Here’s how you can make your New Year’s Resolution work


Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast“, said Friar Lawerence in Romeo and Juliet.

Since the dawn of the year, I’ve heard of resolution after resolution made by enthusiastic friends: Lose weight, get fit, get rich, find a partner.

Come the 2nd of January, everyone is in New Years resolution mode. Like a hyperactive kitten, Facebook updates turn up excitedly, showing off iron-strength resolute promised by my friends. Updates proudly show how one goes to the gym everyday, eats small portions every meal and starts dating chronically.

It is now only the 2nd week of the year, and already some of these updates are fading away.

The culprit of weakening resolve? Enthusiasm.

I have come to distrust enthusiasm. It is the eager salesman selling you fantastic illusions.  It gives you a false sense of confidence. High on enthusiasm, many a person has struggled through a few short weeks of excitement only to fizzle out when the mirage of success disappears.

Having vision and direction is very important, but you can’t just hurry there in a flurry.

Anyone who has run a 2.4km for IPPT before knows that you cannot expend all your energy straightaway. One needs to pace himself for the first kilometre and put in more work as the run comes closer to the finish.

A waterfall doesn’t begin life with powerful cascading might. It starts as little trickles from this stream and that, collecting its energy until it becomes a roaring force strong enough to power turbines.

Yet we are human and enthusiasm is very exciting to us. We want to pack our bags straight away. Make big decisions straight away. We want to jump into the abyss of commitment and hope to free fall to our destination in double quick time.

Rather, one should learn to curb one’s enthusiasm. Know where you’re going, navigate in that direction and start the journey with a crawl.

Especially so with relationships.

As long as you know where you’re headed, you will enjoy the journey as much as you will the destination. In a relationship (any relationship actually), you have to give each other space, give each other time. In a world of two-minute noodles and fast action Panadol pills, we have perhaps lost the art of patience.

And in love, well…. you can’t hurry love, you’ll just have to wait. Love on the fast lane results in confusion. Halfway through the dating process you may abruptly feel that you’ve been rushed into do-or-die decisions, with so little space for mistake. It doesn’t have to be like this. Take it easy, walk slowly. Allow each other time to take care of each other, to let trust brew, to let love bake in the warmth of patience.

Love comes eventually at its own pace, not at your beck and call.

So if you’ve been pumping the irons at the gym everyday, if you’ve been subjecting yourself to salads at every meal. If you’ve been excitedly “making things work at your New Year’s resolution”, my advice is: stop.

Stop and then think about how you can make your resolution more sustainable. With a clear head and a managed heart, you may just end the year with the six-pack you desire.


(*ahem* yes, I don’t have a six-pack. But i’m getting there – I know i am 😛 )


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