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New Year's Resolution-Don't Make it to Break It!

Updated on December 12, 2014

Explode into 2015 with Your New Year's Resolution


Happy Christmas (War is Over)

Forward Towards a New Year

It’s that time of the year again—the time when we think about the year gone by and consider the year to come—Christmas songs on the radio, movies passing on messages of love and goodwill, and our feelings a mixture of excitement and joy, with a smidgeon of regret. Yes, I did say regret, and I don’t wish to put a downer on your celebrations but every year a song we all love is played over the air repeatedly and makes us wonder if we’ve achieved everything we could have achieved over the last 365 days and what we should be aiming at next year. That song “So this is Christmas” by John Lennon, is actually bringing the state of the whole world to our attention, but it is a cry to all of us to change ourselves for the better and for many of us that means making New Year’s resolutions and attempting to keep them.

A Traditional New Year's Eve

Traditionally New Year is a Time for celebration. It is a time when we meet up with friends and family and bid goodbye to the past. The song many of us know that links us with the past is Auld Lang Syne.

A Gentle Version of this Sentimental Song

Auld Lang Syne

The tune of 'Auld Lang Syne' was not always the one attached to this New Year's traditional song by Burns. However, it is the one which English-speaking peoples all over the world relate to and use to celebrate, not only New Year, but also other times when friends are gathered together in celebration and farewell. Whilst singing we are sent back into the past and the earliest family and friends are in our thoughts

It is a poignant message that symbolizes the passage of time, a remembrance of past times and friends which often brings a sentimental tear to the eye, but also allows us to look forward to the new friends and acquaintances by whom we are surrounded.

There are many different versions of this song but here are a few lines from the one I grew up with.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And days o' lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my Dear
For auld lang syne
We'll tak a cup o kindness yet
For auld lang syne

How Did the Tradition of New Years Resolutions Evolve?

It could well be that Janus, a mythical king of Rome, is to blame for our sudden desire to start the year well. Janus was two-faced, that is he was depicted as looking in both directions, to the past and to the future. He was placed at the beginning of the calendar in 153 B.C. and thus became a symbol for resolutions; the Romans would exchange gifts with their friends and ask forgiveness of their enemies. It seems that this began the tradition as we know it today although rather than asking for forgiveness we usually resolve to abandon an old habit or way of life that has been wrong or bad for us and hopefully replace it with something that will improve us or our way of life.

What Kind of Resolution Should You Make?

Of course the kind of resolutions made vary from person to person but usually they are self-improving and often, after the festivities of Christmas they are concerned with remedying the effects of binging. Common resolutions are, drink less alcohol, eat less (go on a diet), smoke less or quit smoking altogether and take more exercise--hence the first day of the year is reputedly the busiest for gyms and their popularity lasts all the way through to February! Other popular New Year Resolutions are to organize your time and get more out of life, travel, study something new, help others, spend more time with your family, and meet new people.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year


Facts and Figures about Making a Resolution

Of course it is difficult to give exact facts and figures about making New Year's Resolutions, many people are wary of committing themselves publicly to making a resolution and others do not want to admit they have broken theirs. Having said that it seems that approximately 45% of Americans alone do make a New Year's Resolution and of those 8% are successful in keeping it for the whole year! Well done if you were of the 8% who stuck to it last year!

For the rest of us a few tips.

  • Don't be shy! Those who announce their resolutions to the world are 10% more likely to stick to it and achieve their goals than those who don't--Facebook here I come!
  • The secret of achieving success in keeping to your resolution is to make it attainable--don't hobble yourself by demanding too much of yourself all in one fell swoop.

What do I mean by that? Simply this; you have 365 days to achieve your aim. If your aim is to lose weight, go on a sensible diet. Choose a diet that you can stick to; make it a life change not a crash diet which will leave you feeling like a failure because you will, inevitably, break it. You may want to see more of your friends or family, if so tell them so. Arrange a time and place to meet, it could be as often as every evening at dinner, once a week for lunch or a drink, or even once a month for a reunion and recap of news. Whenever it is stick to it and don't use the telephone to cry off.

Get Help in Keeping Your New Year's Resolution

Enlist the help of friends and family by telling them what you wish to achieve this year. If it is truly difficult for you to maintain your resolution write it down and stick it on the fridge. Hang a calendar on the wall and put a tick over every day you manage to keep to your dream. Give yourself a pat on the back and a treat when you manage a week, a month and finally a year. If you do trip up don't give up forever, dust yourself off and carry on the next day. Above all don't lay on the guilt if you fail--lots of people don't even try!--And finally have a Happy new Year!

Not Just a Song

Singing a song at midnight is not the end of the New Year's celebrations. The first person to cross your threshold can be the harbinger of good or bad luck for the New Year. If you can't get someone tall and dark to take the first step into your household to herald the New Year you should do what many did in the past and get someone to hold a lump of coal (difficult in the present age of central heating and air conditioning). Others deemed lucky when making that important first step into the home are new brides and mothers. If you can't find any of those hanging around perhaps you should keep your fingers crossed for luck or say a little prayer.

Did You Make and Stick to Any New Year's Resolutions Last Year? Are You Planning to Make Any This Year? I'd Love to Hear about them. Happy New Year to You All..

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