THE MAKING OF A NEW YOU: A New Year Reflection Rev. Fr. Boniface Nkem Anusiem Ph.D.

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What makes the Year New? Look around; the things around you have not changed from what they were in the previous year. Think about it; we live in the same houses, driving the same cars, having the same family and friends; we could still have the same job and other things. So, nothing changed around us. Could the newness of the year be reduced to merely the change of our date and time? No!

The ideal New Year should be a profound personal transition, not just the change of time and date because those two are constantly changing. Most people enlist various things they would like to achieve at every beginning of the year, but they often end up just having a list of unaccomplished tasks.

The blessings of the New Year would not come from what you say you would do. They would not come from what you write in your notes. They would emerge from what you do. The characters you display, your attitudes, and habits would become the fruits of the new you. The New Year is just the new you; yes! The latest version of you.

Generating the “New You” in the “New Year!”

I have heard and seen people make declarations and resolutions at the beginning of each year, but they end up worse than they were in the previous years; why? The reason is not far-fetched. We do not start from within us. We are often preoccupied with what we want to achieve out there, especially to win people’s admiration, while neglecting our needed inner housekeeping. Let us look at some highpoints that go into the making of  the “New You” in the New Year.

Keep the Useful Things

Not everything about the past year was bad. The experience of the covid-19 pandemic made most people resent the year 2020 completely. Some people feel that there was nothing good in the past year, while some prefer to say that the only good thing about the year 2020 was that it ended. That’s is false and irrational.

There are many good things an active mind would have learned from the past year. We had profound lessons from the virus. Did we not rediscover the power of home during the lockdown and the truth of the statement that there is no place like home? Did we not discover that the world needs God more than anything? What about our resilience and our revamped survival disposition? We emerged from 2020 stronger than ever. With that strength, we shall face the challenges of the coming years, and we shall win!

So, keep all the useful things you had in the previous year. Remember that it was not completely bad; at least you have your life as many people could not make it even a few hours to the new year.

Discard the Useless Old Things

If you are sincere, at least to yourself, you would agree that there are useless things that need to go in your life. They may be attitudes, habits, and even friends that keep you stagnated in a comfort zone. By the way, listen, “your comfort zone may not be your conquer zone.” 

Take some time to examine yourself very well. Self-understanding is an important key to better living. How much of yourself do you know? If you can tell yourself the truth about yourself, you will understand that certain things you do are simply ruining your life while you have the illusion that you are happy. In life, do not force anything or anybody for favors; do your best and leave the rest to God!

Keep the old and unproductive things away from your life. In Isaiah’s prophecy (43:18), God advised us to forget past things and not consider them anymore. Do not bring your bad attitudes and habit into the “New You” in the New Year. In Matthew’s Gospel (9:17), Jesus advised against putting new wine into old wineskin as the skin would burst and the wine lost!

Discard those past hurts, forgive the past, let go, live, laugh, and love.

Start New Things

To start something new, one needs to disconnect from one’s present attachment to another reality. Let us take a clue from the story of Abraham. When God wanted to begin a new project with him, God asked him to disconnect from his father’s house and his homeland and head towards another land (Genesis 12:1-2). Abraham’s blessing could only come when he disconnects from his homeland. Joseph had to disconnect from his family to receive his blessings in Egypt, which benefited his family.

To start something new, you need to be purposeful and committed. There may not be a rising if you do not detach from something below. Please think of the airplane that flies; it must separate from the ground following aerodynamics’ principles, particularly the lift, weight, drag, and thrust elements. You can also be on a supersonic speed to make for a “New You” if you decide to disconnect from so many unnecessary things and people in your life.

To start something new, you need to change your mindset. A changed life is nothing short of a changed mindset. Okay, let us put it in another way, your life can only change when you change your mindset; “your mindset sets the miles of your life.” Albert Einstein defines insanity as doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result; that is a sick mindset right there.

To start something new, you need to work on some of the major defaults of human nature. 

Laziness: It starts from the mind. Laziness happens when you give yourself excuses for not doing what you are supposed to do. 

Procrastination: This is one of the consequences of laziness. You leave what you need to do now to a later time, and you may never do them.

Distraction: This is a growing problem in the world today. Many people are mentally sick because of social and conventional media distractions through their phones and television. The mobile phone is has become the god of distraction.

Comparison: In this journey called life, do not measure your success with what is going on in other people’s lives. Hold on to what makes you different. The Psalmist says: “you are fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). Wait for your due season; it would come if you do not give up (Galatians 6:9).

Moving Forward! 

Life is never on the reverse. Do not expect things to go back to the way they used to be. Rise and embrace the new beginning. Please, take these final words seriously: “From now on, I will always prepare, I will pray constantly, and I will persist.”

God bless you and have an amazing New Year with a “New you.”

Fr. Bonnie.

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