In December, I came across some young black people who had been going to the Garden Route for the last five years. They told me about their adventures — how much running, cycling, swimming (In that Atlantic Ocean water. Madness), hiking they’d done over the years. Do you know what I’ve done over the years? For the over 20 years I’ve been going? Reading books (I once read 12 books in one December), eating carbs, drinking and passing out at around 3pm. That was my sweet rhythm.
I must admit I felt a little bad, but that feeling lasted for 10 minutes as I sipped my gin and tonic and continued to listen with genuine interest. I was not about to sacrifice the only time of the year that I truly got to do nothing and eat like a madman, for sports activities and health. I’d get back to that in January.
New Year. New Me, right?
I guess I can safely speak on this topic now. It’s been a month, and so we’re a month into our resolutions, looking at them with side eyes or completely thriving. I’m somewhere in between.
Being an overachiever, I once started working on a resolution of fitness in November, anticipating a summer body in January. I joined the gym and worked out intensely. By January, I was running 5 and 10km races with ease and life was truly good. Since then, I’ve only managed to walk 10,000 steps about three times in the period between 14 December and 5 January. Guess what? I don’t care.
Beyond the pressures of society, we tend to put insurmountable pressures on ourselves to have the year of our lives. The year that we will thrive. The year that we are unstoppable. And then fail midway through the year. Fall into disappointment. And so, the cycle begins.
I’m sure you’ve read countless articles about how you need to set realistic goals. But do you know what else you need to do? Set goals that are only, truly for you. That would make you happy, healthy and successful.
Of course, we should be aiming to better ourselves. But ask yourself this, what are the motivations for change? Christine Mari, an illustrator, wants “[her] motivation to change to start from a place of [self-love], not self-loathing.” Change is inevitable and as humans we need to evolve.
I can tell you right now, I’ve had years where I contended with resolutions, mostly for the benefit of others. Myers-Briggs says that one of my basic characteristics is that I tend to serve the common good even if that ‘good’ isn’t good for me. Yikes! But what does that mean in this context?
This year, I’ve taken on the task to do my Masters. I’d been thinking about this for years on end. The timing was never right. Other opportunities took priority. And honestly, I just wanted to have proud parents. Then, I discovered a programme. A digital business programme at Wits Business School that perfectly aligned with where I was in life and it didn’t exist until last year. (That sentence was not sponsored by WBS). So here we are, resolution in progress.
Do you know what else you need to do? Set goals that are only, truly for you. That would make you happy, healthy and successful.
Noluthando Ndlovu (@nolulove) prefers vision boards. She says, “they’re like working on things that you want to happen. They may manifest without pressure during the course of the year”, and when they don’t, you can better accept that it was not meant for that year and add them to the subsequent year’s vision board. Interesting perspective because I think that’s exactly what my resolutions are. A will to the universe.
However you choose to approach 2020 — whether resolutions, vision boards or what Saeed Jones’s mother coined, determinations — do so with you in mind.
You do you, boo!
– Ayanda Moholi is a digital technology consultant, having over 8 years of experience in the digital industry. She’s worked on brands such as Nedbank, Woolworths and Nestle. She’s a Masters candidate for Digital Business at Wits Business School.