Each year around this time, we all look forward for something like a do-over, where we believe that we can start a new page or new book of our lives once we transition into a new year. While this is true for some persons who completely discard the past and leave it in the past, others learn from their mistakes and reflect on the memories that the prior year brought. At the end of the year, yes we all party and spend time with our families and friends, but we do take the time to evaluate the year and make plans to ensure that the New Year tops the past year or at least comes close. It’s not only achieving your goals that is important , but also learning valuable lessons so that you don’t make unnecessary mistakes again.
Yes, there are interesting statistics which show that New Year Resolutions aren’t all that kept on a long term basis, however; many individuals are determined to make at least one.
From getting fit to being more family-orientated, here are 9 of the top aspirations and resolutions for the New Year as told to us by some Caribbean persons:
Be More Family Oriented / Start A Family
Starting a family is a wonderful thing and one of the many life goals of a person. Time passes faster than one hopes, so it’s best to make the most of a situation while one has all his/her faculties intact. While a woman’s biological clock ticks when they reach a certain age, there are many other factors which determine when they decide to bear a child. However, family time and being more connected with family members and relatives take less thought and effort than starting a family (from scratch). Make time to visit and spend quality time with your family, don’t let distance or the popular excuse of ‘work’ be the reason to regret spending time with your ailing mother or brother you only see once a week.
“I have fallen off track with my parents, I didn’t come to Jamaica for Christmas this year or the years before, but I did Skype them. I should really try to go down sometime early next year because they are getting old and I don’t want anything to happen to either one of them and I regret visiting them.” – Jamaican living in Toronto Canada.
Be More Financially Stable
Whether it is to own your first home or own a car, another new year’s resolution which is common among Caribbean people is to be more financially stable. Many express resolutions to make more meaningful investments, be able to sustain their lives and that of their families, maintain a good job and be happy.
Saving a percentage of your income is always a good practice. Saving ‘for a rainy day’ will not only aid you in becoming more financially stable, but doing so will allow you to budget and spend more wisely. Visit HR and ensure that a part of your salary is going towards savings or retirement plans, you don’t know when a portion of it will come in handy in the future.
“I save 20% of my salary. I didn’t know the power of saving until I experienced a bad day where I was between a rock and a hard place.” – Gregory, a Trinidadian male in the banking and finance industry.
Fix bad relationships
Severed relationships and friendships can be difficult bridges to mend, especially if they have undergone ‘World Wars I and II’ and you are looking to call them quits for good. If a relationship or friendship means that much, it wouldn’t have gone sour in the first place. But it has, for whatever reason, if it is un-fixable it is best you just keep the past in the past and not try to fix old wounds. However, if there is a smidgen of hope that will make the friendship just as good or even stronger, then you have all the blessings in the world to go after repairing that scarred or broken friendship.
Exercise More / Lose Weight / Eat Healthier
This is also a tough one. The plan to exercise, lose weight and eat healthier is like a triple combo that needs more than just saying and speaking into the universe, it needs more than that, for example, it needs dedication to your diet that you will resist that delicious plate of ackee and saltfish, or fulfilling a commitment at 3 a.m. in the morning to go to the gym.
If you are serious about this resolution, try to incorporate things that would help you achieve the goal easier, for instance, exercise in the gym with friends or jog with a neighbor, get your family to eat healthier with you to limit temptation, or use a mobile app to track your journey and reward yourself.
“Bwoy, I’ve been setting dis resolution every January. Every January for the past how many years? I start di ting and it’s all good and then the jerk chicken and oxtail and every ting my girl keep cooking holdin’ me down like Queen Ifrica.” – Bahamian male living in Jamaica.
Travel More / Incorporate Leisure Time
Most people want to travel when they retire and even before they retire: less stress, more sleep, less work, more travelling. The world is our footstool and while we want our New Year’s Resolution to be travel as far as Shanghai, China or Santorini, Greece, the only thing limiting many people is the lack of affordable funds. Therefore, try to budget or join a travel club in order to be able to afford yourselves the extraordinary memories; you will see how much more attainable it is.
Quit Bad Habits
Smoking, drinking, over eating, disorganization, procrastinating, social media addiction, it doesn’t matter what your vice is, you just know that you want to break the bad habit come 2017. Enrolling in a support group or seeking counselling can help as well as coming clean with your problem and asking for help from your family members and friends. We all need a bit of help and support sometimes, especially when you are doing something life changing. Starting over or starting better is a good change in the right direction for the New Year.
Learn something new /Achieve Higher education
Whether it’s a new skill or a language, the challenge will help you feel like your brain screws are still turning. Learning a new skill or becoming certified increases marketability which gives you an edge over others. Skills are the new ‘in’ thing in the business world as it shows that you are well rounded and capable to effectively engage in other areas of work.
Do Home Renovations
The Christmas holiday season is the most popular time for Caribbean people to renovate their houses and surroundings, which is one of the ‘wonders of the world’. You can also use the New Year or seasons throughout the year to renovate so that you are not overwhelmed with renovating at Christmas time. If you desire to renovate as a resolution for the New Year, you should really take it in parts and create a plan for tackling your renovation goals, such as, does the house needs a new coat of paint or whether you are looking to decorate a few rooms in your house.
By Alexandra Daley