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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

New Year’s Resolutions: Fact and Myth ~ #LynnCrain #NewYearsResolutions #RB4Us

First, let me apologize for being a little late. I have to admit, I am horribly, horribly slow during the holidays. This year, I thought I had everything planned out to a T…but obviously I missed one…I promise to do better next year. So…did I just make a New Year’s resolution? Or is that just a promise? This month, I’m looking at this age old tradition and finding its roots.

We all know what New Year’s resolutions are…don’t we?

We’ve made them, we’ve broken them and we’ve circled around them because we don’t know quite what to do. Let’s start with a definition: A New Year’s resolution is a tradition where a person resolves to change an undesired behavior or trait to accomplish a personal goal or to improve their life. These are most common in the Western hemisphere but can be found in the Eastern part of the world as well.

Okay, so now we know what they are…but who started them?

It’s said that the ancient Babtlonians were the first people to make New Year’s resolutions over 4,000 years ago. They also were the first to hold New Year’s celebrations but their calendar did not have the year start until mid-March when the crops were planted.

Great…we know who started them but why were they started?

As with many things in the past, New Year’s resolutions had their beginnings in religion. For instance, Babylonians made promises to their gods at the beginning of planting season that they would pay their debts as well as return anything they borrowed. Romans began their year by making promises to their god Janus of a similar nature. For early Christians, New Year’s day because the traditional day to think about their past mistakes and resolve to be better in the future.

So now we know the hows and the why…but how many people stick with their resolutions?

According to popular statistics between 40-50% of Americans say they make New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, those same statistics say that only 8 percent of those are successful. And the crux of the issue is what that resolution may be. If the resolution is difficult, chances are you aren’t going to succeed. However, it has been noted that if your resolution is of a more common nature, nearly half of those are accomplished as the person who makes them is ten times more likely to fulfill their goal.

What are the most common New Year’s resolutions?

After perusing many, many, many statistical lists of top ten New Year’s resolutions, these seem to be the most common.

1.       Lose weight and get fit.
2.      Stop smoking.
3.      Learn and do something new.
4.      Get out of debt and save more money.
5.      Volunteer
6.      Spend more time with family.
7.      Be less stressed and more positive.
8.     Travel more.
9.      Improve career.
10.  Spend less time on trivia things such as social media.

So there it is…the whole New Year resolution thing in a nutshell. Being a writer means we plan and make plans, we set goals and we do our best to make sure those goals happen. Everyone holds the keys to their own destiny and it’s up to each of us to shape that destiny into everything we want it to be.

What about you? Are you pulling out the new planning calendar to set your resolutions and goals? I know I am…and one of those will be…to be on time more and conscious of that fact.

Hope you all had a great Christmas and have a wonderful upcoming New Year celebration…see you next time!



Cara Marsi said...

Interesting facts. Thanks, Lynn. I make one resolution every year, to write at least 1000 words a day. I break that resolution by March every year. Happy New Year!

Judy Baker said...

I think about New Year's Resolutions every year, but don't really make a list. I do make a list of what I would like to accomplish with my writing, then I hide the paper and forget about until Dec of that year. I've surprised myself many time of how many of the thing on the list that I've actually completed. Hmm, is that a New Years Resolution?

Lynn Crain said...

Great one, Cara! Glad you enjoyed the article.

Lynn Crain said...

For the past two years, I've sat down the week before New Year's and gone over what I want to get done.

The first year included an international move then another one to New Mexico. The second year, my husband had cancer and it was hard to keep my head above water let alone fulfill any goals.

This year, I'm revisiting those two lists and going to incorporate it into one list that has realistic goals.

I belong to a critique group that we do this every year and hopefully, this coming year I'll be ticking off more boxes than ever.

Thanks for dropping by, Judy...appreciate it!

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