The Herald (Harare)

29 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Get Your Resolution Right

As is always the case, the New Year is an interesting time, as we reflect on 12 months that have "flown by" and decide what we might want to do differently. It is so true we're gearing up for a busy year and the inevitable question has come up throughout the halls - "What are your New Year's resolutions?"

Many teens find it daunting when your list of New Year's resolutions is as long as your holiday shopping list but bear in mind to put first things first.

It is important to remember that the New Year isn't meant to serve as a catalyst for sweeping character changes. It is a time for people to reflect on their past year's behaviour and promise to make positive lifestyle changes.

"Setting small, attainable goals throughout the year, instead of a singular, overwhelming goal on January 1 can help you reach whatever it is you strive for," said one psychologist.

"Remember, it is not the extent of the change that matters, but rather the act of recognising that lifestyle change is important and working toward it, one step at a time."

Whether you stick to it or not, it's all about the intention to do something positive.

A lot of people make resolutions about aspects of themselves they hope to change and improve for the upcoming year.

The most common ones are: spending more time with family and friends; getting more fit by dieting or exercising; getting more organised, managing education and engaging in voluntary work.

Will you be making New Year's resolutions this year? For many of us, feelings of resignation stop us or take the fun out of it.

Have you ever noticed how shortlived your new intentions are, or wondered what resolutions you could possibly make that really would make things better next year? The months go by and while some days may feel hopeful, others can be full of tension, anxiety, irritation, or dullness -- especially in these crazy and uncertain times.

So you might feel that resolutions are a waste of time and become resigned to that.

To bring in what can be a truly New Year, you have to find the "new" inside yourself, starting with new awareness and new ways of taking responsibility that make it easier to achieve your intentions.

It's so easy to beat ourselves up for our shortcomings, but that makes things worse. It's time to tame that inner critic.

Compassion for yourself when old patterns resurface is taking responsibility and can make them easier to address.

Like everyone else, you probably made some New Year's resolutions.

Here are some excerpts from different teens around Zimbabwe who shared their New Year's resolution:

"From the onset, January, however, is a better time to set such goals before school opens. I am writing my final exams this year, so 2013 is for serious business. I want to organise a party for my aunt's birthday with a little budgeted pocket money," said Pamela Nkonzo, 18, Chiredzi.

"This season is also an ideal time to reassess your resolutions and modify your strategy for success. Measure yourself first where you are. Make sure your past won't haunt you and as for friends try to limit them. Cross the line with those who are useful," said Thomas Makurono, 17, Mutare.

"One of the goals I am setting this year is to get back into meditation. I am looking forward to get off to a pretty good start in January. This is the time for us to look at our goals and make plans for the first quarter of 2013, committing ourselves to that goal," said Melpa Chakakira, 19, Harare.

"New Year's Eve has always been a time for looking back to the past and, more importantly, forward to the coming year. It's a time to reflect on the changes we want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through on those changes.

"For me it's all about volunteerism," said Khathe Ncube, 16, Bulawayo.

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