Friday, December 31, 2010

Your New Year's Resolution...

With this being the last day of a tumultuous year, I thought it best to help all of us look forward to a new year - a new beginning.  Each year millions of people make resolutions for the new year, but according to loose statistics, only about 35% of us actually keep them. And of that 35%, 78% are gone by the end of February.  Wow!

So I was wondering where did this tradition really start.  I was shocked to learned that setting resolutions dates back to 153 B.C. when Janus, a mythical Roman king, was placed at the head of the calendar.  He had two faces which allowed Janus to look back on past events and forward to the future. Consequently, Janus became the symbol for resolutions and thought of as the god of beginnings.  Even though the new year did not always begin on January 1, when Julius Caesar developed the 365-day solar calendar in 46 B.C., he set January 1 as the first day of the year.  And the first month was named after Janus.

Okay so this tradition dates back a long time, but why are we not able to keep our resolutions?  I think it's because our resolutions are either too lofty or too expensive.  When we resolve to do something that is essentially pie in the sky, it's hard to get there.  Instead we should look forward to making gradual progress.  And then on the other hand, many of us resolve to do things that will cost us a great deal of money.

I have no statistics for this, but I would think that gym memberships increase by 600% in the month of January.  And that the gyms are carried financially through June from all the money collected in January.  Why in the world would you even consider joining a gym when you are not, have never been and probably will never be a morning person.  And with your three children and homework, dinner, baths and so on, you have no time left in the evening.  And then with your work day so sporadic.  Why would you even torture yourself and waste your money on a gym membership that you will never use???  Instead how about investing in a Wii console and Wii Fit or a Kinect system?  Or what about just taking a 30 minute walk around your neighborhood or in front of the TV while you're watching Desperate Housewives?  Resolutions shouldn't cost us money unless we are really committed to keeping them.

Now let's compact the lofty ones.  I want to quit smoking.  Now if you have smoked for the last 20 years and you are putting away a pack a day, saying that you will quit cold turkey is pretty lofty.  So instead how about setting small steps, triumphants if you will instead.  This year I resolve to reduce my smoking to half a pack a day on the way to quitting.  Small steps are the one we can keep.  And be sure to insert times of the year that you will update your resolution.  So you may say that by March I will be down to half a pack and by June I will be down to a quarter pack and so on.

But even though I say all of this, many of us are still going to set resolutions that are unrealistic for who we are.  So I want to present some resolutions that I think we can keep.  Enjoy.

  • I will no longer waste my time reliving the past, instead I will spend it worrying about the future.

  • I will not use the same excuse for being out at work. I will think of some more excuses.

  • I will try to figure out why I *really* need nine e-mail addresses.

  • I will stop forwarding e-mails that promise change in the next 24 hours.

  • I will read the manual... just as soon as I can find it.

  • I will think of a password other than "password."

  • I will not tell the same story at every get together.  Instead I will get out so I can get new stories.

  • I will be more imaginative.


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