Well, it’s that time of year again. You know, the time of year where you reflect back on everything you’ve failed to accomplish over the last 12 months in order to plan out how you’re going to make these next 365 days better than the last. New Years resolutions have always been hard for me to keep, although I promise myself that each new year will be different. Most people face the same problems I do, not because they don’t want to achieve the promises they make to themselves, but simply because ‘life’ gets in the way. (Note: you can interchange ‘life’ with any excuse that fits)
This year however, I intend to try my hardest to accomplish the goals that I set for myself in 2012. Keeping this blog will act as a daily reminder and hold me accountable for my resolutions, so I suggest you first write down your resolutions and put them somewhere where you wont be able to avoid them…EVER.With that being said, here are my 2012 resolutions.
- Be a positive influence to those around me. To be more specific, I want to make a conscious effort to compliment, help, or bring joy to the lives of at least 3 different people each day. It doesn’t matter who the people are. It can be family members, friends, or even complete strangers and it can be via social media, in person, or through the phone. The point is just to make it a personal goal each and everyday to bring a smile to someone’s face. The greatest thing I’ve learned in 2011 is that spreading happiness increases your own happiness twenty-fold. Loving others and genuinely appreciating their positive attributes raises your own positive energy. Taking this approach to life will make me a happier person and enrich the lives of those around me and it will cost me nothing except a concerted effort to smile and look for the good in people!
- Start a blog. This resolution has already been set in motion, but the challenge will be maintaining this blog and sustaining it with positive and valuable content. I love writing and sharing my opinion and I want this blog to act as a platform to do both. I never want this blog to feel like a chore. It should come naturally and effortlessly because I find that I work best and create my best material when not pressured to do so. My goal is to write at least one entry per day on a variety of issues ranging from sports, music, politics, love, life, spirituality, and more. The aim of this blog is to provide my opinion and commentary on all these subjects in hopes of creating constructive dialogue between people who frequent the site.
- Start writing my first book. Like I previously stated, I love to write. It’s like an extension of thinking, which everyone does every second, of everyday, but when you put it into words it becomes a concrete message that you can share with others or read back to yourself in order to understand your ideas more clearly. About two months ago, I read The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo, and it’d be an understatement to say that it changed my life. I don’t know how I went so long without being introduced to this magical story of a young shepherd boy named Santiago realizing his destiny by following his life long dream to travel to Egypt in search of treasure. The story’s message was definitely inspiring, but what really made me open my eyes was how Coehlo used simple language to convey such a powerful message. He also made the novel less than 100 pages, which means he didn’t waste any text trying to use flowery vernacular in order to impress the readers. It was short, concise, inspiring, and life changing. The point of my little rant on how good this book was, is not to give him any added publicity (like he needs it…) but rather it showed me that I can do something similar by writing my own story in hopes of changing someones life like Coehlo did mine. I don’t have a name for a book or even the plot well thought out yet, but I know the central theme of my first book will revolve around the many lessons I’ve learned in my life. The mistakes, the successes, the failures, the achievements, the romances, the heartbreaks, etc. It wont be autobiographical, but I will definitely take elements of my life and incorporate them into the story. Wish me luck! I’ll definitely need that, and patience with this resolution.
- Write one poem or short story each week. In order to become great at anything in life, you must do that activity over and over again. Ever heard “Practice doesn’t make perfect…perfect-practice makes perfect”? Well, according to author Malcolm Gladwell, in order for someone to master any complex skill, they must put in 10,000 hours of focused practice. So my reasoning is that if I want to be a great writer and author, it will take for me to make it a daily habit to write a poem or short story. This resolution will take commitment and hard work, but the reward is worth the occasional frustrating bouts of writers block.
- Read at least one book every 2 weeks. This goal seems like it’ll be easier to accomplish since I’ve grown quite fond of reading over the last few months. Nonetheless, I’d like to make this a regular habit. Reading will help sharpen my writing skills and introduce me to techniques that I may not be too familiar with. It will also give me ideas and introduce me to literary concepts and themes that other authors have mastered, which will enrich my own work and allow me flexibility when developing a story and its characters. Reading also allows for relaxation and helps take your mind off the mundane things in life into a world thought up by the author. I admit that I’m not the biggest fan of fiction novels, but once in a while I like to kick back and read something that doesn’t have to do with positive thinking, spirituality, or money. The irony is that I found these three qualities in abundance when I read the fiction masterpiece, The Alchemist. Check it out for yourself if you need a good book to start your own reading marathon.
- Exercise, meditate, and meditate some more. I’ve been quite good with my exercise regimen over the last few months, dedicating at least half an hour each day running hills at the Nairobi arboretum, but I want to increase the distance and speed each month and also introduce some light weight lifting. Half the battle in becoming physically healthy is mental, so I’d like to dedicate another half hour each day in deep meditation. I’ve been dabbling in meditation here and there…but I want to sustain it in 2012 for extended periods of time. Meditation requires patience and that’s something that I’m looking to develop as well. There’s no better feeling than taking a nice long shower after a grueling run, meditating right after for a good amount of time, and falling right into a nice short nap to refresh your mind and body. It’s true what they say, “what you think, you become.”
- Start a job that is geared toward my career ambitions. There’s a difference between working to make money and working because I LOVE what I do. I’d like 2012 to be the year where I find the job I was born to do. I want to help people by using my God given talents in order to motivate, guide, advise, and inspire them to reach for their dreams. Money can’t be the motive. It’s nice to earn a lot of money, but money doesn’t equate to happiness. Like I stated in my first resolution, my ultimate goal this year is to positively change the lives of at least 3 different people every day. Not by selling them materials or dreams, but by buying into their own dreams and helping them realize their potential. Money will follow happiness, happiness seldom follows money. And even when it does, that sort of happiness only lasts for a short period. So my dream this year is to find a job that I love. A job that I’ll wake up every morning rushing to get to. A job that I’ll go to sleep every night praying that it’s not just all one big DREAM.
So that’s it. Quite a list, I know, but in order to succeed you must always aim high. I’ve left a lot of goals off this list because they’re personal and because quite frankly, I think this list will suffice. I just want to make this year one to remember. If the world is ending on December 21st, 2012 (yea right, Mayans) I’d like to say I lived my life to the fullest and tried to help as many people along the way as I could. Happy New Years to you and your loved ones and may this year bring you unconditional joy, love, and happiness.