It is often said that a thousand-mile journey begins with the first solitary, unsteady step. As humans, we are always trying to find ways and means of improving our lives, and have thoroughly and meaningfully adopting the saying “there is always room for improvement”. The fixation that many people have of setting, for the most part, unreasonable and unreachable goals at the beginning of each year, may well be rooted in that belief.
Well, 2017 is still a brand new year, so what better time to make that Herculean effort to improve our lives than by embarking on that never-ending quest that, for many of us, begins with our New Year’s Resolutions?
Although our well meaning intentions hardly survive the first week in January, never mind being able to find the “stick-to-itiveness” that lasts up until February, it is the thought of starting anew with all the hope that the new year brings, that keeps us making the same resolves and doggedly pursuing the list of to-dos and not-to-dos, year after year, even but only for a few days.
Here in Antigua & Barbuda, people are no different. We dream in terms of successes and of being successful, rather than to think of ourselves as being a failure, which as we see it, is surely someone else’s plight.
The need to believe in something that transcends the here and now is real; we long for the days when our lives will be a state of pure bliss; we will be happy; find immense wealth (maybe win the lottery); find our true love or the right partner. In fact we long for the time when we can exist in that perfect world in which all our dreams, hopes and aspirations have finally become reality.
So, with real seriousness, we begin, on January 1, to prepare for that euphoric state.
Topping the list of our New Year’s resolutions should be, and for a great number of people is, the pursuit of good health; for without sound minds and perfectly tuned bodies that are performing at optimal levels, the joy of savouring the other achievements would be but an anticlimax.
For this reason, many people begin an exercise regimen to include walking, hiking, enrolling in a gym, or choosing from among many other physical activities with which they are most comfortable. From observation of those who have reached the stage of realisation that that is the first step towards taking control of their lives, exercise is the most popular resolve. When coupled with dietary modifications, it usually lasts throughout the year and longer.
So, for those who have already resolved that the pursuit of good health in 2017 is priority, we say kudos to you and please encourage a buddy, a loved one, or a neighbour to do likewise. In fact, that baby step, or two, or three can very well be the beginning of a burgeoning exercise or health club, group, or association. Take action. Once you know what you need to do, take that big step and do it; never mind the circumstances from where you have to start.
Many of a certain age group may remember hearing or repeating the rhyme, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man (or woman) healthy, wealthy and wise!” Upon careful analysis, we believe therein lie the true secrets to prosperity and happiness, though we admit that setting goals is healthy and even necessary if we are to function at all in this world.
We also need to show gratitude for the countless blessings in our lives that are often overlooked and taken for granted. Remember, it’s not about the little things, but about what they add up to. So, take the time out in 2017 to acknowledge and appreciate the simple pleasures in life, especially those to which no price tags are attached, that were created by a loving Father for our enjoyment.
Enjoy the support and love of family and friends, and be careful how we treat strangers, for sometimes, we may very well be entertaining angels in disguise.
To all of our readers, we extend heartfelt wishes for a blessed, healthy, and prosperous New Year.