New Year Resolution: Do make one!

December 29, 2016

The countdown to 2017 has begun. It is time to wish each other a happy new year; and make resolutions.

Making New Year Resolutions is an ancient tradition. Ancient Romans used to begin each year by making promises to Janus – the God after whom the month of January is named. Over time the concept evolved and the resolutions moved into the mould of self-improvement. Now, we find them in the arena of enhancing knowledge or skills (like learning a musical instrument, a new language etc.); doing things for family/improving relationships (like going on a family trip, spending time with children/parents, forgiving someone); and taking care of health (like quitting smoking, going for exercise to loose weight) etc.

A 2007 study from University of Boston found that 88% of the people who make New Year’s resolutions fail. Top two reasons for this are: setting unrealistic goals; and not keeping track of the progress.

Why should one make New Year’s Resolutions when they are more likely to fail?

The fear of failure should not stop us. There is an inherent element of failure in all plans. Isn’t it? A successful person is the one who sets realistic goals, makes plans to achieve them and executes them as best as possible. So, go head and do make a New Year’s Resolution for 2017. Instead of being overwhelmed by the majority, get inspiration from the 12% people who did succeed in achieving what they had resolved to do. Be with the achievers.

screen-shot-2016-12-29-at-10-01-41Make a new beginning. Don’t let the failures of past affect your determination to succeed. Forgive those how have hurt you. Forgiveness will not only improve relationships, it will free you of bitterness and negativity and you will be able to pursue your dreams with full energy.

I wish all a very happy and successful 2017. May it open new doors for you and bring peace in the world.




Happiness is an attitude

December 31, 2008


This is my last post for the year 2008. Few hours later, we shall be saying good bye to 2008 and welcoming 2009, wishing each other Happy New Year. So, I feel like writing on happiness. What should we do to be happy? Can happiness be created even though we may not have control over events that happen to us or around us?


No one is happy all the time. We all go through failures, setbacks, frustration that makes us feel low and unhappy. What is important is to be able to come out of such moments as quickly as possible. That is why I believe happiness is an attitude.


Let’s first believe that happiness can be created, if not always but most of the times. A two-pronged approach will help in developing an attitude of creating happiness.  


First, do things that make you happy. I used to enjoy playing Cricket with my friends. Even when we finished college and started working, we used to find time to play on weekends. It kept us in touch with each other, and made us all happy. Then, life took friends to different places, making it difficult for us to meet so regularly. Now I play with my children and their friends on weekends. A short game with them gives me the same amount of pleasure as it does to them. This is just one example. We can pursue a hobby, learn a new skill, read a book or watch a movie to make us happy. Make a list of things that make you happy, and find time to do them. This could be one of your new year’s resolutions.  


Second, find your happiness in happiness of others. Ask yourself: What can I do today to make someone happy? Just look around and see people in your surroundings. You don’t have to do big things. Small acts like spending time with a lonely or elderly person will bring cheers to both. Buying gifts for those who generally don’t get gifts will do wonders to your spirits. One of my friends told me that he visits hospitals whenever he has the time to meet with poor patients who are admitted there. He spends time with them, buys them fruits and medicines. He says, “ the day I do this, I feel so happy with myself. I look forward to my next visit to them”. Through our small acts, we can help people, making them as well as ourselves happy.

 To conclude, let me share a couplet from a famous Urdu poet:

Ghar se masjid hai bahut door chalo yun hi sahi,

Kisi rote hue bachche ko hansaya jaye.

(the mosque is too far from home. So be it.

let’s make a wailing child laugh instead)


Wishing all a very Happy New Year 2009!


S.Mohammad Afsar/Opening doors