Millicent Mugadi

The countdown is on. We are hours away from saying goodbye to 2017, and most people will fall in one of three categories of achieving goals. There are those who had breakthroughs, either unexpected or long-awaited. There are those who slowly but surely ticked the boxes on the list of their goals. And there are those who feel the year has just passed them by with no noticeable achievements to smile about.

Regardless of where you fall, remember: life is a gift and the fact that you are reading this means you made it through the year, and tomorrow will bring with it a chance to go after your goals and dreams one more time.

So, what are your New Year’s resolutions? Or let’s take it a few steps back. Do you believe in making New Year’s resolutions?

If you do, are you deliberate about it? Or is it a subconscious, mindless activity you engage in because, well, that’s what everybody does as the new year unfolds?

WHAT’S AT STAKE

First, let’s get the definition of a resolution. According to good old Google, a resolution is a firm decision to do or not to do something. The key word her is ‘firm’. So for those who have made the same resolution to cut out junk food from their diet and exercise regularly to lose weight for five years, I’ve got news for you: you really haven’t been making a resolution. You have been engaging in mindless behaviour.

Because surely, if you had stuck to your resolution, you would be making a different resolution four years ago, right?

Psychologist Eva Warui says making a resolution is a good idea, but should not be made into a huge, one-time event annually. “Life is about continuous improvement, rather than making a set of rigid goals.”

Warui continues, “Many people break their resolutions because they list too many goals and do not envision how they intend to achieve them. For example, if you want to get a new job, it’s not enough to state that as your goal. You have to determine how you are going to achieve it.

“Journaling becomes an important tool when setting a goal. Buy a simple notebook, put down your resolution and the steps you need to take to achieve them. Remember the ‘Smart’ goals concept? Your goal should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. So let’s put that into practice. Be specific about the job you want. If you have been a sales executive for two years and you have learnt all you need to about the job and it all just feels routine, what next? Maybe the sales manager position or maybe you want to transition to starting your own firm. Go through the Smart list and get on with it. Remember the T: By when do you need to achieve this? Don’t make resolutions without giving yourself a deadline.”

Before you come up with a list of resolutions, it is important to take stock of the year that has been. What have you achieved? What could you have done differently? What lessons have you learned?

Once you have done this, decide the areas of your life that need the most change and set one or two resolutions. It is easier to achieve resolutions when they are not too many. You can always add to your list along the way once you have accomplished the initial ones.

COMMON RESOLUTIONS

These are listed below with advice on how to achieve them:

1. To lose weight. After the Christmas festivities, many people confront the battle of the bulge. Other than the extra weight gained during the holidays, there are some people who just want to lose some stubborn weight.

To do so, there is the obvious: ditch the junk food. Did you know three eggs have about the same number of calories as small bar (about 60g) of chocolate? 

Keep away from sugary foods, exercise and control your portions and you should be well on your way to burning the fat.

2. Get a new job. For those with this resolution, follow Warui’s advice and take calculated risks. Think about why you want to change jobs. Is it that the work has become monotonous (read, boring)? Is the pay poor or both? While some people have quit their job without having another one lined up and have been fortunate not to tarmac for a long time, that is not the same for others. Don’t make hasty decisions. Plan your exit wisely, keeping in mind the rate of unemployment in Kenya is above 30 per cent. If you are thinking of plunging into the world of business full-time, again, proceed with caution. Ensure you have an emergency fund that will sustain you before you break even because this could take a while.

3. Start or end a relationship. Are you stuck in a dead-end relationship? Maybe you said to yourself that 2018 is the year you free yourself from the chains of a relationship that is going nowhere. Whatever the reason is for you wanting to break-up, don’t overanalyse the situation, just do it. We hear of people who have dated for five years only to break up. Time is valuable, there is no need to be in a relationship you are unsure about for years, when your sixth sense is telling you the sell-by date is long gone. Start afresh, focus on yourself and try again.

4. To save. For the savers, some useful tools include the famous Facebook group: 52-week Savings Challenge Kenya. Started by a journalist passionate about personal finance — Felista Wangari — the group has more than 390,000 members. These share advice on all things personal finance, from how to save up for children’s school fees, to which insurance products work best, to how to import goods from China. 

Now that you are ready to make your resolutions, let’s find out what resolutions some celebrities have made for 2018.

Ziwani-Kariokor MCA Millicent Mugadi

Mugadi is a good example of reinvention. She moved from the entertainment world, having been a contestant in reality TV series Big Brother Africa, to the world of politics as an MCA. 

At the height of campaigns for the Jubilee ticket for the MCA position, Mugadi and her team were involved in an accident, and she is the only one who survived, albeit with serious injuries that left her confined to a hospital bed for a long period.

Even when she left hospital, she was unable to engage in the same vigorous campaigns her competitors were involved in. She was accused of being involved in witchcraft. Some of her rivals said she ‘sacrificed’ her team to win the seat. In spite of all the challenges, she emerged victorious and retained her MCA seat.

Here are her resolutions:

“I want to offer good leadership to my electorate and be more practical.”

Lowest point in 2017

Mugadi says, “This year has been a tough year. Losing my friends through an accident has been the lowest point in my life.”

Highest point 

“Winning my seat has been an achievement. I hope it will be a lesson for people not to give up on themselves and God. My simple message is: believe in God, do good and work hard. To my electorate, I promise to do better, listen to you more and be more practical in addressing your needs.”

Mugadi says she has made a few mistakes in her journey as an MCA. She said she has learned the importance of overseeing every project done by the county to ensure it is of value to the electorate.

She says she has encountered shoddy jobs done by contractors.

Ultimate goal

Mugadi’s ultimate goal is to leave a legacy and ensure Ziwani is among the first estates to undergo urban renewal.

“That’s the best gift I can give to my estate. The old houses need a serious makeover.” 

Neomi Ng’ang’a, fashion designer and actress

Neomi has worked her way up the entertainment ladder. From growing up in the slum to becoming a household name in the Kenyan entertainment scene, Neomi is a go-getter.

She believes more in setting goals than in big resolutions at the beginning of the year.

High moments of 2017

When she was approached to get involved in projects she had not even thought about.

Low moments

When she fell off the wagon and did not pursue some goals as much as she should have.

She says, “This year I achieved some of my goals and I lost track of others, but that doesn’t mean I am giving up on them. No way. I am the kind of a person who doesn’t believe in the word impossible.”

About resolutions, she says,

“The bottom line in life is with or without resolutions, you’ve got to stay focussed on your goals. Each and every thing you do every single every day, ask yourself: Does it contribute to my goals and success in future? Does it complement my plans and my growth?”

Her recipe for success?

“I pray a lot and keep my circle small or none at all. Have mentors who keep you in check, invest in knowledge and wisdom.”

Neomi turned 30 this year and went all out to celebrate in Thailand. 

Paul Mbuvi, X FM presenter, comedian and MC

Mung'ala Mbuvi

Mbuvi had a rough start to 2017, what with the end of his marriage and the battle to share custody of his daughter. He has weathered the storm and emerged a wiser man.

He advises people not to have New Year’s resolutions.

“Resolutions should be continuous ideals. Once you are done achieving one thing, you move to the next. Do not wait for January to start working on stuff. If your resolutions are achieved by July, start on working on the next resolutions.”

Goals for 2018

He says, “I think next year I really need to find a partner. My parents are worried that I might have decided to be a loner. I want to find someone I can finally settle with and have a family. Hii kukaa pekee yangu [this idea of staying alone] is not healthy. I want someone to anchor me. My parents are almost retiring, so I want them to have a grandchild they can hang out with, especially during the holidays.”

Mbuvi continues, “Another thing I want to do is increase my social media activity: do more YouTube videos on meaningful stuff towards my goal of starting my own TV show.”

Highest point

“I would say I achieved one goal this year and that was to change workplaces. I wanted to test my growth on radio and the fact that I got noticed and got called to XFM is a testament to my marketability. At least I got some mojo to scale the industry.”

Mbuvi continues, “Something else: Is divorce an achievement? It finally happened.”

Mbuvi says he is considering starting a blog after fans encouraged him to write more about his experiences. 

Lowest point

“”I don’t get to see my daughter… but I still pay child support every month.”

Source: Star/Claire Munde

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