Making New Year’s resolutions


As we enter the New Year many—as they have done in the past—would have made resolutions they hope to keep during the year. We approached a few persons who were bold enough to make theirs public, putting more pressure on themselves to ensuring they keep at least one, and they have promised to be kinder, focus more on themselves, speak out against wrong, take risks, get back on stage and the list goes on.


Tracy Chan Smith – Vice Curator of World Economic Forum Global Shapers Community (G/town Hub), project manager: ‘It is important to set goals and plan a way to accomplish them. It’s the only way to experience the growth that we truly deserve. My resolution for the New Year is to take risks and be open to new ideas. I will take the opportunities that I am a little timid to take, as regards my academic and professional business life. I am also looking forward to reigniting the creative side of me to writing again. Most importantly, I need to get more in touch with my spiritual being.’

Andrea Rohlehr – works with the Government of Alberta in Human Services and a certified makeup artist, fashion and jewellery designer: ‘As mentioned before, I stopped making resolutions a long time ago as my approach to life has always been to do everything to the best of my ability but here goes. For 2017 I would like to throw myself into a healthy lifestyle that involves more exercise and less food. I want to read more as it broadens the mind. I want to continue building my financial management company by adding to my team and passing all my exams. Finally I want to firmly put 2016 behind me and move forward without fear of what 2017 will bring. Life is not a dress rehearsal.’


Karen Abrams – Stabroek News guest columnist, technology consultant, STEMGuyana Co-Founder, mom: ‘My New Year’s resolutions are: 1)To eat more fresh fruits and vegetables each day. 2) To exercise at least three times each week. 3) To work with a team of young people in the US to launch a tech startup company. 4) To work with local organizations in Guyana to interest young people in every region in STEM careers.’

Desiree Edghill– actress, activist, playwright and NGO founder: ‘For 2017, I plan to fulfil a promise I made five years ago to get back on stage. I have just finished writing the play and just got the dates at the National Cultural Centre. I also resolve to lose some weight, so exercising is high on my agenda. On my list is also the desire to start a TV programme to deal with social issues, especially women’s issues. I resolve to give love, be the happiest I can be and enjoy life to the fullest.’

Ajay Baksh, public relation consultant and actor: ‘In 2017 I hope to find a way to be calmer, more understanding and less angry. Last year I set a weight loss goal and as 2016 draws to a close, the only way I can reach that goal is by severing a limb, so we will not be that bold although a few kgs will have to go in 2017. I hope to do better in my personal financial department so I will be spending less in 2017 (sorry DDL and Banks). I was going to hope that GPL gives us less blackout, but I also plan to have more realistic expectations for 2017, so nah, I will just resolve to buy better lamps and more candles. On a larger note, I would like Guyanese to be more understanding of each other and realize that partisan politics only hinders the country’s growth. The future of Guyana is doomed unless we can work together and call a spade, a spade and a scam, a scam, even if you voted for that particular politician or even if you are getting a “brown bag”. Speak up and listen to rational people. I hope we can see more economic growth in Guyana for 2017 and wish all my Guyanese brothers and sisters all the best for 2017 and hope that we can work together in peace and understanding.’

Nisa Walker– Chef and owner of Oasis Café: ‘I’ve thought long and hard about this, trying to think what it is that I really want. If I were to be completely honest my New Year’s resolution is to have more time for myself, to focus on me. Looking back at the years, I realize how devoted I am to catering for others, to being selfless and helpful to every person I encounter. And don’t get me wrong, it’s satisfying beyond belief (which is why I’ve been doing it for so long). But now I need to treat myself like how I treat others. I need to take care of myself and have more time for my hobbies – take naps during the day, take long walks, do more yoga and breathing exercises, read more (at least one book a week). Oh, and let’s not forget, have more time for my passion: gardening (second to cooking, of course). In the past I would always put these things off, treating them as subordinate to every other thing in the world. But now it’s time for me to be kinder to myself. Let’s all hope that in 2017 I am able to stay true to this.’

Dr Raquel Thomas-Caesar – environmentalist and rights activist: ‘2016 was a challenging year in several respects, but challenges come to build and shape us and more importantly send us key messages of where our lives may need to go. My greatest inspiration in 2016 revolved around working with and engaging with youth of this country. There are so many fantastic young people out there doing fantastic things. They need our support, mentorship and our encouragement. My personal resolution is to continue trying to be the best mother I can be, wife, daughter, sister and friend and also to keep focusing on the issues dear to my heart including the environment, mental health and human rights. I am really keen to focus on working with youth. They are our future and I think we would be in good hands once we as Guyanese can see that all hands on deck are needed to move our youth to greater heights in this country. We need them here to build our country. We need our youth to see the beauty of our country so that many develop a love and passion for Guyana that they are inspired to stay (or come back) to help develop it. My one key reminder to all Guyanese is to speak up, speak out when you see abuse of any kind, but also be fair and analytical and not just follow the crowd. And above all be kind. Compassion and empathy can go a long way on impacting lives.’


Ivor Thompson – GTT Engineer: ‘Some take it seriously. Some bid it farewell just after the clock strikes 12. Some call it a second chance to dream with eyes open. New Year’s resolutions — no one can deny having made some. As for me, New Year’s resolutions are an opportunity for me to gauge my goals, the opportunity to tickle a funny bone or to try something bold. Next year I hope to accomplish the incomplete. Some of the resolutions I made last year and abandoned midway are worth a second shot. So in 2017 I will give it another chance! To fit in fitness –secure a future with fewer trips to the doctor – exercise. Heading back to the hockey field, but with practice activity that may add the element of fun to my routine. Lose some flab. But don’t set any strict target, for then the chances are I may get de-motivated and quit. Fun with family – extra bonding with the family will add a treasure trove of memories for me to cherish all my life. Not forgetting my extended family – MIL (Mother-in-law) Give up on a bad habit – old habits die hard – but some really need to go, like biting nails, not listening attentively to others and learning to say no. Be sincere about punctuality and commitments – this is a resolution, if followed, would help me succeed in life and be respected too. Earn more, save more.  See more of Guyana. Learn a new language. And definitely assisting my daughter Chelauna in acquiring a piece of land and subsequently building her dream home.’

Nicole Cole- Commissioner on Women & Gender Equality Commission, social worker and domestic violence survivor now activist:  ‘My New Year’s wish would be to see the Juvenile Justice Bill tabled in the National Assembly! It’s been over a decade now that this Bill has been in draft; numerous consultations have been held with citizens giving their input and yet this Bill remains held up in the AG Chambers. Meanwhile, our children continue to be charged with wandering, an offence which will be made obsolete with the Juvenile Justice Bill. Research conducted by the Rights of the Child Commission where I sit as Commissioner representing the Women and Gender Equality Commission found that more girls are being charged with wandering. A UNICEF survey found that over 70% of the children housed at the New Opportunity Corps are there because of wandering. I’d also like to see more focus placed on our youths with the objective of reducing their involvement in crimes.’

Sukree Budhram – Cancer survivor, domestic violence survivor and now activist, author and business executive: ‘In years past, I did not make resolutions for the New Year. Rather I would look at the prior year and ponder what went well, what relationships worked and what I should have focused on more. However, as this New Year is coming towards me and while I am now in maintenance treatment and winning the battle against Ewing Sarcoma (a rare form of soft tissue bone cancer), I am rethinking my position on making resolutions for the New Year. Most people tend to make promises to lose weight, become more organized, finish a certain goal or reach a milestone. In my case, my primary goal and resolution for this coming year is to stay alive and not have cancer win this battle. I am doing everything in my power, including praying, to make this resolution come through. With my two children wrapping up their higher education, I want to be here when they graduate. My oldest will graduate by December 2017 and my youngest will graduate in May 2018 according to current schedule. I want to be present at their graduations. There are other commitments I am making to myself such as ensuring my spoken words are kind, caring and loving. This is not a change for me, but it is now becoming a heightened focus. I will ensure I think more before I speak and if I have nothing good to say, I will remain quiet. I am also committing to spending time with those I love such as my children, family and close friends. My parting words must always be I love you. Other lofty goals such as losing weight, staying healthy or eating right are still goals of mine for this year and any year. However, they dropped to the bottom of the list and are dwarfed by my current situation. In conclusion, I see 2017 as a year of many successes for me on several fronts. First, I plan to live the entire year and a few more. I hope to remain positive and kind to myself and others. I feel I have realistic and achievable resolutions instead of lofty ones that may become unreachable. I hope to look back at the end of 2017 and say to myself that I did accomplish what I aimed at and it was not that difficult. With that said, I wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year and hope all your resolutions come to fruition. Oh by the way, I would like to have hair in 2017. This may be unrealistic, but I won’t be the first person making an unrealistic resolution.’

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