I originally wrote this post at the end of last year for one of Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompts. I thought, because of the subject matter and timing, it would be worth reposting it.
Many people use the approaching new year to take stock of their lives. They look behind at the past year and reflect on their achievements and failures. Often, they focus on the mistakes they made, their broken promises, and unfulfilled dreams. They resolve to improve themselves, to get a fresh start as the brand new year commences.
New Year’s resolutions are an effort to reinvent oneself; they are a form of self-motivation. People make them with the hope of changing their lives for the better. Unfortunately, most such resolutions are not kept for very long. So why bother?
Resolutions are all about hopefulness and people have been making these annual resolutions for centuries. The act of creating such resolutions has reportedly been around since Babylonian times, when the Babylonians were said to have made promises to the gods in the hope that they’d earn good favor in the coming year.
Some sources say that the tradition of New Year’s resolutions dates back to around 150 BC. January is named after the mythical early Roman god Janus, who had two faces, which allowed him to look both back on the past (the old year) and forward toward the future (the new year).
This became a symbolic time for Romans to make resolutions for the new year and to forgive enemies for troubles in the past. Janus would forgive the Romans for their wrongdoings in the previous year, and, based upon gifts and promises, would bless them in the year ahead.
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. It’s not that I’m perfect and there’s no room for improvement. That’s far from the case. But I don’t like that feeling of failure when my resolutions to get more exercise, to eat healthier, to watch less TV, or to be a better human being inevitably fall short. So if I don’t make any New Year’s resolutions, I won’t beat myself up for not being able to keep them.
Having said that, the one resolution I do plan to keep is to continue blogging, so long as it’s still fun, fulfilling, and doesn’t become a burden.
Happy New Year, fellow bloggers. And for those of you who do make New Year’s resolutions, best of luck. Because the odds of success are against you.