Why A New Year’s Resolution?

Welcome day 2 of 2015! As most of our friends and family are making New Year’s Resolutions and posting it on their Social Media sites, I am sitting here thinking- how did we get here?

I have never been one for New Year’s Resolution- being stubborn I change when I want to – not when it’s a fad. (I swear I’m not a hipster). But it just so happens my life is on point to make some major changes right around the same time as the New Year, I figure I might as well embrace the community energy. For the last three months I have logged around 30 hours of flying, 24 hours of road-tripping, visited 3 countries, 4 states and all with two carry-ons.  December 27th marked the first day of stability and I could not have welcomed it with a bigger smile.

I was curious on how we started to celebrate the New Year and wanted to share with you a little history lesson from one culture with you: The early Roman calendar consisted of 10 months and 304 days, with each new year beginning at the vernal equinox; according to tradition, it was created by Romulus, the founder of Rome, in the eighth century B.C. A later king, Numa Pompilius, is credited with adding the months of Januarius and Februarius. Over the centuries, the calendar fell out of sync with the sun, and in 46 B.C. the emperor Julius Caesar decided to solve the problem by consulting with the most prominent astronomers and mathematicians of his time. He introduced the Julian calendar, which closely resembles the more modern Gregorian calendar that most countries around the world use today.

Read more: http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/new-years

OK, so not that exciting but where did New Year’s Resolutions come from? This took slightly more research then a quick stroke of letters into Google, but if you’ve got some time read Wikipedia’s breakdown– it is entertaining. There are a few takes on how the New Year’s Resolution evolved, so I just highlighted two below.

The ancient Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts. In 1740, John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, invented a new type of church service were held during the Christmas and New Year’s season as an alternative to holiday partying. Today, these services are often held on New Year’s Eve, according to the United Methodist Church. Worshipers sing, pray, reflect on the year and renew their covenant with God.

As our culture evolved we somehow took the basic moral, faith and good-will out of the New Year and turned it into champagne dream following a detox program. Sounds about right. It’s no wonder there is an 88% failure rate.

Here is a compilation of the polled most popular resolutions:

  • Volunteering more
  • Losing weight
  • Stopping smoking
  • Eating better
  • Debt Free
  • Saving Money

The list above surely are wonderful goals to have and one should never stop improving. If you’re in the mood to see a shift in our society, your life and making the world a better place then perhaps the you will be inspired my Top Four New Year’s Resolutions worth keeping this year.

Who knows, maybe next year we will have a 50% success rate 🙂

  • Never speak ill of others. This one is challenging especially since our culture is riddled with judgment and hatred- in fact our society encourages it and it even bonds us (oh you hate XYZ, too?!). Judgment is a survival technique we picked up a long time ago- so we will never be 100% clean of judging. We can cut out the fatty parts when you go above and beyond to hurt someone else out of jealously, envy or boredom. The only way to fight it is to counteract it with support, love and encouragement. What you focus on expands, mind as well make it positive.
  • Open yourself and create possibilities. This life can be amazing if you just let it work its magic. Pursue your dreams; fail at them make a success of it! Make mistakes, laugh, cry, be scared, speak your mind- be alive. You’re worth it. And yes, you CAN do it.
  • Define what you stand for. If you define what your morals are and what you stand for you will start to surround yourself with others who are like-minded and you will flourish.
  • Make more time for the ones you love, and say it! I love to say I love you. I say it all the time! Be sure the people who are the most important to you feel that way and the most precious gift you can give them is your time.

“Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”

The above list is also coincidentally some of the top things people regret not doing on their deathbed. Just some food for thought…..

Happy New Year to you and yours 🙂


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