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Home / Wellness

Making New Year’s resolutions stick!

By Annie Awuor | 4 months ago | 8 min read

 "You need to understand why you are making the change because as long as you do not understand why, you are likely not to follow through" [Courtesy]

It’s a New Year, which means it is that time of year to come up with a new list of resolutions. That time of year when you get a new lease on life and believe anything is possible.

However, if you have been doing New Year’s resolutions for a while now, you quickly realise simply writing things down does not automatically lead to results. Maybe you plan to ring in 2022 with a new resolve to start exercising and to eat healthy or maybe to quit drinking, or to save more. 

And maybe these resolutions sound familiar — maybe just like the ones you made a year ago! So how can you ensure your determination to stick to your resolutions last past January and all throughout 2022?

This year, before your resolutions fly right out the window, let’s try a different approach and speak to four different experts in various fields on why new year resolutions often times fail, and how one can have a failproof plan for your resolutions in 2022.

Nthenya Macharia, a life coach, image consultant and motivational speaker believes that because the last two years have been hectic, that people should give themselves some grace if they have not accomplished their 2021 goals or dreams.

“The world we are living in today has changed with corona. We are living in unpredictable times and it is not as easy to make plans anymore. So, give yourself some grace for those resolutions you failed to meet in 2021; we must all learn to be realistic and flexible. However, that does not mean we should stop writing down our goals and hopes for a New Year,” she says.

“Having resolutions or goals is key to living a purposeful life. It is important to have something to look forward to as you cross into a New Year.”

Nthenya advices family and loved ones should take priority in New Year’s resolutions.

“In the last year there has been a lot of loss, so before even making any plans the first goal should be to prioritise family and loved ones. Secondly, have a written down plan, write down the vision and make it plain. If it is not written down then it is simply a wish list.

“You can have a vision board in your office or room in your house, just make sure it is somewhere you frequently pass through on a daily basis so it can be a constant reminder of your goals. Then ensure that once you achieve something, tick it from the list.”

 “Having resolutions or goals is key to living a purposeful life. It is important to have something to look forward to as you cross into a New Year” [Courtesy]

She also believes that it is important to have a person who can hold you accountable when it comes to your resolutions.

“Having an accountability partner is important, but you must also be careful who you pick, if you tell the wrong person they may derail you or discourage you from making any changes or think your idea is too crazy or impossible. This is because people are limited in thinking, and if you are not careful, they can impose their limitation on you,” explains Nthenya.

“Sometimes dreams come from God and they may not even make sense to you, remember the story of Noah and building the ark, if vision is from God, it may seem impossible, so look for like-minded people to help hold you accountable and who believe in your dreams.”

Nthenya, further reiterates that it is also important to change your mindset if you want to accomplish your goals.

“You need to really understand why you are making the change because as long as you do not understand the why, you are likely not to follow through. Example, if you want to change unhealthy behaviours like overeating and overspending, which have immediate, pleasurable payoffs, you must be clear about why you want to change the said habits or you will fall off the wagon.”

Lastly, Nthenya advices that when trying to change a habit or to learn a new habit, start small.

“Be realistic, and break down big dreams into small manageable steps you can take on a daily basis. Also track your progress, and even if you fail today, keep going tomorrow.”

Self care

According to a certified skincare specialist Sonnie Touch, who has been in the cosmetology industry for the last 10 years, the reason why people sometimes do not stick to their new years resolution whether it is to take care of their skin better, or lose weight, is because we live in a superficial world where people love the “before” and “after” pictures, and never realise there is an in between process where consistency, patience and discipline is required.

“If your New Year’s resolution is to take care of your skin better so it can take care of you when you are older, the first step is to see a skincare specialist. You do not have to go to an expensive one, for instance, I charge Sh1,500 for a consultation, charged only once and whenever you want to consult again you don’t have to pay again,” she says.

 “If your New Year’s resolution is to take care of your skin better, the first step is to see a skincare specialist" [Courtesy]

“You rather save up and see a specialist than use what your friend or sister is using, yet your skin types are different. Often times, a consultation with an expert will be way cheaper than all the wrong products you have invested in throughout the year. There is no shortcut to having good skin.”

She adds that it is not only skin types that a skin expert looks at, but also age and your skin condition.

That one’s skin type in the 20s, is not the same as when they are in their 30s or 40s.

According to Sonnie, at 25 a woman’s collagen starts to decrease and that is why by the time they hit 30, they should start actively protecting and slowing the signs of aging. A whole range of products is a must.

“A good skin regiment requires one to have a cleanser, toner, moisturiser, serum, eye cream and sunscreen. However, if your pocket does not allow at least have the most basic cleanser, moisturizer and a sunscreen. To be consistent, ensure you see your specialist to gauge your progress with the product.

“Also, it is important for clients to know that when you start using a new product you might or might not get a skin purge, acne and even rashes, but once the skin adjusts you will be fine. So, when that happens do not stop using the products to give the skin time to adjust and keep in touch with your skincare specialist,” explains Sonnie.

She says it is also important to have a healthy diet and to exercise if you want good skin. That having a good skin is more than just having a good skin regimen, you must also eat right and be active because healthy skin starts from inside out.

“Diet is important and specific to an individual, what may affect my skin may not affect yours. My sister for example has always loved mutton. She travelled for a time, and mutton was off her diet.  Her skin cleared. As soon as it was back on her died, she was once more plagued by rashes and pimples.” 

In closing, Sonnie advices that the key to any goal you set for yourself at the begging of 2022, is consistency, patience and discipline.

“If you are to succeed with New Year’s resolution, you must take the steps whether you feel like or not, you must be consistent and patient. There is no short cut.”

Financial resolutions 

Financial expert Caroline Matu, an investment banker and CEO of Net Worth Investment Consultancy, says that finances is an area that more often than not makes it to many New Year’s lists.

“Finance resolutions usually falls within the category of saving more or investing more or spending one’s income better,” explains Caroline.

 There are a number of financial literacy classes, and if you cannot afford those, there are resources online and on newspapers [Courtesy]

She, however, says that while making New Year’s resolution is a good practice, one must do more than simply write down resolutions. That if one is not intentional and strategic about their resolutions or their finances, they can end up giving up on them even before Valentine’s Day clocks in.

Caroline further adds that the first step that one must do in order to be financially empowered, is to seek financial literacy.

“Financial literacy is something we never learn in school, and so what happens is you wake up everyday to make money that you do not know how to make work for you. There are a number of financial literacy classes, and if you cannot afford you have resources online, and also newspapers these days feature a lot of articles of finances.

“However, remember that not everything online is specific to the Kenyan market or Africa in general,” she continues.

Further, she says, it is important to have an emergency fund, diversify one’s investment and not put all your eggs in one basket. Also, to avoid getting into debt to acquire things that do not grow one’s income - that is bad debt.

She, however, warns that sticking to New Year’s resolutions or ones financial goals for the year is not always easy and that is why one has to be strategic in their approach.

“To help you consistently save, you can use standing orders and ask your bank to cut a certain amount of money from your account and put it into a saving account or your sacco.  

“Also, you can get a friend or your spouse or sibling to help keep you accountable financially on a monthly basis. Additionally, you can look for a mentor or friends or groups where people invest to help motivate and keep you on track.”

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