A New Year’s Resolution is a Filipino tradition. Or at least, that’s how many students deemed it. Every January of each year, on the first day of class, students from elementary, high school, and college declare their New Year’s resolutions.
When I was in high school, I wrote my New Year Resolutions essays (as it was often required) during Christmas breaks. It is still cool to do it these days for fun.
I do Impact Goals, Quarterly Goals, and Monthly Projects, which are better than most New Year’s Resolutions. I will share these with you later if you are interested.
I am publishing this three days before the New Year. So you will have plenty of time to write your New Year’s Resolution or do the alternatives.
What is a New Year’s Resolution?
A New Year’s Resolution is a declaration of what a person intends or resolves to do at the beginning of the year. Typically, people decide to stop doing undesirable traits or behaviors, continue doing good practices, and start working on personal goals or improving behaviors.
When you ask Filipinos, more than half will say they have New Year’s Resolution. About 1/3 say that they have written resolutions. You will find 100 examples of New Year’s Resolutions below.
Nearly half of those who don’t make New Year’s Resolution say it does not work.
Importance of New Year’s Resolution
Most people think that they need to do more these past years. The Covid-19 pandemic, for two years, made us anxious about the future. I remember that the New Year of 2021 was the first time most people stayed home. In January 2022, we recorded the highest number of Covid-19 infections.
But 2023 promises a better year. And once again, people talk about New Year’s Resolutions. And that’s good news.
There are mixed opinions as to the importance of resolutions. And I understand why.
Some people failed to continue what they started. Or they missed many opportunities of doing what they believed they should have done many New Year’s resolutions ago.
In 1996, Carlo declared that he would enroll again to finish his Master of Arts in Teaching. It was always a part of his New Year’s Resolutions. This year, he decided that pursuing it was of no use. The 30 units he earned will no longer be credited. He procrastinated. And procrastination sealed his fate, he believed.
A friend made a New Year’s Resolution to start jogging five years ago. So on January 4 last year, she started jogging around our neighborhood. She continued doing it for 15 more days. Then, she decided to pause for a week because of an important assignment. The one week became months. Yesterday, she said that she’d start again.
Thirty years ago, I “resolved” to write a book. I began with full enthusiasm, then eventually stopped. In Filipino, we call this habit Ningas Kugon. However, a friend commissioned me two years ago to write a book. I wrote that book in 16 days. I am confident I can write at least one book in 2023.
All new year’s resolutions are aspirations for personal growth and development. And though you don’t have to wait for January 1 to start thinking about choosing the right things to do, a New Year’s resolution, as a tradition, reminds us about second chances, and the simple act of declaring our intentions help us think deeply about the future.
Panata sa Bagong Taon
For Filipinos, a new year is a promise of a new life. It is more than just a day after December 31.
It is a fresh start.
In Tagalog, New Year’s Resolution means panata sa bagong taon. It is not just an aspiration or a wish. It is a vow.
It is a fresh start. Whatever happened last year and the years before that have no hold on our future. We can choose to live the life we want.
Most New Year’s Resolutions aren’t fulfilled because of misunderstandings. But we will start behaving differently when we fully embrace that a new year is a fresh start and a resolution is a vow.
Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work
I have already given you three reasons why New Resolutions don’t work. And I have also given you an idea of why it works. So allow me to expound and expand.
The lack of willpower makes us delay. Procrastination is a silent killer. It murders our dreams without our notice.
People think that there is always tomorrow. We only have today; tomorrow is not promised to anyone.
If something is significant, it must be done today.
A resolution is a vow; it is not just a wish. A wish is something that may happen someday. A vow is your business today.
Have you noticed that lifetime gym memberships are sold for a 50 percent discount during December and January? That’s because many people overestimate themselves.
A lifetime gym membership often gets used in three months.
If you are in Quezon Memorial Circle in the early mornings, you will see thousands of joggers. Some of them start at 5 am. But, during the first six weeks of the year, you’ll notice that the numbers are five times more than usual.
Ningas kugon is a lot better than procrastination. Starting something is already tricky. But success is measured by how we finished, not by how we started our games.
Ningas Kugon is often the result of a lack of commitment, discipline, and momentum.
Lack of Commitment
A committed person dedicates his time to a cause that truly matters to him. Those who cannot commit fails again and again.
A committed person displays patience, persistence, and perseverance. You can only be that person when you believe you can make things happen. Without that belief, there is no urgency. Without that belief, you will allow your fear to delay or stop you as soon as you face your first challenge.
Consider that a resolution is a vow to your future self.
Lack of Discipline
I see that even the most motivated people need to honor their resolutions. They can start, but they need to learn how to finish.
They work on many things but only sometimes on the most important thing.
A person with discipline does what they value most every day. They don’t allow their circumstances to dictate their actions.
New Year’s resolutions are good for us. They are part of the solution. Unfortunately, they don’t work when people don’t have the discipline to execute them.
Lack of Momentum
People need more momentum to finish what they start. There needs to be more than just doing the first step to walking a thousand miles. You need to follow the first with another step, and you need to keep moving until you reach a thousand miles.
Followthrough makes a breakthrough.
To create momentum, you need focus, consistency, and action.
By telling you why resolutions often do not work, can you tell how to make them work?