Friday, 3 January 2014

New Years Resolutions.

Did you make any new year resolutions? 

Each year many of us resolve we’ll start doing this, or stop doing that. But more often than not our resolutions get dashed sometime early in January. There is nothing new in making new year resolutions. In ancient times the Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year. One of the promises made was that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts.   At 'watch night' services, many people who follow the Christian creed prepare for the year ahead by praying and making personal resolutions.  So I'm looking forward in the new year to recouping a few quid and one or two other items that of property that remain outstanding.

In the Medieval era, the knights took the "peacock vow" at the end of the Christmas season each year to re-affirm their commitment to chivalry. Chivalry is of course a bit short on the ground these days. Earlier this year we found a laptop near the canal. We managed to reunite the laptop with its owner with the help of the police.  It never crossed our mind to keep the item but at the time the police said it would not be the normal behaviour today. 

However, making and keeping new year resolutions are not just a Christian practise. There are other religious parallels to this tradition. During Judaism's New Year, Rosh Hashanah,  and culminating in Yom Kippur the Day of Atonement, one is supposed to reflect upon ones wrongdoings over the year and both seek and offer forgiveness. Once again I imagine that this is not a widely held belief or character trait today.

People may choose to make new years resolutions regardless of religious affiliations. If only to reflect their desire for a bit of  self-improvement annually.
Popular Resolutions:

  • Lose Weight is a perennial favourite for many resolution makers, and it doesn’t take much after Christmas and the New Year celebrations to figure out why. 
  • Quit Smoking is often considered as a resolution but is one of the hardest habits to break. 
  • For the boys a regular one is to Get a Six Pack. We are not talking beer. This is one of those elusive health goals that sounds great when you first get the idea. 
  • One the girls like to make for the boys is Quit Farting passing gas is a natural part of life, there’s such thing as an excessive amount of gas.
Eating and drinking might include:
  • Stop Eating Junk Food It seems like each year we learn more about just how bad fast food is for the body. 
  • Quit Drinking people are aware of the damaging effects of drinking alcohol, especially binge drinking, but we do it anyway. With a resolution often made while suffering a hangover! 

To do things might include:
  • Get a Will Made. If you haven’t sorted out your will and sort all of the loose ends in your life. Then you get your mind off of it and life your life fully. 
  • Live Within Your Means. Only spending what you have can be a real head scratcher for some. 
  • Join a Gym this resolution makes gym owners a lot of money. Gym members don’t actually use the gym they belong to after the first few weeks. 
  • As an alternative you could try a Daily Walk (dog optional) this can have positive effects on many aspects of your life, and aside from the fresh air and health benefits you might find that it’s therapeutic in itself.

Life Style choices might include:
  • Recycle More you could always be a little greener. 
  • Learn to Cook If you’ve always thought it would be great to cook, but didn’t know where to start, this could be the year. Take turns with your partner to cook a meal.
  • Become a Vegetarian. People cut out meat for several reasons, some because they don’t want to hurt animals, others because they don’t want to hurt the planet, and still others want to be healthier.

Personal related stuff might include: 
  • Stop Getting Angry. If you’ve got a short fuse you’re not helping yourself. This can lead to high blood pressure, undue stress, and fewer friends. 
  • Stop Being So Negative. This is often a reflection of the way you’re feeling, and if you’re one to always point out the half-empty cups in life you probably aren’t having as good of a time as you could.  
  • Stop Judging People “Judge not lest ye be judged.” It’s in the Bible, but people of all faiths and beliefs can subscribe to this one. If you’re sitting in judgement it probably represents an insecurity on your part.
  • Spend Less Time Online. When everything in your life seems to have an online presence, it’s sometimes hard to pry yourself from the computer.

Don’t Relapse. Any resolutions you make are all well and good, and you’ll likely make some progress on them for a brief period. But the trick is not to go back to your old ways and lose the benefits you’ve gained.

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