It is now the time of the year when most of us start ‘believing God’ for a better new year. Many of us will start making new year resolutions. But the big question and the most pertinent indeed remains, “how many of our 2016 resolutions were met?”. A lot of people will see themselves in 2018 before they realize it.

According to Wikipedia a New Year’s resolution is a tradition, most common in the Western Hemisphere but also found in the Eastern Hemisphere, in which a person makes a promise to do an act of self-improvement or something slightly nice, such as opening doors for people beginning from New Year’s Day.

Numerous statistics show that less than 10% of the people with new year resolutions fail to accomplish their goals. So many reasons have been given for failing chief among them being setting unrealistic goals, failure to track progress and sometimes outrightly forgetting set goals.

Do we now retract into our shells due to unfavorable statistics or past failures? No. It is said that those who fail to plan have already planned to fail.

 Chance favors the prepared mind.

– Louis Pasteur

We must now access ourselves in order to know areas of improvement or consolidation. There is the need for a personal SWOT ANALYSIS ( S-strengths, W-weaknesses, O-opportunities, and T-threats). Doing so will enable one to know appropriate goals to set and how best to achieve them.

Some focus areas that may come up when we sincerely do such analysis would include:

  • The primary need for a change of mindset.
  • The inevitably of seeking God. 1 Chronicles 22.19.
  • The wisdom in starting- bootstrap or start lean
  • Advantages of learning new skills- The career-boosting benefits of lifelong learning cannot be overemphasized.
  • The glory in refreshing relationships or discarding unhealthy ones.
  • The security in financial planning

With these areas in focus, some of the ways to avoid failure and thereby suddenly seeing one’s self  in 2018, unfulfilled,  would include:

Being realistic- We must avoid overloading ourselves with too many goals. Better to set Simple, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time specific goals. This is being SMART.

  • Working with a support network– Share our goals with family and friends who help in holding you accountable for your goals. This will go a long way towards encouraging you to hold on. For instance, an individual in some messy debts can be of a lot of discouragement for someone else who might get into the same mess.
  • Self-monitoring tools– A lot of devices, apps, and online tools abound which would help individuals keep track of progress.
  • Be proactive– Action, Action, and Action! Not enough to dream, one must wake up to achieve the dreams. Wanting is not enough, we must do. Big goals should be broken down into small action plans to be focused on one at a time or as much as one can chew. For instance, I have chosen a personal and family anchor for 2017 from a friend, Okey Ndukwe’s Instagram post. It is God’s Word for me from Jeremiah 31:4  NIV:

I will build you up again, and you, Okwukwe Davis Ihentuge, will be rebuilt. Again you will take up your timbrels and go out to dance with the joyful.

Though I have decided to dance for joy in 2017, I MUST, deliberately and strategically choose the music. If not, I may end up dancing to any beat that seems to be good music only to realize myself in 2018.

Happy 2017!