New Year Resolutions - To Make Them Or Not?
On a personal level I have rarely made a resolution and stuck to it. I have found that many of my resolutions have been made because someone has put me on the spot about something. The conversation round the end of year dinner table goes something like ‘what resolutions are you going to make?’
The Stock Answers Are:
I want to shed a few pounds.
I want to get healthier.
I want to drink less alcohol.
I want to earn more money.
According to Wikipedia the history of New Year Resolutions goes back to times before any of us were around. I am not able to personally verify any of the following statements but it is suggested that:
Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts.
The Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named.
In the Medieval era, the knights took the “peacock vow” at the end of the Christmas season each year to re-affirm their commitment to chivalry.
At watchnight services, many Christians prepare for the year ahead by praying and making these resolutions.
This tradition has many other religious parallels. During Judaism’s New Year, Rosh Hashanah, through the High Holidays and culminating in Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), one is to reflect upon one’s wrongdoings over the year and both seek and offer forgiveness. People can act similarly during the Christian liturgical season of Lent, although the motive behind this holiday is more of sacrifice than of responsibility. In fact, the Methodist practice of New Year’s resolutions came, in part, from the Lenten sacrifices. The concept, regardless of creed, is to reflect upon self-improvement annually.
What can you do about the cycle of making the predictable resolutions and not sticking to them year after year?
There are other options to explore.
First one is one I often default to and that is just don’t make any resolutions. But, then again where is the fun in that?
Secondly, you could write them on a list somewhere, but that is a pretty boring thing to do.
Thirdly, it is advisable if you want to stick to something tell the person you know that would nag you most of you fail. I don’t think that is the best idea either.
What you could do is make a resolution you know you will stick to. Make your desires based around something you love to do. If you love crafting you could make your resolutions around improving your skills or making more of the things you like to make. Make it mean something to you, something that gives you pleasure.
Resolutions should not always be about sacrifice. So often there are negative connotations when people make these fake promises to themselves. I don’t see why we should start off the new year imposing hardship and potential punishments upon ourselves. New year is all about new beginnings. New beginnings are pleasurable, fresh starts are fun.
Make your new year resolution something good for you and others around you. Do it!