December 26, 2018
New Year’s Resolutions: a Blessing and a Curse
Fountain DisplaySource: [FRAMES] Fountain Light Show 01 | Penelope Peru Photography P³
New Year’s resolutions are a blessing and a curse. On one hand, they’re a wonderful starting point and a great way to get the masses motivated. On the other hand, it’s completely and utterly bogus to base our goals around an arbitrary date. In reality, you should always strive to better yourself – not just for a week or four during the first quarter of the year.
Clock GuySource: Clock Guy & Rose Stickers | Penelope Peru Photography P³
Who Started this Tradition Anyways?
During a 12-day celebration known as Akitu
(on the first day of Akitu my true love gave to me…), the ancient Babylonians would pledge their promises to the Gods after plating their crops in the midst of March and reaffirming or crowning a new king . These promises were their annual resolutions, so to speak.
After Julius Caesar, the emperor of ancient Rome, established January first as the beginning of the new year in 46 B.C., the Romans began the tradition of offering sacrifices and promising to God that they would behave throughout the new year.
Christians also had a hand in shaping New Year’s traditions as we know. However, in spite of it’s religious roots, the New Year is often observed as a holiday separate from the churches.
Who Bothers to Actually Follow Through with their Resolutions Anyways?
A recent survey conducted by Cision and Varo Money found Saving Money was the most common New Year’s resolutions among their participants in the United States. 45% vowed to get in shape, while 25% hoped to get a little more action this year.
Yet, it’s safe to say the majority of those surveyed did not save money, get in shape, or score. Just last year, U.S. News reported that 80% of all resolutions fail due to the stress of change and the lack of motivation to push past it.
Who Needs New Year’s Resolutions Anyways?
Although it’s impractical to base your goals around one day of the year, there is some merit to a New Year’s Resolution.
Yes, while they are often tossed to the wayside just a month after vowing to change, the start of the new year may be the little push some need to reach a turning point in their life. Old habits die hard, but that doesn’t mean you won’t try again later in the year. Or the next year. Better late than never, right?
The start of the new year encourages a time of self reflection and maintenance. It forces us to take a step outside of ourselves and analyze our current state. It is a time of accepting that you have faults and are capable of growing from them.
How do you set Practical Resolutions Anyways?
I had always been told to shoot for the stars, ’cause at least you’ll still reach the moon if you don’t make it all the way. Aim high, but stay realistic.
Focus on a clear goal that makes sense for where you are in life, start small, and get organized. Above all else, hold your head high above the clouds.
Truly Asses Yourself
Take a step back and think about who you are and who you would like to be. Decide upon a resolution that would benefit you as well as others in your lives (just don’t make any drastic changes solely for others). Set a goal you know will keep you engaged.
Settle on a Central Focus
You may decide there are a multiple aspects of your life that you would like to change. That’s great! However, it’s best to pick one central focus and stick with it, as to not overwhelm yourself.
One small step for you, one leap towards becoming the best version of yourself. Set small goals to help you achieve your larger goal. Accomplishing little goals seems far less daunting and it’s rewarding enough to keep you motivated along the way.
Whether that means straightening things up internally or externally, organization is another cornerstone of success.
Your brain isn’t able to work as efficiently in a cluttered environment. Researchers Stephanie McMains and Sabine Kastner of Princeton University’s Department of Psychology found that a messy environment severely impacted their participants ability to focus and process information.
When your world is in disarray, the additional stimuli competes for your brain’s attention. Internal organization, such as clearing your mind, getting your priorities straight, as well as curating clear paths to fulfill your resolution is also important and often overlooked.
Chin up, Buttercup
Keep your head held high and your esteem up alongside it. Self-trust – or at the very least, false confidence – is at the foundation of ambition. Don’t underestimate yourself. Keeping track of your progress is another wonderful motivator.
New Year, New You (Sort Of)
While I still hold that we should strive to better ourselves throughout the entire year, not just for the first few weeks of it, January is a time of introspection and new beginnings. In many cases, it is that little push we need to get us on the right track.
However, many resolutions fizzle out by February, as they are impractical, overwhelming, or the well of motivation runs dry.
Rather than stressing yourself out over standards inspired by a holiday, which is merely a man-made concept, start small. Get organized, truly asses your needs, and settle on a central focus. Staying optimistic is also a vital staple of success.
ANYWAYS (if you couldn’t tell, that was sort of the going theme here), cheers to 2019. Wishing you a prosperous New Year!
XtaSeay throwing confetti at the cameraSource: Happy Holidaze | Penelope Peru Photography P³
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