New Year resolutions are about self-discipline

Despite the bad press they get each year, there are many who take it seriously, and hence become better off and organised

13:47 December 31, 2017

Abu Dhabi/Dubai: With the passing of twelve months and a new leaf in the calender reminding us that an entire year has passed by, it somehow seems befitting to jump right back on the bandwagon of making new year resolutions. Much as this tradition is mocked, and even outright dismissed by many, the truth is, there is no better time than a new year to take stock of your life and commit to bringing about positive changes. Gulf News asked residents to share their new year resolutions and received a largely resolution-prone feedback.


Tracey Thompson, PR consultant

“Although I try every year to make a resolution or two, I rarely stick to them. There are the usual ones — to eat more healthy, keep fit, stop spending so much on clothes, but this year I want to make a conscious effort to stop worrying about things that haven’t happened and may never happen, and to live in the moment.

“Often, I forget how lucky we are as a family to have good health, great friends and to wake up to blue skies every day, with the beach close by. Taking time out to appreciate my life and surroundings more is definitely going to be an aim in 2018.”


Joen Chozas, hospitality and events executive

“I believe New Year resolutions are made to be broken. Last year, I was getting married so I resolved to go on a diet. I managed to keep up to it fifty per cent of the time, but this year my wife Jasmin and I have a new bundle of joy — Yasmin Faith — our daughter. So this year my resolutions are all about the baby and I intend to keep them. Yasmin is our priority and we resolve to not get distracted by our friends or social life and give quality time to her. We also have cut down on personal spending and have resolved to keep our home cleaner for our baby.”


Jogiraj Sikidar, Indian classical music guru and founder of the Malhar Centre for Performing Arts

“I believe in New Year resolutions and every year try and be true to them. Last year, I had one goal — to set up a performing arts centre by the third quarter of 2017 — which I did. This year I have two resolutions — to keep fit and healthy and to create and share good music.”


Omar Kalathingal Mohammad, India, 30, limousine driver

“My plan for the new year is to bring my wife and child from India to live with me, I am really looking forward to it and it makes me positive about 2018. Being away from your family is tough. Other goals I have set out for myself in 2018 are career growth, increasing my salary. In the UAE, there is a lot of good opportunities for career progression.”


Mohammad Abdul Wahab, Egypt, 26, assistant marketing and operations manager

“I don’t focus much on making New Year resolutions, but I do believe that the first day of the new year will always be better because of what you have learned from the previous year. Looking forward to 2018, one of my plans is to get married. Career wise, I think 2018 is going to be really good as well. But even if things don’t go to plan, I believe that you always have to be ready for whatever comes your way and just get on with the situation.”


Mohammad Zahir, Emirati, 27, public relations officer

“The New Year is going to be very exciting for me as I am planning to open my own tourism company, it’s going to be a big challenge, but one that I have planned for and so I’m really looking forward to it. I believe that with positive thinking and hard work, I can achieve my goals in 2018. For aspiring entrepreneurs like myself, there is no better place to be other than the UAE.”


How to make resolutions that work

Clinical Psychologist Mary John on the positive impact of resolutions on our life

“Resolutions are nothing but a form of self-discipline and self-control. They can be made during any part of the year. You might resolve to keep up some things in life — let’s say being healthy, exercising, doing your assignments on time — and when you fulfil those, it empowers you. However, the significance of making a resolution on an occasion gives it a special significance. People like taking oaths, make promises during auspicious times of the year like birthdays, death anniversary of loved ones or on festive celebrations,” explained John.

Can resolutions really work like affirmations?

John thinks resolutions work only if they are easy and doable. “Resolutions should be clear, not vague, and should be measurable. The reason behind making a resolution should be clear. Once it is convincing, give yourself easy, light steps to reach your goal.”

John also feels that these goals must be set with realistic time limits. “Remember, it is a new year resolution, so you have the whole year to make it work,” said John.

However, there are some things to keep in mind. “Do not make a resolution for another person. That will not work. It should be made solely for yourself. However, you can make collective group resolution which might also help you stay motivated. Any resolution is a form of self-improvement and hence will work only if there is commitment,” said John.