“You hardly know Chris is in love with her, I wonder why he doesn’t express his love to Anita in public. I don’t even know how she’s managing to cope with a selfish man like him” said Rachel in the company of her three friends while having a get-together party of their Alma mata.

Jessica: Babes, I’m thinking of something.

What is it, dear? The three friends chorused.

Jessica: I want us all to get married next year since we’re all engaged.

“Wow, that’s a nice idea, I look forward to it. However, that might be towards mid-next year because my boyfriend hasn’t proposed yet”, Lizzy said. “I’m not sure that will work out, babe. My boyfriend lost his job during the lockdown so, I’m the one feeding him and paying his bills. I haven’t started making out plans for 2021 and I don’t think I’d want to do that anymore. I did for 2020 and even made resolutions but they didn’t work out. I’m so scared of the happenings across the globe currently. Although, the pandemic wasn’t intense here, the economic crises got to me. I have resolved to the ‘whatever will be, will be’ cliché in 2021 and I’ll just move on with my life without plans or resolutions”, Praise replied.

“Praise, I’m so sorry darling.” However, you need to understand that life doesn’t always go the way you plan it. Nevertheless, planning is good because it gives us a foretaste of what to expect. By the way, may I know what your plans and resolutions were”, Rachel inquired. “I planned setting up my architectural firm, go to driving school, buy my dreamed grey Venza car, travel to Austria for my vacation and be more spiritual, you know. In addition, stop procrastinating, learn to be patient with people and avoid getting angry at the slightest provocation, increase my fitness and earn more money”, Praise responded.

“Nice plans and resolutions dear! May I know the plans you had to achieve these?” Lizzy queried. “I wrote them out in my journal and wrote them on sticky notes to be placed on my study desk in my room and my refrigerator in the kitchen”, Praise explained. “That’s a good move!” Lizzy said. Do you know that as good as plans and resolutions are, many are caught in the web of not being able to achieve up to half or 60% of what they have written? This is because they don’t break each plan into small units. I call it chunking plans into bits. For example, you planned learning how to drive. To achieve this, you need to start out by asking yourself, ‘where do I learn? Which driving school will I go? When will I start and for how long would I need to learn to be able to master it?’ These questions when asked will help you to break your plans/resolutions into small units.

“Are you following?” Rachel asked, interrupting Lizzy. Before Praise could reply Lizzy, Jessica retorted in discouragement saying: “See babe, I do this a lot but I still realize it seems not to work out for me.

“Are your goals realistic?” Rachel asked. “To achieve your goals, you need to think deeply and ensure they are not beyond your means. Goal setting isn’t hoping for something you know you can’t have currently thus; the need to plan based on current reality. Plans based on current reality don’t mean you’re out of faith”, Rachel counseled. (With a heavy sigh), “Hmm, I think I failed in that aspect” Jessica whispered in utter shock.

(Soliloquizing), “How can I stop procrastinating?” Praise thought to herself.

(Nudging Praise), Lizzy advised, saying: “Well, you just have to know that you don’t need to push further what you can do today. Whenever you are tempted to push it aside, just orientate your mind to do it that moment. You need to discipline yourself! Schedule your times well, set alarms and to-do lists and also ensure that you review your plans and resolutions either on monthly or quarterly basis.  Just like auditors audit account to check for money used for ‘not so important things’, we must be able to audit our time and readjust with activities that are not necessary. In addition, get someone whom you can be accountable to and can correct you when needed. Once you do this, make sure you make amends when such corrections are given. Lastly, pray on your goals and resolutions to ensure that they are in alignment with God’s plan for your life”.

“Babes, I hope you gained something from this gist just like I did?” Rachel asked. “My Rachel, I’m so happy I spoke out. You all are so knowledgeable! I know what to do now and promise to work on them” Praise responded with great excitement and a renewed zeal for the year 2021. Thereafter, all the four friends laughed and toasted to their reunion and weddings.

IJB Writing Team 1:

Otunla Adetola and Ayomide Ogunsina

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