Where New Year resolutions come from
About 2000 years later, during the time of Julius Cesar, the Romans believed in a god called Janus. January was added to the calendar after this god. This god had two faces and Romans believed that this god could symbolically look backwards into the previous year and forward into the future. So, on the first of January Romans offered sacrifices to this god and made promises of good conduct for the coming year.
Now, fast forward to early Christianity and you’ll see that they kept the first of January tradition to think about one’s past mistakes and to resolve to do and be better in the future –in particular during the New Year that’s starting.
The most common New Year’s resolutions
It makes sense when you think that, according to history, the main goal of setting New Year’s resolutions is to be better than we were the year before, don't you think?
It also makes sense about the money, weight and relationship resolutions because of the time of the year during which most people make them. If you think about it, people have been spending money, eating to their hearts content, and visiting family and friends ever since Thanksgiving until the end of the year. So, I think it’s only normal to set out those resolutions.
Why New Year’s resolutions fail
But if you realize it, the moment you ditch your resolution, you might begin to feel a sense of failure or incapability that hurts your entire belief system, more specifically beliefs about yourself having what it takes to accomplish your goals.
Another reason New Year’s resolutions fail is because we cannot see how broad and overwhelming they can be, nor are prepared mentally and emotionally for temporary setbacks that for sure are going to arise.
How to improve your chances of achieving your New Year’s resolutions
- Put some thought into your goal. Make sure you focus on one meaningful resolution. This resolution needs to be something you really want and are willing to do as much as you can and need to do to see yourself succeed.
- Focus on one small change at the time. If your resolution is too big, break it down into achievable steps. If necessary focus on one step this year. If you finish it before the end of the year, go ahead and begin the second step, and so on.
- Be prepared to do the work. Everything worthwhile requires work, although sometimes it’s not just physical work; it can be mental, emotional and spiritual work. So make sure you’re ready for it and also for the temporary setbacks that come naturally.
The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” –Socrates
If you do want to set up New Year’s resolutions, I recommend you to give some thought to what you want to accomplish. Make sure these resolutions are to help you become better than you were the year before and make the commitment with yourself to do the work that needs to be done to accomplish them.
What other ideas do you have to help us keep our resolutions or goals throughout the year? Share them with us in the comments below.
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