Just Do It: Action vs. New Year’s Resolutions

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The year 2010 is at a close. You’re still limin’ strong with yuh pardnas, and you’re still wishing you had saved that sou sou money to make an important purchase, like a house, or fatten your nest egg, instead of dipping into it to buy your mas costume or paint your car hot pink. You even look at yourself sideways in the mirror and realize you didn’t stick to that workout regime you had set for yourself.

It’s at this time of year that you reflect, and realize that you haven’t made a dent in the more important things on your list this past year. Wha yuh go do? Set New Year resolutions of course. Isn’t that what everyone does this time of year? Not necessarily. I remember reading an article in which Jay-Z stated: “”I make my New Year’s resolutions daily. I just strive to be a better person…” I like this approach.

See, “Just do it” has to be one of the best slogans ever made, because sometimes it’s just as simple as that. Know what needs to be done, and just do it.

Now, there is nothing wrong with making new year resolutions. But why wait until the New Year to make a change… granted it’s only two weeks away from the New Year, but hey it mightn’t be too late to go overboard on Christmas shopping? To me, resolutions are personal, constructive and very necessary. So to wait for the New Year to make them or stay true to them, is a real lax way of procrastinating on the things that need improvement.

The funny thing though is how gung-ho we are when we settle down to ‘make’ our resolutions.  Last year I got caught up in the frenzy of a vision board. Self-explainable, a vision board is where you paste pictures of the things you want and want to accomplish, and on the board you write phrases and glue in photos that help motivate you to accomplish the goals you’ve set on the vision board. I’ll be honest. I put in more work trying to find pictures from old magazines, and on the Internet to decorate the board, than remembering to actually look at the board daily. Right now it sits behind my bed collecting dust.

What happened to my goals? I managed to accomplish three out of the twenty I listed. I got a new car, built up the courage to go to the embassy and work on my new passport, and I learned to save a whole lot better than I did last year. How did I do it? I just did it. I didn’t wait for a specific time to do some of the things. I went with passion and drive, and what I sowed, I reaped.


“… we tend to put way more effort into the ‘making’ of resolutions, rather than the ‘doing’ of resolutions.”

See, we tend to put way more effort into the ‘making’ of resolutions, rather than the ‘doing’ of resolutions. So what’s the order for action to take place? Planning and then doing, or doing while planning?

While most of us step into action to change, because we see where we went wrong, many of us sit and willow in our woes and sing the “shoulda, coulda, woulda” song, and don’t really do anything about the things we want to achieve. Well it’s time that you do. Don’t sit in the rut feeding your woes; there’s enough room in this world to set your dreams in motion. No one is marking you, and you shouldn’t measure yourself against anyone. Just because Tom, Dick, and Harry may have achieved what you’re still aiming for, it’s no reason to get ‘bummy’ and slow down.

You also don’t have to wait every 365 days to make a change. Like Jay-Z said, make a resolution every day, and just try to be a better you. If something isn’t going right, fix it. And while you’re making your resolutions, the big picture of the process is the action you plan to put behind it to make it come to pass.

You’ll find all sorts of articles, guides, books, and tutorials telling you how to succeed in sticking to your resolutions. Though it may work for some, it doesn’t always work for all. It’s as simple as getting organized and probably setting one specific goal you want to achieve. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Commit to your desires. Nobody’s perfect, so perfection isn’t the goal.

So instead of looking forward to New Year’s Resolutions, just look forward to resolutions you can work on daily and gradually. And know that if you stick with the “just do it” mentality, you’ll get far.


Check out the rest of this week’s issue (12/20/10; Issue 37). It’s our Christmas issue:

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Onika Pascal

Onika Pascal is a Trini living in New York, who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She is a single mom, author of two published collections of poetry, aspiring novelist ,and lover of all things purposeful.


  1. Mitzi

    December 22, 2010 at 1:56 am

    Must say sveral years ago I made a resolution which I kept, which was to never make a New Years Resolution again. Good article! We haven’t seen you on twitter! where you be?

  2. Nakita

    December 22, 2010 at 3:28 am

    Such a true article. We get caught up…just like most other things, in doing things because it’s the norm! We make New Year’s Resolutions b/c that’s what is suppose to be done. But writing things down on paper isn’t what gets things done. It’s a step in the process. People try to jump over mountains in one go and that’s why many times we fail…yes “we’. Smaller, daily goals can help us reach that big resolution come 30-12-2011. That was one of the lessons I learned in 2010.

  3. Amanda Kissoon

    December 22, 2010 at 3:37 am

    “just do it” is really the best approach

  4. Denille Bedeau

    December 22, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    procrastination is the thief of time….so instead of waiting for a new year to make resolutions, do the things we ought to throughout the year.

  5. christine

    December 26, 2010 at 12:01 am

    for de New Year, my resolution is clear,
    life is full of fear BUT love’s strength is always there
    to help us patiently bear,the pitfalls and obstacles that rear…

  6. Reesa Thomas

    December 26, 2010 at 12:51 am

    Recognised long ago that I’m an individual, so many of the cookie-cutter approaches to New Year’s resolutions don’t work for me. The ‘just do it’ approach is the one I’ve been practicing and so endorse it.

  7. Elizabeth Turner

    December 26, 2010 at 2:54 am

    I am definately going to take the advise of the author and I look forward to having resolutions I can work on daily and gradually, instead of those I can never fully accomplish.

  8. Andre T

    December 26, 2010 at 7:01 am

    I still like to make resolutions or at least have an overarching list of stuff I’d like to accomplish. That way I can figure out the smaller things I need to do to accomplish the stuff on the bigger list. I guess it’s all about what works for the individual.

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