On sticking with our New Year’s plans
Come tomorrow, January 1, 2016, millions and millions of people –– including us Bajans –– will welcome the day of new beginnings. Designated traditionally as the day of initiation of resolutions, we shall begin our very new pursuance of goals.
For many of us Barbadians it will be the day of the beginning of that battle plan to survive 2016 –– if our Government somehow can’t help us to make it one of our best years yet.
The year 2015 has not been at all hot –– outside of the weather, thanks to the El Nino effect. Food prices ignominiously failed to descend, the cost of living barefacedly elevating itself to our bedevilment. In the mix, the 17.5 per cent VAT, initially intended to be temporary, if we would recall, has become an economic fixture, to be partnered any time now by a new 22 per cent VAT charge on account of the smartphone.
The freeness brigade has continued to baulk about having to contribute towards the costs of tertiary education and health care, with a declining quality of service to boot at our very own Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and the Minister of Finance unwittingly prepped thousands of us for an aneurysm as he prognosticated on even more taxation by the delivery of the next Budget.
And while, as a Christian nation majorly, we are well aware man shall not live by bread alone, we are not remotely mistaken that we can exist without appropriate access to water –– whose ease to having, ironically, we used to boast to the rest of the world. We were even known for having the purest and best on Earth.
Now a $63 million admittedly elegant edifice for Barbados Water Authority manager and staff takes precedent over ensuring proper and efficient piping and water delivery to hundreds of Barbadian voters across parishes, some of whose farm animals could see their demise through persistent thirst.
Still, it would be in our interest as a people not to dwell unduly on these challenges, bad breaks and disappointments we have suffered in 2015. Not that they do not matter; but what is crucial is that we summon the courage it will take to face the New Year –– from the very day tomorrow of 2016.
Of course, with daring and boldness has been the custom of many of us initiating our New Year resolutions, only to slump back within months, if not weeks, into our old habits –– as former calypso monarch Serenader would say, moving “one step forward, two steps backward”.
Our New Year’s resolutions will have to be more than desires; more than a wish list. Our plans, goals and declarations for 2016 must be so sustainable that it guarantees a destination of hopefulness –– a landing place that absents itself from despair, torment and woe.
If each of us will make only one resolution for the New Year, we must so rewire our brain that we surely grasp exactly what that resolution for 2016 will demand of us. That in itself will go a long way towards helping us turn our desires into reality.
For many of us, the resolution of losing weight and exercising is first on our list every year. It comes up every year because it’s that nagging reminder that we failed miserably at the same resolution a year before, and then we fear being among the 40 plus stroke victims each month –– the classic example of desire without commitment.
If we want to succeed at this one for a change, there are a million diet plans out there, but only one has stood the test of time: the eat less and exercise more scheme.
We need to make a road map of our own personal destination and complete the course. A year from now we must be able to tell ourselves it was worth it.
The mistake some of us make is being motivated by greed and impatience, when it ought to be by keeping our word. And just maybe if we can satisfy the condition of consistency we will not need to make the same New Year’s resolution in the following year yet to come, since we will want to stick with the successfully working plan.
Another effective incentive towards consistency in resolutions might be to raise the cost of breaking them –– and not just that which is financial.
And while we make a success of these New Year to-dos, let us not forget those who possess not the will we have, and show them our neighbourly love and compassion.
We might even make the best of Bob Dylan’s cryptic “he not busy being born is busy dying”, seeing 2016 as the year of our rebirth.
A prosperous and happy New Year!