A Quarterly Check-In

The time between Christmas and Caribbean Carnival is jam-packed with activities. From October to February, sometimes March, it is basically “Soca Season,” with Parang, Soca Parang and Soca taking over. It is a non-stop celebratory period chock-full of gift-wrappings, gift-giving, holiday parties, visiting family and friends, non-stop fete and dozens of crumpled receipts tucked into every glove compartment, purse and wallet. It is a hectic period that can take a toll on our mental and physical health.

Just as December is winding down we feel the need to start over and commit ourselves to beginning the New Year afresh, with brand new energy and ideal goals. As a young child I would make long lists of resolutions, some achievable and some practical and by February I forgot the list even existed. Now? I’m trying a little harder to remember.

Since hitting my thirties I began making resolutions once again. I refer to the list every so often to remind myself of what I set out to accomplish. I even transfer the goals I did not accomplish in the last year, into the New Year’s list. This system has been working well but it still takes a grand effort because life simply gets in the way.

When you’re accustomed to certain habits, it is difficult to establish new ones. On January 1st you can wake up and head straight to the gym because you set out to exercise more this year; two weeks in and you’re already making excuses not to go. I’ve heard that it takes at least three months to form a new habit so it would be really unfair to expect yourself to conquer all of your major resolutions in such a short space of time.

Sometimes situations change and it’s therefore important to take time to evaluate your resolutions and your progress. I tend to check-in on my resolutions in early December each year before trying to rush them all in the last three weeks of the year. In 2018 I accomplished six out of ten. Of the ten things I hoped to accomplish this 2019, three months in and I guess I’m proud to say that I’ve accomplished two so far.

So here I am at the end of March and reminding myself that there are only nine months left to finish that list. While I am feeling badly enough about my lack of major progress, I am able to focus on pushing myself in the 2nd quarter of the year. I am reminding myself that it’s not too late to get started and find new ways to feel inspired and motivated.

Resolutions encourage us to set goals and to work towards them, to develop our strength and sense of perseverance, to promote our self-reliance and to learn from our struggles. So go ahead and set those profound goals during the festive season but don’t forget to go back to them, check-in and monitor your progress. There are plenty of ways to leverage what you have accomplished so far and adjust the other goals to suit your new expectations while you make room for the challenges that may come your way. Whatever you do, be sure to welcome each day with the same positivity and energy as you did on January 1st.

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