New Year’s resolutions have a long history. Why do we have New Year’s resolutions? And how do we keep make (and keep) them?
The New Year’s resolution tradition actually goes back to ancient times. The new year is a natural time to reflect and resolve to change or improve how we live our lives.
WHY DO WE HAVE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS?
In 2000 B.C., the Babylonians celebrated the New Year for 11 days (starting with the vernal equinox). One common resolution was the returning of borrowed farm equipment (which makes sense for an agriculturally based society).
The Babylonian New Year was adopted by the Romans as was the tradition of resolutions.
The timing, however, eventually shifted with the Julian calendar to the month of January which was named for the two-faced Roman god, Janus, who looks forward for new beginnings as well as backwards for reflection and resolution.
Janus was also the guardian of gates and doors. He presided over the temple of peace, where the doors were opened only during wartime. It was a place of safety, where new beginnings and new resolutions could be forged.
If you think about the land and the seasons, the timing of early January makes sense for most of North America. The active harvest season has passed. The holiday frenzy is ending.
HOW TO MAKE (AND KEEP) NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
Here are tips if you’re taking on a New Year’s resolution.
Make time to pause and reflect. Decide on a morning to make a cup of coffee and sit down with a pad of paper/ iPad. Or, perhaps you think best while doing a mindless household chore.
Keep it simple. Settle on one or two things that you really can accomplish. Not a big list. Define a goal that is measurable, doable, and specific. “I want to lose weight” is too vague. “I will write out a week’s meal plan and follow it for 10 days” is more concrete. Or, “I will not eat desserts or sugary treats for three weeks.” Once you reach your short-term goal, you can reassess or moderate.
Create a short list of diversions that could come up. Sip on lemon water whenever temptation strikes or nibble on sunflower seeds to get through your midday slump. Many people get tired and have less control late in the day; if you get late-night munchies, be sure to buy something healthy to chew on, such as a handful of almonds.
This year, I resolve to be on time to meetings. To ensure this will happen, I plan to take a moment every day to set an alarm on my phone with a fifteen-minute and a five-minute reminder before any meetings.
NOT FOND OF RESOLUTIONS?
List a few regrets about the past year. To help focus on the future, write down your regrets on a scrap of paper. Are any of the regrets things you would like to focus on in 2018?
MY RESOLUTIONS FOR 2018
Weight loss, get-stay in shape, are items which seem to top everyone’s personal achievement list.
2017, I lost 5 lbs. and went down a slack size. I was able to purchase 5 pair at 75% off at the after-Christmas Sales! This hopefully, will keep me focused. I am downsizing to a salad plate as my china of choice for each meal. A mug is being utilized as a soup/cereal bowl. I use a mini-scoop for yogurt/low fat ice cream and a tiny appetizer for any dessert (think shot glass size).
Now, about those novels. For some odd reason (notice the pun), I have an aversion to odd-numbered years. Why? I have no clue. I was born during an odd-numbered year, married during an odd-numbered year. Nothing truly ‘horrible’ ever happened to me during an odd-numbered year. Still, realized I seem have a mental aversion to a pub date that isn’t an even numbered year. Do I concern myself with a Friday the 13th release date? No. Do I have a problem with a book release during a low-sale month/season? No (Yes, would have been the correct response.) To cut myself some slack, odd-number years do seem to present obstacles: work, family, life in my way (students of numerology will find this interesting).
This year, and next year, I have a plan. I am plotting my series and outlining my stories. I am working on book trailers, etc. This way I look at the end product (via my production line), and I do not care about a pub date.
What is your personal ‘bump’ in the road?
Happy Reading and Writing in 2018.
As you read this, I will be sitting in my living room, cup of coffee (Starbuck’s Christmas Blend) watching the Tournament of Roses Parade from my living room in SoCal.
Please post your New Year’s Day traditions and resolutions in the comments.
Soon to be released:
Also my YA historical novel:
Tanayia--Whisper upon the Water.
Published by: BWL, Publishing
Purchase links to all my novels:
Barnes and Noble Bookseller
BWL Publisher, website