Got promises to keep

Last Updated 30 January 2015, 16:54 IST

You were determined to make it work this year. But there wasn’t enough time, energy or motivation, perhaps, to help you see it through. 

So, you have given up on your New Year’s resolution yet again. Deepa Ballal urges you to make another sincere attempt.

Last month at this time, gym memberships soared, sale of organic foods went up, excel sheets meticulously marking home expenses came into being. The air was filled with a sudden zeal and vigour. A new chapter had begun.

But New Years come and go. And so do resolutions. The joy of making them and then, the regret of breaking them, eventually completes one full cycle. The fascination for taking this ceremonial oath has, sadly, been dying a slow and silent death. But like any cult, it has its own set of believers and non-believers. 

Some still make resolutions; others make and break them in no time, while the rest just don’t bother. One month down the line, let’s take stock of our resolutions. Have you given up already? Or, is the going slow and steady? 

Those who mean to, but…

Sheela Martin’s resolutions have never lasted for more than a week. “I have tried hogging that last piece of my favourite chocolate walnut cake at 11:59 pm on December 31. It has been my great resolve to keep the calories, sugars and fats at bay, soon after the midnight stroke,” she says. 

It was easier said than done! Saurabha Bhat understands the feeling all too well, as her resolutions have never really borne fruit. The vigour always slows down after the initial euphoria, she says. 

But the strange part, she confesses, is that “the next year, one is ready with another set of resolutions, irrespective of the results of the previous year”.

The end of January is a good time to revisit those resolutions. Get on that weighing scale, check your bank balance, count the junk in your refrigerator…How far have you succeeded? Chances are, not much, according to Dr Savita Upadhya.

“I see everyone talk about this in January. As of March/April, they forget all about it. It’s hard to follow it through to the end of the year. That’s the reason I do not have any New Year resolutions,” she maintains.

There are quite a few who would agree with that point of view. Take Reena Martis, for instance. Once a staunch believer in the power of New Year resolutions, today she is rather skeptical about it. “I guess, it was kind of a trend to make resolutions. 

Honestly speaking, my resolutions never lasted for more than a month,” she confesses. Today it is But the question remains: why can’t we stick to resolutions for long? Why does the initial hoopla fade out and pave the way for inertia? Is that how it is meant to be?

A chain is as strong as its weakest link, so is a resolution. Smitten by the “postponement bug”, the resolve like an inflated balloon goes swoosh when released, in no time. 

How strong our resolve is often depends, not on the first day of the year, but how prepared we were for it the previous day. Noodles may be made in an instant, not life’s changes. Each day has to be an affirmation of that resolve. 

“Kal kareso aaj kar, aaj kareso ab!,” says Ashwini Mallapur, quoting Kabir’s couplet. Why seek shelter under the calendar’s canopy? Karthika Rajesh agrees. “If we want to bring about any changes in our lives, why wait till the New Year? We can make them any time of the year and ensure that they are being well implemented,” she says.

After all, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a tiny step. And the day one takes that first step, Suman Venugopalan believes, will be a defining and fulfilling moment, irrespective of where it is placed on the calendar. 

“The date is not significant; what matters is how serious you are about pursuing something and how badly you want to achieve it,” she says. The overall health and fitness of her family is something she is worried about. So, she makes it a priority to follow and encourage a good exercise regime at home. It’s an everyday effort.

So, if you faltered in your resolve this year, don’t worry. And don’t be in a hurry to give up. Today is a new day. You can start again. Now.

Good to resolve

“I love making resolutions. They act like a pushing force, an impetus to achieve my goals,” says Rupa Arun, with a smile. “After all, anything new is interesting and exciting,” she adds. Keeping fit through a daily regime of yoga and badminton tops her list this year.

For Agneta Ladek, the whole process of making resolutions since the last three decades has not only given her a direction, but also enough room for introspection. 

“They helped me have some guidelines for the coming year and by the end of the year, I could see what I was able to achieve. I was also able to identify things that weren’t, perhaps, as important as I thought they were in the beginning,” she explains.

Whether it’s losing weight, saving money, quitting smoking or just about anything, if you make a promise to yourself and put your mind to it, there’s nothing that can stop you from achieving it. Don’t do it because everybody is doing it or because it’s the beginning of yet another year; do it because you want to. 

And do it with all your heart. There’s no point in cribbing and crying over it. If you are not eating that pastry, it’s because you have made a pact with yourself. Do it happily.  

“If you are not happy now, chances are you won’t really get happy when you achieve your goal. It's like chasing life, while forgetting to enjoy the process itself. This year, my resolution was to be happy now and here, not when I achieve some milestone,” shares Agneta. And, so far, it’s working well for her.

For those caught in the rigmarole of making, faking and, eventually, breaking resolutions, there’s an important lesson to be learnt here. Don’t do it for anybody else. Do it for yourself. Do it now.

(Published 30 January 2015, 16:54 IST)

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