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Making the resolution effective


Deficiency in decision-making ranks much higher than lack of specific knowledge or technical know-how as an indicator of leadership failure. John C. Maxwell.

Inability to make decisions is one of the principal reasons executives fail.

Deficiency in decision-making ranks much higher than lack of specific knowledge or technical know-how as an indicator of leadership failure. John C. Maxwell.

LIFE on earth is divided into times and seasons. The value of mortals is predicated on the quality of goods they deliver, as well as and services they render.


Success involves understanding one’s abilities, gifts or talents and deciding to wisely apply them to appropriate times and seasons.

One of the best quotations which exemplifies the harmonious management of life and season was written by Shakespeare in his tragic comedy Julius Caesar which says, that ‘There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea we are now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures’

We are in January, the beginning part of the year when we are faced with making several important decisions. Yet people’s attitudes towards this season vary. Some take it serious, while others are carefree or careless.

The latter group is of the opinion that the practice of making New Year resolutions plays an insignificant role in achieving success. They quickly make reference to both personal and others litany of past failures, in achieving their targets or goals.

The fact is that such analysis is simplistic and unscientific. Decision-making at every season of life is likened to laying foundation. It represents only an essential part of a building. Consistent diligence is needed to complete the project.

Moreover, both practical life and research show that imbibing the attitude of decision-making is superior to making none.

This is why it is said that those who failed to plan have already planned to fail. Consistent with this idea, the popular American leadership expert, John C. Maxwell in the opening quote noted that ‘inability to make decisions is one of the principal reasons executives fail.’ And I add that indecision or complete inability to take decisions is a major reason families, educational, political, business and religious institutions fail. In fact, a bad or poor decision is superior to a state of indecision.


The reasons are obvious. First, taking a decision is a demonstration of courage.

Again, it boosts one’s confidence in the pursuit of success. Wrong decision-making is better than indecision because it creates room for improvement.

It can motivate others to think deeper and better because it provides a baseline for future and further decision-making.

At this juncture, the focus should be how to improve the quality of decision-making and not to discourage it. How can one achieve quality New Year resolution? What can motivate one to seriously engage in achieving the set goals?

SMART is a popular acronym for a model of decision making, which involves the following attributes, being Specific, making Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound goals.

As fundamental as this model of decision making is, reaching a decision based on these attributes will enhance one’s decision making. Being specific takes care of targeting vague and unclear goals.

A good example of comparison between a smart decision and a vague one is, ‘this year 2019, I will pursue good health by eating balanced diet’ as opposed to just saying that one will achieve all round health this year.

Success in life is a product of personal discipline. Investment into acquiring greater personal discipline will yield great dividends in the matter of achieving both New Year and other resolutions.

Profitable management of resources places the responsibility of growth in personal discipline and self-control.

Like someone rightly put it, the key to enjoying increased privileges is increased responsibility.


Therefore, anyone desiring to reap the harvest of fulfillment in this New Year should put on the garment of personal discipline.

Everybody’s level of success or accomplishment in life can be measured by the degree of mental development. The Holy Writ consents to this idea when it says that, “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

Perhaps, no other group of self-improvement strategy is more effective in developing the human mind more than reading, studying and meditation.

Regular and habitual encounter with inspirational materials not only feeds the mind, it ensures its health, as well as expands its capacity. Beginning with the practise of reading one book every month, can be an excellent target to pursue.

Sometimes, the reason for failure to achieve the New Year target or goal is because of forgetfulness or loss of focus.

Consequently, one sure strategy to achieve success this year is to engage in regular reviews of the long-term goals.

In practical terms, one should plan for three levels of targets, namely, short, mid and long-term goals. Plan to have a quarterly review of the decisions, strategies and targets.

It was David Brin, who said that, ‘when it comes to privacy and accountability, people always demand the former for themselves and the latter for everyone else.’

One significant strategy, which will enhance all forms of personal decisions, is to have an accountability partnership.

Move away from the comfort zone of safeguarding or keeping the resolution secret.


Get someone whom you respect or honour to hold you responsible for fulfilling your promise. Let someone else watch and help you to walk your talk. This singular strategy will keep you alert and diligent.

Success in any worthy endeavour of life isn’t cheap. It demands consistent hard and honest work.

One of the guiding principles of success I learnt early in life is a quote from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who said that, ‘The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained in a sudden flight but, they while their companions slept, they were toiling upwards in the night.’ Longfellow was a nineteenth century American poet and educator.

Success, the desirable and honourable, satisfying and serviceable, enabling and ennobling type will first transform the seeker before it delivers the target.

It demands sustained desire, focused attention, wise collaboration as well as a significant dose of self-control to attain it.

Consequently, making a quality New Year or other forms of decisions is only a good foundation. There exists a great need to raise the superstructure. When the foundation is good, the work is half completed.

Therefore, as you desire to have a successful and fulfilled New Year, seriously consider the idea of making an invaluable New Year resolution. May this New Year be better than last year.

May you grow stronger, experience better personality development and therefore, achieve greater heights as the year moves on. See you at the top.

• Passy Amaraegbu can be reached at

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