There is always a false sense of renewal that drives us to set individual goals around this time of the year. Only one per cent of the most disciplined folks are able to stick to their plans though. And mostly, it is those who are cushioned from the vagaries of life such as inflation, politics and the prison that is the 9-5 grind.
I really don’t know why people bother with resolutions anymore. Here are the top ten you will break sooner than later.
1. Visiting home
Many Nairobians still have strong ties to their villages and invariably make attempts to visit as often as possible. However, once they’ve been swallowed by the corporate and industrial jungle that is Nairobi, they hardly ever go home, save for the must-go funerals and of course, Christmas.
Around this time, they will promise to visit their ailing parents or grandparents. Damn! Where is the time. It will be August before it hits home they have not gone home.
2. Making and saving money
Every Kenyan knows that a Sh1,000 note has become totally useless in the face of unforgiving inflation. Around this time, many vow to look for a side hustle and try to make something that will lessen their dependence on the god that is their monthly salary.
The experiment will work for a month or two before school fee or sickness chews into the savings, effectively killing morale. Besides, memories of that cousin you rescued from the village only to run down your kiosk without as much as an apology are still fresh.
Besides, you will discover that saving is not as easy and rosy as the banker or insurance salesman makes it look like.
3. Making peace with your God
Of course, you are growing older and you want to make peace with your personal God before He hauls before His court. Way to go. Except that you have to stop drinking on Saturday night. Nursing a hangover before showing up for church is not easy. Go ahead and pray, maybe you might hack it.
4. No more ‘tumbukiza’
Is there any food that does not have a cancer death scare nowadays? So this year, you will try to keep off junk food, nyama choma and sugar. Sadly, these foods define life in Nairobi. Fries are as addictive as pizza-off-the-oven. Sugar is a drug and is just as addictive.
Nyama choma and beer are our culture. Good luck as you struggle. Of course, the company you keep is bad influence and will remind you that no matter how green you go with your food, we all die. One way or another.
5. Buy land
Curse your grandfather, wherever he was when the prime parts of the city were grabbed. Paying rent in Nairobi in a decent neighborhood is eating nearly half of the income of the middle-class who are trying to keep up with the Joneses.
Buying land is the latest fad of ‘I’m smart, I invest wisely.’ So many young men will try to buy land this year. Few will succeed, but at least you will give yourself an ‘E’ for effort come December.
6. Quitting the bottle or cigs
If you are older than 30, you are painfully aware of your mortality. A friend or two are battling smoking or alcohol related complications. This year, you want to go slow on the bottle, or the cancer stick. It is easier. Mark Twain attempted to stop smoking at least a thousand times in a day. But try anyway. Only you can save yourself from your destructive habit.
7. Lose weight
A perennially least-kept resolution. Many will pay expensively for an upmarket gym, shop for the right attire, set the alarm then try it for a few weeks. Suddenly, job meetings start taking longer than usual. There is that fundraising, that farewell dinner, that church meeting and so on. Before you know it, Sh. 10,000 has been misspent on the gym. Discipline is the key word.
8. Be responsible in relationships and stop sexual affairs
Last year, you nearly caught a deadly STI. Maybe you underwent a scary abortion. Maybe it was an abusive relationship. Now you want to be in charge of your affairs and sexuality. Good luck. Word of advice: avoid having alcohol with strangers. Women, keep off abusive men.
9. Get married
Come December, there will only be fewer people who would have tied the knot. Weddings are expensive affairs and folks have become meaner with their cash for gigs that add little value to their lives.
So, saving for a wedding is not exactly easy. If by December you are still procrastinating to April, never mind, you will be in good company.
10. Finish the master’s degree
God-willing. Money-willing. But chances are that you will graduate the following year. Blame the lecturer who fails to submit the marks in time. Or the bank that fails to give you the loan in time for that extra unit. All the same, soldier on.