Saturday, January 12, 2013

MY Thoughts on New Year’s Resolutions

It’s the New Year, 2013, and the time when many people make their New Year’s Resolutions.  

According to Wikipedia, "a New Year's Resolution is a commitment that a person makes to one or more personal goals, projects, or the reforming of a habit.  A key element to a New Year's resolution that sets it apart from other resolutions is that it is made in anticipation of the New Year and new beginnings.  People committing themselves to a New Year's  resolution generally plan to do so for the whole following year".

New Year's Resolutions date back in history to the Babylonian era where promises were  made to the Gods to return borrowed items and pay back debts.  "The Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named.”  At the end of each Christmas season, medieval knights would take what was called a “peacock vow” to show their “commitment to chivalry”.

Not only is there a historical background, there is also a religious background to New Year’s Resolutions.  Take for example, the Jewish New Year Rosh Hashanah.  This continues through the High Holidays and ends with Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement).  During this period, people look back over the past year and ask forgiveness of their sins and wrongdoings.  The concept, regardless of history or religion, tends toward self-improvement.

But, 88% of people who make New Year’s Resolutions fail to actually stick to their resolution (2007 study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol) for the entire year or through the completion of their initial goal.  I sure seem to know a lot of people in this 88% - including myself!

So for 2013, I have decided to try a little bit of a different concept.  I’m not going to try to change myself.  I’m not going to try to lose weight.  I’m not going to make an effort to go the gym.  I’m not going to try to spend less money.  I’m not going to do any of the thousands of things that people promise themselves they are going to do.  Instead . . . I am going to live each day as it comes, accept the good, accept the bad, and make the most of ALL of it.  I am going to appreciate everything that I have instead of wishing for more.  I want to love more, live more and enjoy more.  I want to get back to old-fashioned family values and appreciate the little things like our Grandparents did.

In 2013, I am going to:

  • Talk more with my family – TALK . . . not text, not IM, not email, not message on Facebook - TALK.
  • Take more pictures – of EVERYTHING!  With cellphone technology, there is no reason to not be snapping pictures of interesting and beautiful things every day.
  • Get outside and enjoy the scenery more – I love the outdoors and as a kid I was outside every chance I got.  Whatever happened to that?
  • Smile more – at EVERYONE.  A little bit of kindness goes a long way and there isn’t enough of that in our world nowadays.
  • Pray more – This brings peace and serenity to my soul.
  • Relax more – My “inbox” will always be full.  Might as well quit worrying about emptying it and kick back and take a breath once in a while.
  • Be creative more – I LOVE being creative.  I actually crave being creative.  Crocheting, writing, painting, sewing, cooking – time to do a lot more of this.
  • Read more – I used to be able to read a ½ dozen books a week.  I love to read.  But life got too busy and I stopped making time for a good book.  It’s time to start making time.

Are you making any New Year’s Resolutions?  Why or why not?  What are you going to do in 2013?

Check out these Top 10 New Year's Resolutions - By Albrecht Powell, Guide

        1. Spend More Time with Family & Friends
          2. Fit in Fitness
          3. Tame the Bulge
          4. Quit Smoking
          5. Enjoy Life More
          6. Quit Drinking
          7. Get Out of Debt
          8. Learn Something New
          9. Help Others
          10. Get Organized

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