Let me guess: you want to lose weight in 2017, or maybe just eat healthier. Perhaps you want to spend less money or spend more time with your friends and family.
I know I do.
Self-improvement, or at least the desire for it, is a shared hobby for most of us. It’s why so many of us—some estimates say more than 40% —make New Year’s resolutions. But for all the good intentions, only a tiny fraction of us keep our resolutions. Patti Dobrowolski says that the odds against you making a change in your life are 9-1, even if you are facing a life threatening illness. According to yesterday’s news, only 8% of people who make resolutions see them through.
Last year, I was not fortunate enough to make the cut. In my defense though, I came real close. Really. I had set out to read 2 books in a month and that was in February. This would have come to a total of 22 books. I only read 20 (I will be reviewing the ones I loved most in another post). So you see, I came close. But close is not quite there, is it?
I mean, we don’t remember Isaac Newton for almost picking up that apple or Leornardo Da Vinci for nearly finishing painting the 16 Chapel. We don’t remember Jonathan Swift for that one essay he started on but never got to finish because he was overtaken by life. Maybe the only people we celebrate for coming close are politicians. Like, ‘he came so close to being president!’. But even then, the best you become is the opposition leader and not the president himself. When it comes to it, coming close is just not it.
Although now that I think about it, someone who came close to getting a Matiangi ‘A’ is better placed than someone who got a Kaimenyi ‘A’.
This first few days of the year, the bravest statement I have had to make is ‘I made resolutions’, because apparently, making resolutions in my circles is no longer cool. You don’t get to sit down stroking your two beard strands while looking at a specific corner across you and tell people how this year you will do things differently because guess what, that is not cool anymore! That is so 2013! So today, which is coincidentally my birthday, I am realizing that I missed out. When my friends were making resolutions and discovering that they don’t work, I was out there doing who knows what, but making none. And now, when everybody is not making any, I start!
The first day of my twenty-fifth year is kinda strange. I am coming to terms with the fact that I am now a walking and talking adult. I am scared.
But, I am also excited. I’m excited because I have learnt a couple of things in my 24 years that will inform how I live out the years that God grants me. These are the things I want to share with you today.
- “‘No’ is a complete sentence that does not need an explanation – Facebook user (whose username I don’t remember, and I can’t find him on my timeline anymore)
- It is okay not to have everything figured out, but it is not okay to fail to try on this basis.
- Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. – C.S Lewis
- With the possible exception of the equator, everything begins somewhere, sometime, but often, that time is now.
- Of all the best things about me, my faith is the most interesting.
- Always try to use language so as to make quite clear what you mean and make sure your sentence couldn’t mean anything else.
- A crisis today, a joke tomorrow.
- It is okay to make mistakes, but it is wiser to not make yours if you can learn from those of others.
- There is a big difference between being somewhere and being there to photograph being there.
So there you have it. My lessons summarized into 9 statements. I am off to learn some more.
Happy new year!