The Starfish Thrower and New Year's Resolutions

Posted by Shelina Manji on

It’s that time of year when we take a moment to reflect on the year that is drawing to a close and to think about the year that is to come.

The pandemic and our resolutions

The Covid-19 pandemic made this a year like no other, and, as we reflect on how it has affected the communities in which we live and closer to home, our families, this is also a time to reflect on ourselves; how the goals we set out for ourselves at the beginning of the year panned out, how some goals might have been scuttled by the pandemic, but also, what we would like to achieve in 2021.

Undoubtedly, our goals for the next year will take on a different complexion, with the challenges of this year evoking a desire to manifest, in the next year, various facets of the humanity in each one of us. New year’s resolutions, which have been commonplace in years gone by, such as:  take that course you’ve always wanted to and get certified; find that new job; run that marathon, do a hand stand unsupported, finish the basement project, will needless to say, continue to find some room in our list of goals for next year, but the year just gone will certainly change our resolutions for next year. It will energise our desire to connect with family, friends, neighbours and community, albeit electronically, and in other ways. Repair, revive and rekindle old relationships, contribute through volunteering for the well being of our communities, will all, increasingly, take up much more space in our goals for next year.

Acknowledge your journey so far

Regardless of whether we achieved everything on our list or not, let’s acknowledge and honour ourselves for having taking the first steps, in 2020, towards making improvements in our lives. These will certainly bear fruit in the coming years.

Let’s also make a resolution list for 2021. Like a vision board it helps to articulate and give life to our best intentions. It also makes us accountable when we tell our friends and family what we are planning for 2021.

Forming new habits

We’ve all, at some point, come across the wisdom, that says that it takes twenty-one days for a habit to form. But did you know that, a research paper, published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, found that it actually takes, on average, between 2 months and eight months to form a habit and NOT twenty one days !  Interestingly, the research paper also found that messing up every now and then does not affect the habit formation process. Building better habits is not an all-or-nothing process.

SO, let’s be kind to ourselves, take the pressure off timelines and think more about being consistent and showing up and making small gains and building on these.

Every little thing that you do makes a difference

And so, what does all this have to do with the Starfish Thrower in the title you might ask. Well, it has everything to do with the starfish story. The story tells about a little boy who is walking along the beach and trying to save the starfish that have been washed up on the shore at low tide. He saves them by throwing them back into the sea. A man observing this notes, that on his own, the little boy couldn’t possibly save all the starfish on the beach, so why even try ? and the boy responds that while he may not be able to make a difference to all the starfish on the beach, but for those that he does save, he makes a big difference. (story in picture)

You might also be thinking “on my own what difference can I possibly make to save the planet?” . Becoming an eco-warrior is not an all or nothing life. You don’t need to leave the city and go off grid, sell your car and walk or bike everywhere, go vegan and throw away all your leather shoes, use only natural soap and cleaning products that don’t have synthetics and hormone disruptors, ditch plastic packaging, go zero-waste and produce only a jar of waste a year. Everyone is an eco-warrior!  Do what you can, choose a few things that you can easily incorporate into your lifestyle, form new habits and build on this over time.

Every little thing that you do makes a difference. You have all certainly made a difference to us!

In 2021, be a starfish thrower and save the planet one starfish at a time.

 The Starfish Story

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