? How you committed to every goal you wrote as a resolution? Do you recall the hope you held in your heart that this beginning is going to allow you to regain your grounding? Before you decide that the year’s inconvenience not starting on your terms is an indicator of what the new year had in store for you, can you remember the freedom you felt dreaming?
Then, some decide that whatever has passed is gone, and they move forward. While this might sound like the best alternative, considering no one wants to carry hurt into a beginning, you cannot grow if you don’t acknowledge where you are. The dreams you had, the objectives you wrote in your new year resolutions are informed by who you were in the previous year.
Some of the things you saw for yourself were influenced by the situation you were in. If you were like me, you were struggling financially and you decided that the new year will come with financial stability and restoration. In case your first resolution fails, the idea is to move forward, not forget the past and start afresh. Losing your motivation robs you of your drive and your faith.
Getting your First New Year Resolution Right
I remember waking up on the 1st and deciding that I was not done with 2020, that I would do the things I intended to do, mourn that year that had me crawling to this new one. I cursed at the injustice that befell me, especially in December. I cursed for the pain, the tears, the anger, the anguish, and the nights that I stayed up late wondering whether I would make it out of this alive or I would keep falling. I admitted my feelings for my position.
In such a situation, the best thing you can do is to receive the lessons. You can be angry about what happened to you for as long as you need, but you need to recognize the role they served in preparing you for the new year. Do your best to embrace the growth that came with all the pain, and in the same breath, express your fear of the unknown. You can still be in the pits, in one way or another, and be afraid of falling deeper, but you can also learn.
On the 1st, I refused to answer any phone calls. You know Kenyans and their eagerness to shout that cliché phrase that I will add at the end of this post. How it’s all about happiness and prosperity in the new beginnings, and you feel like you need to say it back. But, deep within, you know that just because it has started doesn’t mean you are experiencing the promise it brings. You can see the prospect of the new year; that is why you chose to write new year resolutions but hearing people shout the phrase makes you anxious. You know that in as much as you are ready for prosperity and happiness, you are not there yet.
I kept myself busy cleaning up; I washed everything I could, and then I wrote my new year resolutions. I was certain that since I managed to complete my tasks for the day, I was ready to commit to other goals, bigger ones, and take longer than a day.
If you asked me, I was in transition; my 1st January was neither part of the new nor previous year; it was part of both. I spent all morning cleaning and clearing my space and mind to pave the way for new things, and I spent the evening defining what I wanted to fill the spaces with.
Thus, if you know that your New Year did not start how you wanted it to, the best thing to do is to redefine that beginning. It would be best if you found a way to mark the start of this year and acknowledge the old one. Respect the gifts of both and recognize that they inform each other. It’s okay to want to leave 2020 in the past, but if you can, it is best to go back for the lessons as they will set the foundation for your new year’s resolutions.
Happy New Year!!