So what’s your new year resolution?
Most people would feel quite wary if posed the above question, thanks to their totally unexpected and unusual experience of 2020! If you get only 2 out of 12 months in a year, you cannot be expected to fulfil your resolutions! In fact, going by the above analogy, 16-17% achievement should be considered good enough, given the time one had. Unfortunately, the problem is that these new year resolutions are either 100% fulfilled or else treated as failed promises that we made to ourselves! For example you either quit smoking or don’t quit, go for medical check up or don’t , travel to your favourite destination or not, acquire a particular skill or not – it’s all black and white; there’s no room for shades of grey!
Given the persistence of pandemic and uncertainty associated with our day to day lives, even the year 2021 resolutions that are either black or while may not help us much other than giving us frustration at the end of the year for having failed to have achieved anything! Therefore, it may be much better if make new year resolutions around efforts that are journeys and not destinations. I have tried to create a library of such resolutions from which, we can select one or two:
(1) I will try to read at least one book.
(2) One day in a month I will skip watching TV
(3) I will try and make at least one friend this year.
(4) One day in a month, I will undertake partial fast by giving up either rice or chapati that day
(5) I will try to eat at least one fruit everyday.
(6) I will turn vegan for at least one day in a month.
(7) I will visit my place of faith at least once every quarter
(8) I will relieve my wife of cooking at least one evening every month or I will give at least one evening free every month to my husband to be with his friends.
(9) I will watch at least one Oscar or national award winning Hollywood/Bollywood classic during the year.
(10) I will try learning at least one new recipe.
The above is only indicative and not comprehensive.
As you will notice that above resolutions are not difficult to follow ( and in fact many of us follow all the above several times ) and can be readily fulfilled. The only problem is that one still needs grit and determination, for it’s my experience that you will be offered chapati on a non chapati day, you will botch up the new dish whose recipe you learnt over Internet and will never try your hand again, you will be tested with the choicest of kebabs during the vegan day , the day you are scheduled to visit temple, church or your preferred place of worship, an urgent task will suddenly come up, your tryst for a new friend will fall flat et al. This, in fact, was explained to me at length by the head of a Jain family with whom I got quite close at one point of time. The senior gentleman would give up tea one day, milk the other and rice another day. It looked quite simple on the face of it but it was quite difficult to practice.
The moral of the story is that we may choose easier resolutions, but fulfilment could still elude us. Better is to embark on a journey of overall betterment!