It’s the NEW YEAR! Time to make another resolution to do something that we failed to do last year! New Years resolutions – some of us do them, some of us don’t. Some years we make a lot of resolutions and some years we make none.
History of the New Years resolution
What started the New Years resolution? Well, I was curious so I decided to investigate it.
A New Years resolution is basically a commitment that a person makes toward personal goals, projects or a specific habit. It is basically a chance for us all to turn over a new leaf and start a new beginning. Some of these beginnings are bigger than others, be it religious, participatory or a simple basic resolution to stop doing something harmful to yourself or those around you. Personally, I’m hoping that my six year old son will make a resolution to warn us before passing gas. That can be pretty harmful.
As far as we can tell the Babylonians, Romans and ancient Chinese all created New Years resolutions. So how far back does it go? We have no idea, someone never followed through on their New Years resolution to keep track of when it started.
In ancient China they always set a special New Years resolution – to clean up their house. Similar to a spring cleaning, they would clean their house from top to bottom. Do they still hold true to that? I can’t say for certain. All I can assure you of is that I clearly have no Chinese in my family otherwise my pride in my ten year old dust bunnies would be unfounded.
Resolve to Do this or Not Do that
I have never been a big ‘resolver’. If I need to work out, I do it… if I need to stop a habit, I try and then give up. One year I tried to give up ice cream. I know, what on earth was I thinking? That lasted about 45 seconds. Another year I tried to give up beer, another futile effort since an ice cream sundae and an ice cold beer go so well together. This year however, I will admit to resolving to write as many quality books as I can. Which I suppose is better than resolving to right as many quality books as I can. That would really require some effort.
It’s always the same thing, resolving to do something, perhaps even coming up with ridiculous ways to achieve those resolutions. The human will power fighting the human instinct. It is a hard thing to do and when it comes to the genders of our society, it boils down to two things; Women need social pressure (weight loss, etc.) and men need rewards (I get this if I do this). It’s a crazy thing trying to train your own mind to do things you don’t really want to do, but we can all do it if we try.
Here are some frequent New Years resolutions:
- Physical work out
- Weight loss
- Improving mental well-being (yeah, never understood that one)
- Taking a trip (sometimes far away from relatives)
- Making new friends (perhaps making any friends?)
- Discovering new cultures (huh? why would you want to do that?)
- Pray more, or be closer to God
- Settle down, have kids, get engaged, etc.
- Improving finances
…and some of the more ridiculous New Years resolutions you never hear people making:
- Take up a new habit; smoking, drugs, etc.
- Spend at least $500 at a strip club
- Quit wasting money on charities
- Be more superstitious
- Read less (yes, please don’t do that!)
- Drink. Drink some more.
- Gain some weight (I resolve to gain at least 50 pounds this year)
- Speak in a monotone voice for at least six months out of the year
- Hold your breath until you pass out
- Get into more accidents
The Bottom Line
New Years resolutions are important. They are a chance for us all to come up with a way to better ourselves. However, I don’t think that it needs to be a new year to do it. I say, let’s all make a New Years resolution to resolve to do things without a New Years resolution!
Whatever your resolution, I stand behind you. Way behind you…