As we cross over, into the new year, some of us are formulating our New Year's Resolutions, while others are already breaking them! Our whole-hearted goals to "try to do "X" in the new year... try to lose weight; try to eat healthier and exercise more; try to be more organized or better at a particular skill, are all well intentioned ones. But often these goals/resolutions are never met, leaving us feeling sheepish and guilty. So who started this tradition? Who brought on this annual guilt?
The history of this tradition of stating a self-improvement goal, hearkens back to the Babylonians, who would make promises to their gods that they would return borrowed items and pay outstanding debts in the new year.
The Romans, continued it from there by praying to their god, Janus, (for whom the month of January is named), the two-faced god who looks backward at the previous year, and forward into the new year. In addition to being the patron of endings and beginnings, Janus was also the patron of arches, doorways and bridges, where a two headed statue was erected in 62 B.C. on the bridge that crosses Rome's Tiber River to Tiber Island. It is said to be good luck if you touch the head of this statue when crossing the bridge!
Resolution trends this year point toward Mindfulness as well as the pursuit of Happiness. Dr. Timothy J. Sharp published a book entitled, 100 Ways to Happiness (a guide for busy people), that is a small, but surprisingly impactful resource for tips on tweaking one's thoughts while incorporating daily practices in order to reach long term happiness!
While I could always exercise more and hone a few skills, I think I am going with FOCUS in the new year. While falling under the umbrella of mindfulness, for me it means no more multi-tasking my way through each day, but rather being present to every encounter, especially those moments where something can be learned if I just exercise a little more patience!
What are your resolutions? Are they still in tact? Good luck in the new year!