2018: Let Wisdom be the Arbiter of our New Year Resolutions

2018: Let Wisdom be the Arbiter of our New Year Resolutions
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Dr. Shahid Amin Trali

The world is a great place but this life is short yet beautiful. Let’s not waste a single moment of this beautiful life. Since the New Year has arrived, some good people may have indulged in retrospection and reevaluation of some of their life choices. Well, now we too need to think deeply and prepare a list of important changes in 2018 to make our life better.
Here are some suggestions.
Good manners have always been a key element of a good society and make it easier for people to connect with others. Let’s avoid offending and troubling people and ensure that others perceive us as good and trustworthy persons. It requires a lion’s heart to accept our failures and apologize even to the weakest. Let’s know the right manners, deal with rude people in the right way and learn how to say no. This world will be a happier place if we value humanity and contribute in as many ways as possible. Let’s volunteer and give more to charity. Let’s also devote our time and energy in helping those sufferers who are in need. There are people who cannot work for one reason or another or simply cannot find work. It is in these situations that social workers have to apply themselves to ensure that these unfortunate people receive some support and wean them away from poverty.
Money is not everything in life, but money is something very important in this world. In addition to the basic requirements, money helps us achieve our life’s goals and supports our family, education, health care, charity, adventure and fun and so on. But, money has its own challenges too. It can just as easily make us exhausted, escapist, selfish, and lonely. How much do we really need is a strong dilemma? It is not bad to earn more and more money. But, even the best of money can be little if we are not using it properly. Let’s spend money on essentials and use it smartly and efficiently. It is rightly said, “Whether you have a Maruti or BMW, the road remains the same. Whether you travel economy or business class, the destination doesn’t change. Whether you have a Titan or a Rolex, time is the same. Whether you have Apple or Samsung, people who call you remain the same. There is nothing wrong in dreaming a luxurious life. What needs to be taken care of is not to let the need become greed. Needs can always be met but greed can never be fulfilled.” Let’s attempt to find bliss in the small things and not let problems bring us down. Let’s learn to be happier with our life.
We should also save money. Most rich people are a lot like you and me. The truth is that most “rich” people live very normal lives but they just know a secret. Real wealth comes from spending less than what we earn, again and again, month after month, year after year. It’s a slow and steady process. Surely, it may not sound exciting. But, it is the definite way to reach our biggest financial goals. We don’t need complicated spreadsheets with countless spending categories, and we don’t need to be financial experts to understand how much money we can spend. We simply need to follow the 50-20-30 Rule. The 50-20-30 Rule will help us build a budget by using three spending categories: 50% of our income should go to living expenses and essentials. This includes our rent, utilities, and things like groceries and transportation for work. 20% of our income should go to financial goals, meaning our savings, investments, and debt-reduction payments (if we have any debt, such as credit card payments). 30% of our income should be used for flexible spending. This is everything we buy that we want but don’t necessarily need (like money spent on travel etc.) (www.forbes.com).
Let’s become more organized. It doesn’t matter how much time we have on our hands if we can’t manage it properly – we’ll just spend most of the day running around aimlessly. The serious concern that has gripped the society is time mismanagement. Undoubtedly being timely and punctuality is a virtue that is held in high regard in our society and being on time is treated a sign of a professional, reliable and a caring person. Ah! But no one cares. Let’s treat time as money and wasting it as losing a precious asset of life.
The biggest barrier that keeps us from reaching our goals and objectives is the desire to calm down and do something amusing instead of putting in our best efforts. We all need to put in a lot of courage to change this bad habit. Fear and insecurity are also the cause of several problems. Let’s control our fears rather than overcoming these; this will enable us to shed off a lot of the insecurities that we have. As the wit has said , “ courage is not the absence of fear but mastery of it”. Moreover, stress they say is one of the biggest killers out there and hinders our progress. But stress to some limits is good only if it improves our performances and outcomes. And, not all stress is bad. In small doses, stress can help us accomplish objectives and prevent us from getting hurt. Our bodies are designed to handle small doses of stress but not long-term, chronic stress. Let’s control our stress to make it contributive and not let it take the charge.
Let’s learn more and more from authentic and reliable sources and use our knowledge in the right ways. Let’s turn our hobby into a promising career. If we could all manage to find a successful life ahead through our own interest, fun and productivity, what better we need in life? This can immensely contribute to the society as passion is the lead generator towards good performance and outcomes. Let’s not force something in life that has no future ahead.
Social media they say has serious and negative implications if not used properly. If we are consistently spending hours long every day on social media, it’s time to change. Good company matters a lot. Let’s spend more time with the people that matter most and who can bring more confidence and help us rise.
As the saying goes, ‘sound mind in a sound body’, we must stick to healthy habits and improve our concentration and mental skills. We must start eating healthier food, and less food overall. Switching to a healthier diet can be incredibly tricky when we are surrounded by cheap, junk food. However, with determination, we can slowly develop healthier eating habits. Our strong resolution must be not to waste food and feed humans who are hungry in neighborhood, streets, roadside etc. Let’s be kind to insects and animals, birds etc. Let’s quit alcoholic drinks and cigarettes altogether which has put our life in danger. It will not only endanger our health, but can burn a hole in our wallets as well. Staying fit and healthy should be our top priority, but we are scared of doctors and avoid hospitals and often waiting for our condition to significantly worsen. Regular checkups are a must, no matter how healthy we feel at the moment. Let’s see our doctor more often. Dress sense gives us power, confidence and an advantage in seeking good response as a student or a job seeker or as a professional. Let’s learn how to dress with style.
Let’s also try to become more responsible citizens in society and think deeply before making a decision. It is important to take responsibility for our own actions and avoid blaming others. Let’s gain control over our feelings and think more rationally, even during emotionally charged conflict situations. Let’s not be destructive to our rich environment and safeguard our richer resources. Let’s treat public assets as our own and value them most as a treasure.
One of the best ways to make sure that we actually achieve our goals and objectives is to use implementation intentions. The basic idea is that we must set a clear, concrete trigger followed by an action that we’ll take after the trigger. Our trigger should be something specific and obvious. According to one of the leading time management firms Franklin Covey, there are about one third of resolutioners who don’t make it past the end of January. Majority of these resolutions fail because they’re not the right resolutions. The major reason may be it is too vague and we don’t have a realistic plan for achieving our resolution. Our goals need to be smart — and SMART. That’s an acronym coined in the journal Management Review in 1981 for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. It works for management, but it can also work greatly in setting our resolutions. Let’s be SMART in our new-year resolution. Let’s pledge to be good humans in this beautiful world for peace and development to prevail. Let’s find happiness and plan firmly for a very Happy New Year 2018.

—The author is an Assistant Professor, at ITM University, Gwalior. He can be reached at:dr.shahidamin15@gmail.com