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It’s exciting to be here sharing my thoughts with everyone. Sophia had wanted me to do this for a while now but I got caught up in life’s activities and barely had time to reflect. What better time is there and what better topic to write about? I certainly can’t think up any.

It’s only a few days into the year but I must acknowledge how splendid it has been. I have had remarkably memorable moments and I’m expectant of so much more. I hope that you’re expectant too, because sometimes, it takes our expectations to attract the goodness we anticipate.

Now to the crux of the matter: About this time two years ago, I was in a conversation with one of my highly regarded friends, we got to share our views on the importance of acknowledging and celebrating the New year. At the end of the conversation, we came to some conclusions, some of which I would mention here.

Firstly, we agreed that January 1st is a date on the calendar, just as April 19th is. We also agreed that whatever day of the week a new year begins is just as regular as the rest 6 days of the week. What then is the point of celebrating a New year? Is there anything worthy of note or jubilation? The answer can swing both ways, depending on how you choose to see it.

Consider two people who have embarked on a long-distance road trip at the same time:
One decides never to stop in the course of the trip, no matter what happens. He stays journeying, regardless of the creaking sounds coming from his car. He’s tired and exhausted from driving for long hours, but he’s determined to keep driving; even when he’s dozing off and the car is swerving side to side, he’s still not taking a break. The alarms go on and off intermittently and are occasionally deafening but *Mr Determined* is bent on continuing his journey. Ignoring all that’s happening, he just wants to get to the finish line. If he’s lucky, he’ll get to the end of the trip, somehow, anyhow. I cannot guarantee the state at which he would get there, however.

Our second traveler is one who has planned to have stopovers in the course of his trip. Each time he stops, he refreshes himself, checks whether the vehicle is still in good condition and fit enough to continue the journey. Whenever he detects a fault, he ensures it is fixed before the journey continues. He assesses and reassesses his trip from time to time. At the end of the day, he arrives at his destination in one good piece; nothing missing, nothing broken.Even if or when they’re both lucky to arrive at their destination, they wouldn’t have arrived at the same state of being.

I used to be of the opinion that celebrating New year was pointless and unnecessary, but I have come to realize the importance. A new year is a fresh page, a new chapter, a speed breaker, a stop over, a pause, a check point, a second chance, another opportunity to get it right, a clean slate, a comma and every other thing that depicts a fresh start. It’s an avenue to assess your deeds, modify your plans, review aspirations, re-strategize. To different people, it is different things.

I titled this “New year, New resolutions” because, for as long as I can remember, those phrases have gone together, like white is stuck on rice. It is good to have resolutions for the new year, some go the extra mile to note them somewhere; commendable efforts. However, at year end, a lot of us realize that we’re still hovering around the same spot where we started the year, with regards to the resolutions made.

A farmer who desires to have a bountiful harvest needs more than just buying the seeds to plant; he needs to map out plans, observe and study seasons, plough the ground, bury the seed, water the plant, weed regularly, prepare for harvest,etc. It is only after he has met these requirements that he may be blessed with an harvest. It is not enough to make resolutions, you must work towards achieving them. Take the necessary steps towards the accomplishment of your aspirations for the year, don’t leave anything to chance. Beyond vibing “new year, new me”, be ready to live up to the tasks ahead.

Out of benevolence, I have decided to share some of my decisions for the year with you. If you consider them of value, please jump on the ride. A few of them aren’t entirely new, I started practicing them towards the end of 2018, and I affirm that the efforts have been worth it.

1. Sharpen your saw: You must must realize that you are your greatest asset; hence, it is important to enhance, preserve and sustain yourself. There’s zero problem with being narcissistic. How, you ask?

– Spiritual dimension: Set a goal to improve on your spiritual life. This helps to provide clarity, guidance and leadership to life and reinforces commitment to your value systems. Meditate daily, pray(not just for yourself; pray for your loved ones, your nation, even your enemies), study spiritual texts, be immersed in soul-reaching and soul-searching songs, participate actively in spiritual activities. There is a reward!

– Physical dimension: The body is the visible representative of your being, it is what the world sees before reaching your beautiful soul. Refuse for a kind heart to be an excuse for your shabby looks; I hope you know it’s very possible to be  beautiful both in and out. Eat nourishing meals, try new dishes if you will, exercise, build endurance, flexibility and strength, get sufficient rest and relaxation, go for routine medical checks (whether or not you feel healthy), dress nicely, smell good; invest in your body. Keep photos of yourself, this helps you keep track of your physical growth.

-Mental dimension: Maintaining a sane mind is pertinent to leading an all-round productive life, pay attention to your mental health. Expand your mind, read good literature texts, open up your mind to good thoughts, possibilities and positivity; shun negativity. Love genuinely, forgive easily, let go of past hurts, do not harbor hatred  for anyone. Keep toxic people at a safe distance, guard your mind jealously.

-Social dimension: You haven’t truly lived until the people around you have felt your impact. Develop meaningful relationships, seek to deeply and genuinely understand people, make contributions to projects that improve the lives of others, be involved in people’s success stories without necessary demanding returns. Have more family time. Happiness lives in living a selfless life. Give a part of you to everyone who comes your way, it’s the greatest gift you’ll ever give.

2. Financial discipline: I am no financial consultant but I can tell how good it is to save. Map out a plan, one that’s suitable and convenient for you. It must be fixed, however: a percentage of your salary or total monthly earnings. Save towards your long term goals and you’ll be happy you did. This takes a whole lot of discipline, but it’s not impossible.

3. Record of expenditures: This is something I adopted some months ago, I told a few friends about it and they love how it has helped them apportion their funds rightly. Daily, I keep a record of my expenses and at month end, I do a summation. I realized the unnecessary things I was spending on and it also helped me allocate more funds to things I considered more important. Overall, it has made me a better manager of my finances.

4. Daily highlight Journal: I intend to note the best parts of my everyday, for the rest of the year. I envisage that reliving these amazing memories will help me get through the not too good days. It’s only a few days and I’ve had a great time noting the highlights.

5. Goal setting: This would differ from person to person. As it applies to you, write out a list of the things you would like to do in the course of the year. Happen to life, refuse for Life to happen to you. Don’t be a victim of chance or circumstance. Set goals for yourself!

It’s an inexhaustible list, I only hope this helps one or maybe two people, and I’ll be glad.

It has been great and exciting penning this. Thank you Sophia for the honor and for pushing me out of my comfort zone, you are an inspiration!

I wish you all a remarkable year.

Love,
Olajumoke.

About Olajumoke Ogundeji
Olajumoke Ogundeji is a Healthcare Provider (M.D) by profession and an aspiring lifestyle model. She believes in the power of words and the need to use it to impact people’s lives positively. Beyond providing healthcare and writing, she is passionate about helping people particularly teenagers. She loves to live and not merely exist, hence she explores a lot. For inquiries, you can contact her at mercyola01@gmail.com. You can also keep up with her through her social media pages;
Instagram @cutedockie
Facebook @Ola Jumoke
Twitter @Olajumoke_M