A few days into the New Year, I am sure, like Grounds’ Hog Day, many of you are having that déjà vu feeling of having made New Year resolutions, many of which we may not have kept by December 31. You may have watched the graduation ceremonies at the end of last year, and resolved that this year, you must further your education by joining evening classes in college, yes!
After all, if the DP Samoei Ruto can get the time off his busy schedule – his duties as deputy president, politicking all week, ‘tanga tangaing’ all over the country, plotting in the evening against his many enemies, hosting all sorts of delegations (both in his Karen and rural homes), getting millions to donate to churches every Sunday, and so on – to get a whole PhD in plant ecology, how can you say ‘hauna time’ to get that Masters, or master a new language?
The other nine most common New Year resolutions are to lose weight, join the gym, quit smoking, manage debt, save some money, take a trip, switch jobs, make new circles of friends and reduce stress.
But it is YOUR New Year Resolution, or resolutions, that are the most important ones to you. And YOU must put a timeline on them.
If you do not, then they just end up being vague hopes and desires, and by Thursday, February 1, you will realise you have done none.
Stop Drinking for 100 Days
I had my last ‘hard’ drink on December 31, 2018, in the ‘spirit’ of the New Year, pardon the pun. The way smokers want to quit puffing, many alcohol consumers wish to reduce their drinking. But saying you will quit ‘cold turkey’ is often a recipe for failure. So my resolution is to simply stick to beer or wine, for the next 100 days. January 1 to April 10 shouldn’t be too difficult to keep off the Russian ‘beverages’ to which we have become accustomed. Then come Easter, we can revisit our fiery relationship.
Drive by Madaraka Day
Four years ago, this eccentric writer bought a car that has never moved out of the parking lot.
I have been to three different driving schools since but have never bothered to complete the course and took comfort in the thought that there are folks like journalist Philip Ochieng, who turned 80 last year, who completed their careers, without ever bothering to drive a car.
But, lately, I realised I may have a form of vehophobia. That we’ll drink, drive and die, based on family history. And since all fears must be conquered, DL by June 1.
Side Hustle by September’s End
Green Day’s ‘Wake Me Up, When September Ends’ is one of the greatest songs you will ever hear. Check it out on YouTube.
With our ‘blue’ economy the way it is (they call it that, because it gives ye the blues), many already hardworking Kenyans are scratching their heads, trying to figure out an extra income to survive.
There is that passion or idea you have harboured for years, but never quite come around to getting done. Straight from DL, the resolution is to dedicate time for the next four months to ‘The Biz.’
And have it up and on the run by 30th September, 2019.
There is that ‘thing’ for which one has a passion, and for this writer, that thing is writing. Thirteen years ago, I finally got to writing my first book (a collection of poetry called ‘What If I am a Literary Gangsta?’).
My first three books took a total of six years to write. Then in 2012, I resolved to write a book a year, and by last year, had my tenth book (2063) out.
It is time to challenge oneself more, and so my last resolution is to get to doing two books yearly.
Why not push our personal limits, challenge ourselves, and re-calibrate our mental ambitions? I figured out if a piece like this is 700 words, and one does 700 words daily on a book, then you have twenty thousand words a month if disciplined, or a 120 000-word novel in six months.
And it doesn’t matter whether it is writing a book or running a marathon one is preparing for.
Think of Farah, or those other runners, who decide to move from 10 000-metre races to 42kms.