With a new year in full swing, I’m sure we all have wishes and hopes for the new year. I keep hearing people say they don’t make new year’s resolutions any more.
I seem to remember growing up, people made them at the start of every year.
I guess people are a little scared to say they have made a resolution for fear they won’t stick to it.
Afterall, how many times have we vowed to not drink soda anymore, lose weight, save money, etc?
I did a little research and found out that new year’s resolutions have been a tradition around the world since the time of the Babylonians.
I found that the tradition of resolutions had a religious start. Apparently the Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year. They would vow to payback debts they owed from the previous year. The Romans also started their new year by making promises to their god Janus, for whom the month January is named.
Knights in the medieval era made “peacock” vows to reaffirm their chivalry. And, many Christians spend the last night of the year praying and meditating over goals for the new year.
Apparently there are a lot of other religious holidays and practices in which people reflect on the previous year and make vows, promises or resolutions for the new year.
It seems to me we’re still following these traditions under a different name: goal setting. I bet each of my readers has already made goals for 2013. I know I have.
I’ve made personal, spiritual, financial and professional goals for the new year. And, just like the majority of Americans, I know there are several of them I won’t keep.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve vowed to pay off my credit cards, lose weight, save money, do this or go to that… I’m still overweight, still in debt and still have very little savings to my name.
No excuses here. I just didn’t follow through. I found a few tips, though, that are supposed to help us keep up with our goals for the new year.
1) Focus one major goal. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many goals. Pick a habit or behavior you would most like to modify and focus on that.
2) Rather than saying you’re going to save more money or be more healthy, state a specific goal. Resolve to save $1,000 or to lose 10 pounds. This way you know exactly what you aim to achieve.
3) Don’t do it alone. Ask your family, friends or significant other to help you achieve your goal. This could mean going to the gym together or having them keep your stash of savings safe.
4) Write it down and tell others about your goal. It’s important to have a clear resolution and to have others holding you accountable.
5) Make sure to cut yourself some slack here and there. Enjoy a piece of cake on a special occasion or buy that pretty top you saw in the magazine. Just don’t go overboard.
Happy resolving, friends!