One more time.
What is a resolution for 2007 I can set for myself, that I feel confident I can follow through with?
Why do we set such un-attainable goals as our official New Years resolution?
“This year I will quit smoking!” said my uncle. His wife jokingly reminded him that he was still on that resolution from 1989.
I do it too. I set these high asp rational goals each year only to look back with slight guilt when I have failed . . . On January 3rd!
Here is how Wikipedia defines “New Years Resolution”
A New Year's resolution is a commitment that an individual makes to a project or a habit, often a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as advantageous. The name comes from the fact that these commitments normally go into effect on New Year's Day and remain until the set goal has been achieved, although many resolutions go unachieved and are often broken fairly shortly after they are set.
Isn’t it ironic that even the definition states that many resolutions go unachieved and are often broken fairly shortly after they are set! It is in the darn definition! I assume, which I hate to do, that it s ok to set an unattainable goal since you know it is ok to not accomplish it?
Then why do we do it?
I personally think we do it with the best intentions and the worst intent. I also think we have to set a resolution and we know for sure that we will be asked numerous times “what is your new years resolution?”, therefore, WITH our best intentions we put forth a lofty goal which we have designed no intent of how to follow through.
Am I ruining the “New Years Resolution” feeling for you? Sorry if I am, that is not my intent, read on!
Let us lighten it up a bit here and look at the history of the “New Year Resolution” from Wikipedia.
The tradition of the New Year's Resolutions goes all the way back to 153 BC. Janus, a mythical king of early Rome was placed at the head of the calendar. (Source: "How to Achieve Your New Years Resolutions", GoalsGuy, ?. Retrieved on ?.)
With two faces, Janus could look back on past events and forward to the future. Janus became the ancient symbol for resolutions and many Romans looked for forgiveness from their enemies and also exchanged gifts before the beginning of each year.
The New Year has not always begun on January 1, and it doesn't begin on that date everywhere today. It begins on that date only for cultures that use a 365-day solar calendar. January 1 became the beginning of the New Year in 46 B.C., when Julius Caesar developed a calendar that would more accurately reflect the seasons than previous calendars had.
The Romans named the first month of the year after Janus, the god of beginnings and the guardian of doors and entrances. He was always depicted with two faces, one on the front of his head and one on the back. Thus he could look backward and forward at the same time. At midnight on December 31, the Romans imagined Janus looking back at the old year and forward to the new. The Romans began a tradition of exchanging gifts on New Year's Eve by giving one another branches from sacred trees for good fortune. Later, nuts or coins imprinted with the god Janus became more common New Year's gifts.
In the Middle Ages, Christians changed New Year's Day to December 25, the birth of Jesus. Then they changed it to March 25, a holiday called the Annunciation. In the sixteenth century, Pope Gregory XIII revised the Julian calendar, and the celebration of the New Year was returned to January 1.
The Julian and Gregorian calendars are solar calendars. Some cultures have lunar calendars, however. A year in a lunar calendar is less than 365 days because the months are based on the phases of the moon. The Chinese use a lunar calendar. Their new year begins at the time of the first full moon after the sun enters Aquarius--sometime between January 19 and February 21.
Although the date for New Year's Day is not the same in every culture, it is always a time for celebration and for customs to ensure good luck in the coming year.
All of that is quite interesting, but there is one paragraph that sets the tone for my resolution this year. Go back, if you will and read paragraph two, specifically the second and last sentence.
Forgiveness and exchange of gifts.
Now, I am not attempting to provide Hallmark with yet another major card giving holiday here, but I am suggesting that possibly this year we all take note of the doings of the Romans in 153 BC. Who knows if they were able to follow through with this act of goodness? On January 2, 154 BC there could have been the largest slaughter of a civilization at the hands of the Romans, but my point is that the intent is awesome!
It seems to me that the intent was goodness.
I want to stretch it to kindness, but I feel confident that the intent was at minimal, goodness. How difficult is it to be “good” to one another? Start fresh, put the past in the past. I am not saying be naïve and allow bad to come to you out of your kindness, but I am asking you this . . . Are you benefiting at all, in any way, even in the slightest, by not being good to EVERYONE you come into contact with on a daily basis?
There is a commercial out right now. I don’t even know who the ad is for, but the theme is awesome. A guy is walking in a busy downtown area, a woman drops a baby’s toy out of the stroller and doesn’t notice it, the guy picks it up and puts it back in the stroller. Another guys sees this act of goodness and later in the day, lets a car pull in front of him at a horrendously busy intersection, another person sees this act of goodness, and she later pushes a guy out of harms way when a crate is about to fall on him, and another guy notices this, etc, etc. By the end of the commercial the first guy who picked up the child’s toy is pushing his own child down a sidewalk and a toy falls out of his child’s stroller and he doesn’t notice until a man picks it up and hands it to him.
OK, Chris, you’re talking about a commercial, and ad, trying to sell us something.
I say I am trying to sell you something. Be good to people this year. Not good, but EXTRA GOOD. Accept people for who they are, not their skin color, their hair color, the clothes they wear, or the size that they are. Find a way to go out of your way to be good to people for as long as you can this year and see how it affects you. You might be surprised.
If you really want to stretch it . . . Try being kind to everyone you come into contact with on a daily basis. How easy will that be to follow through on? Maybe not so easy. We all have our bad days, BUT if we remember our New Years Resolution and find a way to charge through our yuck in our own life, maybe we will brighten someone else’s day and in return they will brighten another individual’s day! Then our New Years Resolution has not only been “good” for us, but it has brought a positive light into other individuals year as well.
Do this. Write it down. Put it on your desk, tape it on your bathroom mirror, on your refrigerator:
Janus became the ancient symbol for resolutions and many Romans looked for forgiveness from their enemies and also exchanged gifts before the beginning of each year ~ And today I will be good to everyone I come into contact with, forgiving them and giving them my gift of kindness.
It will come back to you.