Reflections and resolutions now seem so cliché, I struggle to write this post. Rummaging in the attic, I find a box of old clothes. Each item of clothing held a promise for the future that’s been realised. I hold up a pair jeans, faded and torn at the knees, and press my face into a light pink summer dress. I marvel at how much the kids have grown for it depicts how far along I have come. The past may hold treasures, still remembered but the future is bound in hope, in belief and in the knowledge that with life, all things are possible1.
2012 seemed like such a dismal year for me that come 2013, I had only one mantra: be happy and move forward. 2012 had been a tough year for me that I left formulating 2013 New Year resolutions to the brave and mighty. I knew about goal setting and other jargon like accelerate performance and maximise results, having taught others these principles, yet I dared not articulate hope on paper.
Careful not to rumple the blanket of snow around me, I placed my feet in the footprints ahead as I walked home. Although it was early 2013, several doors had already closed in my face, some loud, others quiet; all resounded with foreboding. I told myself, “No matter what happens, move forward.” All men fail, not all men rise. If I didn’t like the tempo of the skipping rope to nowhere (self-doubt held one end and if-onlys the other), I could jump out. Speed wasn’t priority, movement was. Crawl, limp, walk, run, anything, as long as I kept moving forward.
I tried to be happy, but happiness is a moving target. My challenge was to find something upon which to anchor my happiness. Many suitors paraded before me. Things and more things. People and their foibles. Relationships and their contradictions. In living for something bigger than myself, I moored my ship. A legacy is something that will outlive me, so I gave my best always. I started writing again. Once a week. I made my commitment public, you held me accountable.
Since I had subconsciously translated my mantra into goals, I had to track progress. Success has several indices. I failed on many of them until I realised I must define my own. No one in his right mind expected me to be the next Bill Gates, but everyone expected me to finally get the hang of Windows 8 and stop whining.
Although I have surpassed my bar, success has no finish line. After we cross the tape, and the applause dies, euphoria will leave a day too soon. The world throws today’s headline in the garbage bin tomorrow. I have stopped waiting for that thing to happen before I live. I move forward, I forward march.
Here are three things that helped me on my way.
Define your boundaries and internalise them by rehearsing often, for we are not as strong as we think we are. Two words: be principled.
Cut off unhealthy relationships. A clean snip with a sharp blade worked for me. A saw leaves jagged edges and many wounds. Two words: follow champions
Don’t give unsolicited advice and your relationships will have less drama. If asked, discern the real need: affirmation or feedback. Two words: shut up.
2014? I dare to articulate hope. I will give more, need less, laugh again, forget quick, dream big, in other words, take lemons, make life, and then jump for joy!
Do you make New Year resolutions or write your goals, or do you let the wind carry you where it will?
©Timi Yeseibo 2013
1. Quote from KitchenButterfly, “The ‘Forgotten’ Groundnut Pyramids of Nigeria. http://www.kitchenbutterfly.com/2013/08/08/the-forgotten-groundnut-pyramids-of-nigeria/
Image credits: http://www.pixabay.com
Design: ©Timi Yeseibo 2013
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38 thoughts on “Of Resolutions, Past and Present”
Wow! What a refreshing way to start my 2014 blog-reading season! (LOL) My goals and targets or whatever they are called are already scribbled. After I wrote them I became worried that I had written too much, that I may not be able to achieve so much. Then just last night, I heard Him say, “Don’t get overwhelmed, start small.”
Now, I know what is missing from my 2014 things-to-achieve list…
Keep in touch with livelytwist.
Lol. I once heard someone say your goals, dreams, or whatever they are called 🙂 , should be big enough to make you realize you need the hand of providence to accomplish them.
Take one day at a time, was the advice I received when I panicked about my year. I guess that’s another way of saying, “Start small.”
Please keep in touch. I love having you here!
Happy New Year Ma! This piece really got to me, I saved the page on my phone and I promise to read it often. 🙂
“All men fall, not all men rise.”
“Speed wasn’t priority, movement was.”
Priceless quotes, I admire your depth.
I’ve written my 2014 goals, whoop-whoop! I regret not doing that last year and I’ve learnt my lesson. 😀
Thanks for sharing. Have a fulfilled year! :*
Happy New Year, Dunni! Ah, then writing this post was worth it- I struggled to write it and almost didn’t post it. I’m glad I did 🙂
Your written goals are like a compass… may you actualise your goals for 2014!
Yes! Amen. 🙂
Happy New Sister,
I had 30 resolutions last year but not 1 was resolved. As you said procrastination ate deep into me.
But i made me more realistic 14 resolutions for 2014, small steps, actionable and workable.
See you at the other side of 2015 to testify they were all resolved! 🙂
Happy New Year Charles!
A wise man once said the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. From thirty to fourteen, a more manageable/realistic number? We’ll exchange report cards by God’s grace 🙂
Ha! For someone whose life has always been adorned by strings of friendship and altruism, the first two goals you mentioned gave me a serious meltdown. I learned one thing however; there’s no such thing as a clean break. Break ups are always messy and waiting for the “right time” is just the chicken in you cackling, lol. 😛
You are indeed brave for posting this, Timi. It takes a considerable amount of self-acceptance to be willing to show us moments of your vulnerability, and I appreciate that. I hope I can do the same very soon. Happy New Yea to you and your family, Timi! 😀
Break ups can be messy, maybe a clean snip spills less blood? Chicken, lol!
@vulnerability, the older I get, the more I realise it’s okay to be human and weak sometimes 🙂
Happy New Year to you too!
I like the way you play with words livelytwist. It inspires me to want to write better. Not too big a grammar and yours flow easily.
About the resolutions thing…sigh# After a while, I just gave up after realizing that sometimes, a new year doesn’t even have to start from January 1. It’s a thing of the mind though it really looks kinda objective.
Imagine if your birthday was sometime in June or May and you decide to start your something year as you clocked a new age, i think it’s alright.
After a while, I began to realize Life doesn’t usually happen the way we want it to but as you stated in your post
I will give more, need less, laugh again, forget quick, dream big, in other words, take lemons, make life, and then jump for joy!
That’s a good start to it 🙂
Hifiving you into the New year bae!
Lol @ big grammar. Thank you. I like the concept of having a new year anytime… the freedom to start again, when we choose… Have a fantastic start to the new year!
Nice reminder. Although goal setting should be a continuous process, it requires lots of discipline and diligence. In order to step up in 2014, I have resolved to delete lots of unnecessary phone contacts who are not adding value to my journey. I don’t mind using a saw though,lol. Wishing you a destiny fulfilling 2014.
Richard well said. Without discipline and diligence, resolutions are like wishful thinking. Ah, saw away at your phone list then… ouch 🙂 Thank you & all the best for 2014!
Awwww. Again thanks for sharing. Here’s hoping 2014 is the year of our dreams.
Amen to that. Thanks for being here. I’ll stop over at yours soon 🙂
I discovered your blog today. great Post!
Just to add…sometimes the sound of those “silent doors” shutting can be loud enough to reverberate through your whole being but you just need to keep knocking…
Have an extra fabulous 2014!
Nice to meet you too! Yeah, I’ll keep knocking. Wishing you a wonderful 2014 too. The link to your website isn’t working…
Hi, I will definitely keep visiting. My blog is at http://www.naijaexpatinholland.com. its working now and I just posted my first post! *drum rolls…”
Just visited. Loved the questions you posed. I’ll stay connected, welcome to blogging! 🙂
Thanks for the warm welcome.
I contribute every now and then on http://www.womenofhr.com. Its a communal blog…but this is my first solo stint 🙂
So to the question. I make resolutions. And I keep them 🙂
Before 2001, it’d always been a case of making resolutions and forgetting them but that year, I made a list of things I wanted to accomplish. Come year end, I looked at it and every single thing had been accomplished. Since then…..
Saying that, I like lists. And I like goals. They help me distill, and navigate. A compass of sorts.
I shall be writing my list ASA 🙂 I already know what I want. ‘Happiness and Contentment’ in first place!
Seems like you’ve figured out how to make resolutions work for you. A resolution without an action plan- goals, lists, etc- is a resignation to failure 🙂
@ happiness & contentment, I feel you…
Timi…………you. Amaze. Me.
Every word. So true. I am so glad for you. For your dogged determination.
For how you’ve roused not just yourself to write, but us to read – with passion, with hope, with understanding.
Thank you for articulating so many things. Clear snip, versus saw. Sigh.
On that journey in 2014.
All the best dear.
Stay well and dikke knuffle!
Kitchen Butterfly, thank you so much for your support. I’m glad that I can inspire people to read. Happy snip, snip, snip, in 2014 🙂
I like how easy it is to spot the contentment that pervades this essay
I do not make yearly resolutions, just a hope that at the end of the year lines would have fallen in pleasant places for me.
Thank you for writing this and for keeping your weekly promise. Do have a fulfilling 2014.
Ifemmanuel, may the lines fall for you in pleasant places in 2014. It is people like you that made it easy to keep my weekly promise. Thank you!
@ contentment… I work at it daily 🙂
I understand the frustration of making resolutions and following through on them! It can be rather trying. I love the way you describe the clothes, especially in this post! I have such a variety and wonder, should I pass some on and some, maybe too worn around the edges, just throw out? Take care and Happy New Year, Timi! Hugs, Robin
Frustration nearly rhymes with resolution! A strategy to accomplish, that’s what we need 🙂
Out with the old, in with the new, throw those clothes worn at the edges! A very happy new year to you Robin.
I also liked the way you said to “snip” those ties that are not positive, also that you would listen to “hear” how you should respond to other’s who may or may not want any help. I loved those two other lessons in your post. I get a lot out of your resolutions, each time I visit again! Thanks, Timi! I appreciate your opening up and sharing these thoughts. Happy New Year, if I have not said it before! Robin
The delicate art of listening, I’m still on it Robin. Good to know you can take something away each time you drop by 🙂
Beautiful, just beautiful.
“Although I have surpassed my bar, success has no finish line.” This line right here just stuck in my mind for minutes… I’d love to quote this line in a speech I’d be giving, if you don’t mind!!! 🙂 Once again, Beautiful piece. Looking forward to a 2014 with more lovely and lively twists from you…
Happy New Year in advance…
Thank you Ochuko, em… em (clears throat), that line costs only 100 Euros per word! 🙂 I’m honoured & I’m glad you enjoyed the post, of course you can use it 🙂
Wishing you only the best in 2014, happy new year!
Last night I wrote my “Personal Goals for 2014” on a sticky-backed mailing label (I don’t know why that seemed like the correct vehicle for recording these ideas… my excuse is it was 2 a.m.). Writing them down makes the goals more real and attainable, I told myself. Then I peeled about 1/4 inch of backing away and stuck the list to my desk.
I woke up today and saw the list. Right off, the editor in me said, “‘Personal’ is redundant. I can’t have goals for anyone else.” Then I noticed that one of the things on my list was to buy a certain thing I want. I’m not sure this is so much a goals list as a shopping list now. I mean, is it really a goal of mine to go onto a website, select and item, and click “Buy Now”? Because attaining that goal only requires rudimentary knowledge of internet use (paying the credit card bill later is the actual goal, I think).
Adding to that my sloppy handwriting, I chuckled at myself and tore the note down. The rest of the stuff on my list was stuff I think about everyday and involves finishing the two writing projects I have going.
I’m going to use your comment section to state my Goals for 2014, if that is not too obnoxious of me:
Eric, finish your two writing projects.
No, Eric, it’s not obnoxious of you… on the first draft of this post, I tacked this at the end: p.s. finish your short story collection. When I thought of the number of people who would thereafter be asking me about my WIP, in addition to those who bug me to write a book, I deleted it. But hey, I hope it’s not too obnoxious of me to use my comment to announce the WIP and to solicit for your editing services for a *free* fee 🙂 I need someone who can eliminate redundancies as well as you do!
“Writing them down makes the goals more real and attainable.” True, but you tore the note! 🙂
Hey Timi. I’ve stopped making new year resolutions years back. I like the idea of dreaming big (been doing that in the second half of this year and shall continue). Cutting off bad relationships and dodgy friends (siiiiiiiince). You’ve said it all…nicely put. Hope more people read and appreciate this 🙂
@New Year resolutions, lol. Did you find like I did that procrastination ate your resolve as early as February? 🙂 Yeah, dodgy friends must go, like siiiiiince! But seriously, as we translate those big dreams into goals, set targets & execute action plans, we’ll set the ship sailing. Happy New year Jollof!
I love this. Thanks very much for sharing!
You’re welcome. Your comment has made my struggle to write this & my wavering to post it, worthwhile. All the best for 2014, Sanctifiedaim!