I wrote this a couple of weeks ago. I thought to share it here.
It’s 2015 and it is looking like 2014 already. The Poltical bickering between Labour and the Conservative party has started again, this time it is about the NHS, the deficit and Immigration. In Nigeria, 2015 is looking like 2014. Or is it not? As Fela said, ‘suffering and smiling’ is still the same. The banners which say ‘corruption is not allowed here’ looms across many institutions but corruption is still one of Nigeria’s main problems.
The Chibouk girls are still missing, Boko Haram is still wrecking havoc across Yobe, Borno and Adamawa States in Northern Nigeria, massacres are still being carried out in Northern cities, suicide bombers now use little girls to carry out dastardly attacks, Brent crude dips below $50, Ebola is still ravaging parts of West Africa, power supply is still epileptic in Nigeria, and Nigerians are suffering from an inflated pound compared to a deflated Naira. Plus, It is a count down to the elections. The camp is pitched in two sides, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) and Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
Before the election campaign gets hotter, here are some useful tips on how to make the best of the new unfolding year.
Hopefully, by the time you read this article, you have not already given up on your resolutions. The challenges you set for yourself is beginning to have the desired effect on you and your dreams. Many people have written on the NewYear and how new year resolutions are useful to take you to the next level. Some claim the start of the year is always a great time to start something new even though new things can be started at any time of the year. If you haven’t started on your new year resolutions or you have not given up on your resolutions, here are some ideas to help you make a fresh start. Or a fresher start of you will.
For starters, it is important to note that no one simply changes because there has been a change in the calendar. Most experts agree that it takes 21 days for a habit to set or for a new pattern to form. Simply put, it is also a case of mind over matter. Setting challenges and seeing it through in spite of difficulties.
Mark Zuckerberg started a book club as part of his new year’s resolution declaring 2015 as the ‘year of books’. You can join him and millions around the world by reading two books a month or a book a month. Better still, you can start your own book club- online book clubs are more interesting and easier to follow. Another idea is to read and analyse an ancient text this year. It could be the Bible or any other book that is guaranteed to improve the inner life or thought life. It’s easy to read on an android and Ebooks are definitely the trend.
Secondly, every year, most people decide to loose weight. By middle February, they have given up. Instead of going on another yo yo diet, a new year resolution could be to eat carbohydrates twice a week, eat more fruits and vegetables or to reduce food portions. This is a good time to give up or reduce the intake of meals like pounded yam and Amala. Resolutions must be easy to follow otherwise they will be discarded and not generate any new change. For some, it is hard to give up these meals, but cutting down the portions taken is possible.
Most people decide to join a gym at the start of every year. We pay huge sums to the gym but we never show up. Instead of following that dead pattern again, why not invest in a cross trainer that can be installed in the sitting room in front of the television so as you are watching the news or listening to your music on your iPods, you are training away? The idea here is thinking outside the box. Doing little things to make a change. One hour a day during the Network news is better than paying for gym membership and never showing up.
Why not schedule time alone to work on self? Trifling habits like perpetual lateness enshrined as ‘African time’ and procrastination can be sorted out through ‘alone time’ growth sessions. Mental paradigms can only be shifted if we take time out to deal with reasons for personal inefficiencies.
If you are over 35, the start of the year is a good time to do a health MOT. Whilst you are at it, check for diabetes, blood sugar and blood pressure levels. You might need to cut off salt or reduce your intake of sugar.
Women are realising that the new look in town is the natural look. So the start of the year could be a great time to save on the Brazilian and go natural. The natural or ‘Earth’ look does not cost a fortune but it requires a mindset that my natural look is beautiful. What is the ‘earth’ look? The earth look has no frills, nothing artificial, elegant and actually sophisticated. It’s basically you using your own hair as opposed to fake extensions.
Men who frequent bars before they go home could decide that the need to cut down on their smoking and alcohol intake. There is another idea that runs nearly parallel to this: it is to attend less of ‘owanbe parties’. These are parties that add no real value, they are places where people gather to eat, drink and smoke for fun of it. These are also parties where comparative analysis takes place. Who has the bigger car? Whose cloth/fabric is the most expensive? These are redundant conversations with lazy minds.
Spending time with the wife and kids could take the place of the ‘owanbe’ parties. Most women would agree with me that they would like their partners to spend more time with them. By eliminating the unnecessary social gatherings, couples could actually invest in themselves and their relationships.
2015 is a year to give back to the community, church and to God. One way of doing this is by adopting a child. Yes, adopting a child: giving as child an opportunity. You don’t have to bring them to live with you, but your can sponsor their education and keep abreast with their progress. Many people already sponsor their junior ones through school. If there is scope for more, adopt a disabled child, give such a child hope to live in a tough world as ours.
You could also fundraise for your local charity. In this day and age where people struggle to keep their non governmental organisations afloat, sharing the love could mean helping them get money. Charity owners know this is so important and they couldn’t thank you enough.
Politically, this is the year to become a card carrying member of a political party. Better still, why not run for office yourself to improve the lot of humanity. Whist this is ongoing, plan to give a talk a TED Talk. The world is waiting to hear what you can share from your wealth of knowledge and experience.
Local businesses are the life wire of our country. A new year’s resolution could be to only buy from our local farmers what they produce. Buying Nigerian made goods can only become trendy if we support local businesses who are trying to produce Nigerian made goods against all odds.
Finally, live life. Write your book this year, fall in love with your self again this year. Do things with your self to show you that you care. It’s only a change of calendar and to be honest, most of us are never going to change, but we can try to make our lives better one resolution at a time.