What’s your New Year’s resolution? It’s January 1, 2017, so you’re expected to approach this next year with a new, refreshed sense of personal being. You’re supposed to fight less, eat healthier, save money, make better grades, and make plans for your future. You haven’t done that yet? It’s okay; by the end of January most of us will have forgotten what it was we decided to achieve.
Where did the idea of making a firm decision to do or not do something originate? That’s the official definition of resolution – a firm decision to do or not do something.
The Romans prayed to the god Janus, the guardian of beginnings and endings. Rumor has it Janus had eyes to see the past and eyes to see the future.
Julius Caesar determined that a month should be dedicated to Janus, and the month of January was born.
The Babylonians prayed to their gods at the beginning of the year to repay their debts and return borrowed items.
In the medieval ages, knights took a vow to recommit themselves to chivalry.
I prefer to look at the root of the word resolution – resolute. Resolute is the quality of being determined. I think of resolute as being a pretty cool way to describe myself. I don’t make resolutions, I make determined decisions.
It is estimated that more than 40% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. It is also estimated that 8% of those Americans actually fulfill them. Maybe 50% of the American population votes in Presidential elections, so New Year’s resolutions are kind of a big deal.
To me, New Year’s resolutions feel like going to visit your great-aunt. We’re supposed to do it with a pure heart full of joy, but really we’re just counting down the minutes until we’re allowed to leave.
That’s why I’m making a proposal for 2017. No more resolutions! Instead, let’s be determined, strong, resolute individuals. That’s a firm decision I can fulfill for the year 2017.