The gift of the New Year

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The new year is before us, like a chapter waiting to be written. We all get the same 365 days. The only difference is what we do with them. It’s that time of the year when we make new resolutions and set new goals. But the question is, is it a good idea to set resolutions at the beginning of a year? Have we achieved the goals we set last year? The secret to getting ahead is getting started. As it is said, “There are only two days in a year when nothing can be done. One is yesterday and the other is tomorrow.” So today is the right day for new beginnings, so let’s get started. The purpose of our life is to be happy. So let us rebuild the passion for social and environmental causes, hobbies that need to be pursued, fitness goals that we had neglected due to the pressures of day-to-day life.

A new year resolution is a tradition where a person resolves to continue good practices, change an undesired trait or behaviour, accomplish a personal goal and improve his/her behaviour during the year. In a recent report, 35 per cent  of participants who failed in their  new year resolutions admitted that  they had unrealistic goals, 33 per cent  did not keep track of their progress,  and 23 per cent forgot about them.  One in 10 respondents claimed they  had made too many resolutions.  A study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people showed that 88 per cent of those who set new year resolutions failed, even though 52 per cent of them were confident of success at the beginning. Men achieved their goals by an additional 22 per cent, when they set small and measurable goals… for eg, ‘losing one kg, a week’, rather than just ‘losing weight.’

We Rotarians must prioritise our family time, health, finances and business interests while doing good in the world, because our organisation needs successful people who can balance their lifestyle, and not people with poor self-esteem and those struggling with their own lives.

Rotarians should adopt a proper code of conduct and act with integrity, use their professional skills to mentor young people, improve people’s quality of life and avoid behaviour that reflects adversely on Rotary or other Rotary members.

Let the new year and years ahead give you the satisfaction of giving the best to your community.

I have always believed that service is the path to purification.

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Mahesh Kotbagi
RI Director, 2021–23

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