You know that the New Year is approaching. It is right around the corner. It doesn’t really matter what year it is, does it? It is about that gnawing feeling that you should come up with those New Year Resolutions, but that pit in the stomach feeling that you may not be able to reach them so why bother. Am I right?
But, the key is that it is great that you are here, ready to take this ride as we learn about all types of New Year’s Resolutions, whether funny, New Year Resolution ideas for students, common New Year’s Resolutions that make the list, or any other type of New Year Resolution.
The question is, are the resolutions really our friend? Is it something that we want to pursue this year (or any year)? That is part of what we are going to look into, in the next 30 days. The origin, our personal New Year’s Resolution list, and whether we are pursuing New Year’s Resolutions for 2018.
The whole concept of New Year’s Resolutions is a time-honored tradition. Even if we don’t do it ourselves, we likely have done it at one time, considered it at one time, or know people who participate in the tradition of New Year Resolutions.
Desire: To understand resolutions and why we should or should not use them in 2018.
While many times we associate the new year as the time for New Year’s Resolutions and that isn’t entirely incorrect, with the phrase, “New Year’s Resolution,” the new year is not the only time that a resolution or list of resolutions could be made. But, since it is so popular for the new year, it makes sense that we would embark on this activity in December, as preparation for the new year 2018. You have 30 days of activities and preparing yourself.
This is the time that we often resolve to make changes in our lives and changes that will benefit us for the rest of the year. They could be health changes, career changes, money-earning changes, relationship and family changes, and anything else that enhances our lives. Remember that, that this is for your benefit and/or for the benefit of others we love (or otherwise). So, let’s keep it positive, shall we? That’s a great way to start, eh?
So, let’s start with a history of these resolutions and understanding why we do it, eh?
Origin of New Year Resolutions Traditions
Like we said, the occurrence of the New Year is not a requirement in order to create your new year resolution list, but it is a nice reminder. It is also a popular time for that reminder.
Let’s look at the history of new year resolutions…
Babylonian New Year
Even the Babylonians from eons past had a tradition of bringing in the New Year. That was 4000 years ago! They spent time focusing on a fresh start, commemorated by the entrance of a new year. Sure, their new year is different from ours, in the U.S., starting in March. But, the key point is a reminder or commemoration so that people reminder to have that fresh start.
The Babylonians celebrated with an 11-day festival. It still continues with the Persian traditions of the new year. During this time, the Babylonians would offer up promised during their religious ceremonies. They would promise to become financially responsible in order to gain favor.
Other Cultural Traditions
The Egyptians had a basis for the determination of their New Year. They picked the time of the annual flooding of the Nile.
In the Roman empire, Julius Ceasar recognized January 1st as the first day of the new year. He was the first to do so and did it in honor of Janus, the god of new beginnings. Do you see it, too, the correlation between newness of life (i.e. resolutions) and the beginning of a new year?
Even if it may have begun with Julius Cesar, it was Pope Gregory XIII (the 13th) who helped January to become the first month of the new year when he developed the Gregorian calendar in 1582.
Why We Do New Year Resolutions
My educational expertise is in the study of psychology, studying business psychology for the completion of my doctorate.
It is very normal for us, as humans, to want to be better, whether that is an improvement of our physical health, our mental or emotional health, improvement in our career or acquisition of material goods, or any other area for improvement.
By creating resolutions for ourselves we are able to define our lives with some clarity about what lies ahead. It is similar to creating a roadmap for our lives for the upcoming year. By creating that roadmap, we have a step-by-step map to follow in order to reach our goals.
It also provides a solidification of our purpose in life. Even if we have resolutions that do not encompass every aspect of our life, if we are able to reach success in the area of our new year resolutions, it means we can peel back the next layer and improve ourselves even more.
By understanding our goals, objectives, and our plan on how to reach them, it helps us to have a more tangible, concrete handle on our lives. It can be accomplished through making promises, in the form of resolutions, to ourselves. This helps us to be more accountable, which also helps.
Without resolutions or plans, it is possible that we lose sight of our focus. We may lose focus, and especially in understanding where we are headed and how to get there. That is why we need those goals and resolutions.
If we are unable to meet our plans or resolutions, we can sometimes have feelings that are less than optimum. For example, maybe our self-esteem is affected, or we may feel worthless and struggle with emotional issues or confusion about how we feel.
When we are able to meet our plans or resolutions, we can feel a sense of accomplishment. We have achieved our goals that we set via those resolutions. Also, if we can measure our progress, we may feel very satisfied.
Fear: That I will not be able to accomplish the New Year resolutions so why bother.
Strategies for Making Those New Year’s Resolution List
While it is true that we need to make the resolutions, it is helpful if we identify strategies that will help us make them. Also, we need the strategies to help us identify ways to make the resolutions in a way that helps us to be successful.
Here are some basic strategies that will help to increase our chances of success:
- Make a wish list of every resolution that you want to include in a perfect world.
- Choose only a few items from your wish list, for the resolution list. (You don’t want to become overwhelmed and quit prematurely.)
- Be very specific in your intentions, in order to keep focused. An example is to name how many pounds one would want to lose rather than a general statement of losing weight.
- Keep yourself accountable to the resolutions that you make. Don’t let yourself become overwhelmed, in which case you may want to consider dropping a resolution or two. But, for those resolutions you are committed to finish, keep accountable.
- Measure your progress so that you know how your resolutions are tracking.
- Consider sharing your experience or your goals with friends. Consider following the process as a group, holding one another accountable.
Now that we understand the history of resolutions and understand why we may want the resolution, we can move forward. So, here are some ideas for resolutions, some activities that you can even start in the New Year or anytime: