It’s that time of the year again. A time to lounge on the couch and decide how to make life different from the way it has been in the last 12 months. A time to draw up a list of ‘to-do’ things for 2011. And of course, the inevitable that is on everyone’s mind at this time –RESOLUTIONS!
The tradition of the New Year’s resolutions goes all the way back to 153 B.C. Janus, a mythical king of early Rome was placed at the head of the calendar. With two faces, Janus could look back on past events and forward to the future. Janus became the ancient symbol for resolutions and many Romans looked for forgiveness from their enemies and also exchanged gifts before the beginning of each year. Resolution making dates back to early Babylonians. The early Babylonian’s most popular resolution was to return borrowed farm equipment.
A Resolution isn’t the Solution
Resolution may have the word solution in it but that does not mean it’s going to be the answer to how odd your life has turned out in 2010. Resolutions are just a just a fancy way of saying commitment. You’re committed to your partner, your children, your family, your pet, your job….do you really need an extra commitment? Besides, if it really is going to benefit and change your life for the better, shouldn’t you have already started it? Why wait till New Year to make it?
The mother of all resolutions has to be losing weight. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman, thin or well, horizontally challenged, smart or riding the waves of dumbness, losing weight will be somewhere on the list of resolutions. This is one resolution I have been making almost every Sunday in the past two years. On Sunday evenings, as I tuck into a hearty dinner that looks fit to feed the giant at the top of the beanstalk, I proudly announce, ‘come Monday, I’ll go on a diet’. I never get around to doing it, of course, because that ‘Monday’ never comes!
The next resolution usually is, spending more time with the family. Recent polls conducted by General Nutrition Centres, Quicken, and others shows that more than 50% of Americans vow to appreciate loved ones and spend more time with family and friends this year. Come on, now. That is not even a resolution. That is a necessity. If you spent your free time in 2000, on the green, instead of with Junior, then you don’t need a resolution to change, you need a good old fashioned nagging from the wife to get you back in order. You don’t want a ‘Cat’s in the Cradle’ case now do you?
Why make resolutions?
What makes us make resolutions that we clearly know won’t stick? Perhaps, it is the belief that in the New Year, we are doing something to make our life better. Really? I’m not buying that. I think people make resolutions out of guilt. They know they did something in the past year that needs changing so they make a promise and a goal to change it. But if history of resolutions has taught us anything, it is that nobody keeps resolutions. I won’t even check back with you by June. Chances are by the second week of January, you would have already lapsed and are living a repeat of last year.
Truth be told, I don’t make resolutions. The basic reason being, I don’t keep them. In a drunken moment, I may declare loudly on New Year’s Eve, a few seconds before midnight, one resolution. However, by the next morning, as I open my eyes and see the world as it is in the New Year, I would have forgotten my declaration due to my alcoholic amnesia.
Make this year’s resolution-making fun. Sit the kids down and come up with weird resolutions, such as, learning to belch the alphabet, feeding a kangaroo, mewing at a dog and such. The kids will have a riot with this. Besides, as much as I know it, you know it. Resolutions do not last.
My resolution for this year? To have no resolutions, just like last year. Happy New Year!