AS I SEE IT (Elpidio Estioko): 2024: New Year, new hope

Every end of the year, we are looking forward to the new year. As we end 2023, we are pinning our hope to 2024 to be a better year for us. We must have failed or did fairly in 2023, so we hope to be more prosperous and successful for the coming year 2024.

It is a common practice that as we enter the new year, we make our New Year’s resolutions. We do this even if we know that most of the time we fail to comply with it… but, we do it anyway!

Well, we make our new year’s resolutions because a new year can be a great time to set goals and look for ways to make positive changes in the months to come. We just have to remember to set realistic goals and things that are simple and reachable. Otherwise, we are doomed to fail in pursuing our New Year’s resolutions because general and unreasonable intentions are difficult to comply with.

I remember my friend former Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) Prof. Angelito “Lito” Roldan now residing in California who said: “New Year’s resolutions have become a mere fad that carrying it out is lost as the months pass by.”

He may be right because most New Year’s resolutions fail, but despite this, we do it anyway! Richard Wiseman, in his study in 2007 from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people, showed that 88% of those who set New Year’s resolutions fail. Well, if that is the case, why is there still a need for a New Year’s resolution? With almost everybody breaking their promises immediately after making them, and after jumping when the clock strikes 12 midnight of December 31, 2023 during the countdown: do we still have to make resolutions?

This is a big question because in real life most people make their New Year’s resolution because it is crucial to our life. If we make one, we set a goal that we aspire to attain. On the other hand, if we do not – there is no direction – at all, in our life! I should say, it’s better to have one than none at all!

Again, I remember Gertrudis Estioko, a retired Master Teacher 2 from the Urdaneta Central School (UCS) who agreed that resolutions are a must for us to be able to set the direction of our future. “We just have to follow it to the letter,” she said. That is the catch we need to guard ourselves with. If we won’t, then we are really doomed to failure.

To me, while there are popular goals or resolutions people go for, the most important is to keep the family together. If your family is one, united, and well-connected – maintain it by all means! If there is a lot of disconnections, dysfunctions, and misunderstandings – pick up the pieces and put them together.

The bottom line is,” Prof. Roldan said, “I think, it is celebrating Christmas and New Year with the family together in love and harmony.”

So, with that, let us make and nourish this year’s resolution to greater heights and with renewed vigor and enthusiasm. Make the family the center of our heart, the center of our life, the center of our existence. In fact, make it the center of everything we do in life without any hesitation!

In the same study, it showed that the most common reason for participants failing their New Year’s resolution was setting themselves unrealistic goals (35%), while 33% did not keep track of their progress and a further 23% forgot about it. About one in 10 respondents, the study further showed, claimed they made too many resolutions. These complicate the dynamics of resolutions.

The study mentioned that when we engage in goal setting incorporating small measurable goals, (such as, a pound a week, instead of saying “lose weight”), we have more chances of succeeding in attaining our New Year’s resolutions.

Therefore, if only we can set up realistic goals, line up things that are attainable and easy to comply with… we may have a better success rate in accomplishing our resolutions!

The crux of the matter is, with or without a New Year’s resolution, we can do many good things in our life. All we need to do is to commit to our goals and resolve to do it accordingly. With this, our life will even be more meaningful… it will have a direction, there is a goal we can aim for and attain, as we live the New Year with a charted future!

I know a lot of people failed to comply with their resolutions because they said they forgot. Others say, “I’m busy.” My other friends told me it’s because their resolutions are many, vague and general. Well, many also told me their resolutions were not measurable. In short, let’s make simple and concrete goals that we can easily comply with!

Maybe, it can also help if we have somebody to remind us and keep us posted on what we should be doing to be able to make our resolutions come true. Or, come up with a checklist to make sure we don’t miss any. Or, even better, make a recording to remind us of what we need to do on specified time and date.

So, let’s face the New Year, whether we make our new year’s resolution or not, embrace it, and let’s do it with the hope that it will help us for the better!

Make realistic goals and measurable endeavors!

Realistic and measurable resolutions give us directions and a clear path to success!