By Pam Teel
It’s obvious; New Years is a beginning, a start of something new. We almost all internally pledge that we’re going to do or change something at the start of the New Year. New Year’s resolutions are tradition. The thought of making a promise to one’s self has been around since Babylonian days. The Babylonians made promises to the Gods in hopes that they would earn good favor in the coming year. They often resolved to get out of debt!
The New Year’s Resolution; a tradition all over the world in which a person resolves to change an undesired trait or behavior or to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve their life.
Babylonians made promises to their Gods. Romans made promises to Janis, for whom the month of January was named after. Janus was the god of beginnings and transitions in Roman mythology, and presided over passages, doors, gates and endings, as well as in transitional periods such as from war to peace. He was usually depicted as having two faces looking at opposite ways, one towards the past and the other towards the future.
In medieval times the knights took the peacock vow at the beginning of the New Year to reaffirm their commitment to chivalry. At night watch services, Christians prepare for the year ahead by praying and making resolutions. People all over the world prepare for New Year’s in their own traditional ways! In some countries the New Year may start off with a different date or month than
ours, depending on what calendar they go by; Countries such as China, who celebrates New Years this year on January 25th.
How many New Year’s resolutions have you made in your lifetime? How many did you keep?
Here’s a list of some popular resolutions in case you need some help choosing:
Eat healthier, Drink less alcohol, Stop bad habits, Stop biting my nails, Improve my physical appearance, Lose weight Quit smoking Donate more to charity, become more assertive, become more aware of taking care of the environment, improve mental health, well being, be more positive, improve finances, get out of debt, find a better job, start your own business, be nicer to people, get more organized, join a club, meet new people, watch less TV, play less video games, take a trip, volunteer more, practice life skills, spend more time with family and friends, settle down, get married or engaged, have kids, pray more, spend less time on social media, be more spiritual, spend more time listening, improve social skills, improve self, save money, find love. Let’s see, did I forget any? Oh yeah, stop procrastinating!
Statistics are on your side. A study done in 2005 showed that 46 per cent of the participants that made a New Year’s Eve Resolution were more likely to succeed over those who made one at any other time during the year.
Here’s an early 20th century New Years Eve Resolve: A Resolve for every morning of the year, by Bishop John Vincent.
I will this day try to live a simple, sincere, and serene life, repelling promptly every thought of discontent, anxiety, discouragement, impurity and self.
Seeking cultivation, cheerfulness, magnanimity, charity, and the habit of holy silence- exercising economy in expenditure, carefulness in conversation, dili- gence in appointed service, fidelity to every trust and a child like trust in God.
Happy New Year!