By: Anthony Nash O. De Leon

For countless decades, more than 7 billion people (some alive, some dead) have made their resolutions every time a new year begins.  Some resolutions are hedonistic like, “I will make tons of money this year.” There are some that is for the goodness of health (or not) like, “I will always climb the stairs this year even if I would have to ascend a 30 story building.” While there are others that are effortless like, “I will always sleep.”

Resolutions have been an annual practice for us because when we were still in elementary, even in high school; our teachers would always ask us to write essays about our resolutions. Also, there are some parents who always enquire their children, “What’s your new year’s resolution my son/daughter?” And let us not forget that media is also partly to be blamed.

If resolutions could be accounted every single time they are made, there is no doubt that if they were living creatures, they could outnumber the present population. One could even surmise that the land that we are living in right now would be insufficient for the resolutions to live in.

However, for even just one time, have you ever tried not making any resolutions? I have. Why, do you wonder? It is because we are living in fear.

If you would ponder about it, the rationale why we make resolutions every year is because we were unsuccessful in achieving these resolutions during the previous year. And since a New Year will be beginning, we are afraid of not being able to accomplish again what we have set out to do in the outgoing year. Not only are we frightened of not being able to accomplish them again. We are also fearful that if we do not change for the better, we are scared that we might be in the streets wandering and pleading for cash or food, or our bodies floating aimlessly in a body of water, and other instances that we would not want to see ourselves in.

Take for example this resolution, “I will become thriftier this year than I was before.” Sure, you would think that a person who makes this as a resolution is somehow stingy. But if you think about it, he is terrified. He is afraid of not being able to afford his wants or his needs. He is fearful of being unable to live. He is afraid of the future. There is nothing wrong with worrying about it. But try to spread your wings a little wider. There is nothing wrong with spending money. There is nothing wrong with saving either. What you should do is to be more watchful of your expenses and avoiding splurging it for nonsense. It is not about being safe or cautious. But it is about spending the right amount for the right reasons. As the famous cliché says, too much or too less of anything is bad for you.

Another example of a resolution commonly made, particularly by students is,”I will study harder this year.”

There are many students who fear of losing their scholarship or getting a failing grade in their subject, or graduating in the right time. There is nothing wrong with it. But, you keep on trapping yourself in a box labelled ‘pressures’.

We always think about what others would say if we get a failing mark.  We would also wonder if, even with failing grades, we’ll get a decent job. We tend to over think things thus, being unable to get a grip with the true essence of every happening.

We should always bear in mind that there have been a lot of graduates. But many are unemployed and underemployed. Let us also remember that there are people who did not graduate but eventually became triumphant in life like Fernando Poe Jr., Dolphy, Steven Spielberg, and Henry Ford. I’m not implying that we should throw our books into the trash can and head on to the real world. What I mean to say is the future is like a Jack in the box. You will never know when it will come out and surprise you.  You just have to be ready and face it head on.

You should just learn to enjoy your studies and just do your best. Always remember that you can do anything anyone can do. But keep in mind that only you can do it better.

There is another resolution that is commonly made by a lot of people all across the globe, “I will become more physically fit by dieting, exercising, etc.” This instance again shows how afraid we are of people perceiving us as plump or hideous. It shows us how afraid we are of being unhealthy, of losing people, and of dying. Again, there’s nothing wrong with it. But should people’s opinions matter? We should be doing this because we want to do it. Not because we want people’s opinion of us to change. Also, no one should be afraid of losing someone they love. Besides, we all know that our eventual end will be six feet under the ground. No one lasted forever in history either.


However, fearing of losing an important person in their life when they are not ready is natural. But shouldn’t we use all the time that we have to spend it with the people we love so that we won’t have regrets in the end?

Resolutions that are made may be the same as others in the previous years, they may be new, they may be out of this world, or maybe they are selfless. But have these thoughts ever been put into actions?

We always say that they serve as motivations for us to accomplish our goals. However, motivations are not enough. They will never be enough as long you do not budge and become proactive. Actions are needed for them to be accomplished not just thoughts.

Have you ever asked yourself “What if…? What if…? What if…?” What if instead of just thinking you were actually doing it? What if instead of doing the mañana habit you seized the moment and began?

We have lived behind the shadows of our fears for 19, 18 or 27 years.  Should you continue living in it? Or is today the time for you to step out of it, be free, and live your life?

What if?

Learn to conquer your fears today because they will be haunting you forever. But if you are not yet ready, I hope someday you will be. And you will have the audacity and say, “I will!”

Do not forget that fear is only in your mind but courage will always be in your heart!