So 2023 is here with us at last.
The speed of time these days only confirms the adage that time and space wait for no man. While one celebrates today, with yesterday gone, one is not even sure what tomorrow would bring as tomorrow is not guaranteed.
Nonetheless, while the privilege meets us, it sets in motion, a review of one’s life with plans to take care and take charge with the future in mind.
Seven critical truths related to attitudes and habits came to mind as I considered how one could safely traverse the storms of a new year. Bearing in mind research I recently came across, one may need to deliberately cultivate some habits in navigating the unknown.
According to research by the University College of London, it would take an average of 66 days to form a new habit. This means that to build and imbibe these critical truths for 2023, cultivating new habits in this New Year starts like today. Here we go.
The number one truth for the New Year is patience. The remaining patience not only makes one confident and collected, it is also good therapy for a calm, relaxed and healthy heart.
No wonder in the Twi language, there is a saying that ‘patience can move mountains’. Literally, it means patience is an asset. When you have it, you are a conqueror, including dissecting even tiny ants.
In a year of great expectations, pursue patience if you do not already have it. It would help overcome barriers.
One big stealer of joy is anxiety. That is my second truth. Let us deal with worry and stay positive. Why worry when you cannot add a single day to your life? Looking at the dark side of things is a habit that puts needless pressure on one’s health.
It is normal to feel overwhelmed in a depressing economy, an unsettled world with no end in sight. But the Bible has many examples of teachings on staying positive and free from worry. For example, Matthew 6:25 directs one to look at birds. They never sow, reap nor gather into barns yet the heavenly Father looks after them.
2022 has gone with its pains and anxieties. 2023 is here so time to empty the basket and start another journey with a spirit of positivity.
The third truth is getting rid of guilt. Is there some guilt crippling your life? By now you should know that guilt entangles and makes one unproductive, it weighs one down and leaves huge scars on the mind.
Free yourself by coming to terms with that which is weighing you down if it means making amends and apologising to someone you hurt in the past. Make plans to nip everything in the bud early in this New Year before it destroys your peace.
Are your finances a source of worry? The truth is that you are not alone so just hold it, take charge and focus on simple things to turn one’s financial pressures around in 2023. It is painful that some individual life savings, four years on, are locked up with no hope in mind.
The worse disappointment is the recent talk about “haircut” on the little other investments held in government bonds and which had always been considered the safest.
It is time to learn some life lessons on financial management with a focus on one’s disposable income. Try turning around any old stuff tucked away rather than spending on new things.
It is time to start a vegetable garden in one’s backyard to support one’s budget as well as cut down on unnecessary waste. Better times come out of austerity, quitters never win. The good old days will bounce back in 2023.
Taking care and taking charge also means being a good citizen and contributing to the wellness of one’s community. It gives one a good feeling guided by a positive mind.
So focus a fifth truth on the heart of helping to contribute or setting an example for a better cleaner environment. It takes one determined person to start a commendable impact for others to follow.
So this new year, vow to be active in a clean community. Take charge of the weedy areas outside your home and be mindful about what you throw out especially plastics. In the interest of a greener look, get the children involved, grow a tree this New Year or contribute towards fixing a common street light in your neighbourhood.
One cannot go through a new year without focusing on eating well and exercising for a healthy body. Eat less processed foods and more nutritious local foods. Exercising is always a difficult discipline but if you join hands with some neighbours and make it a routine to walk, at least three times per week, you have started well.
The dusty exercise bicycles and treadmills packed away should be brought out this New Year as you invite a neighbour to come to join you to shed off some calories.
The last and perhaps the most important truth this 2023 is to focus on one’s Anchor, the sustainer of life, God Almighty or Allah, depending on one’s faith. It is time to fetch one’s Bible or Koran and decide to read a chapter each day.
Live by it, prescribe it to a neighbour, win souls and see what favours will come your way this New Year.
Happy and prosperous New Year.
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