I resolve…

I was curious about what dastardly being visited the tradition of the New Year’s resolution upon mankind, so I looked it up.  Here’s what I found.

Babylonians of 2000 B.C. reportedly began the new year by paying off debts and returning borrowed goods (though how anyone knows that is beyond me).  Their new year was tied more to nature and the vernal equinox, though.  The calendar New Year didn’t come about until 153 B.C., when the god Janus was given the role of guardian at the gate of the new year. He was a good choice, given his two faces and ability to look both forward and backward at the same time and all.  Janus was the ancient Roman god of ‘”gates, doors and beginnings.”

It was apparently that “beginnings” part that led to the New Year’s resolution, because those ancient Romans resolved to begin the new year by forgiving their enemies.  I wonder how that worked out for them.

I’ve toasted Janus on my way through many New Year’s gateways in my life, and have made a few resolutions along the way.  For the most part, those resolutions haven’t come to a good end.  I’m not alone in this.  A recent survey by researchers at the University of Minnesots showed that 80% abandoned their New Year’s resolutions within two months of making them

As I was looking this stuff up on the web, I saw many lists of “the most popular New Year’s resolutions.”  And guess what? I have made every one of them at some point in my resolution-making career, to varying degrees of success.  Some will no doubt be familiar to you too.

1. Lose weight – Gah, is there anything more fattening than that resolution?

2.   Stop smoking – Hooray for me! That’s one I succeeded at eons ago. Of course, it took me several years, but so what?

3. Get more exercise – I consider this a work in progress. There is no question that I am more active than the first time I made that resolution, but there’s always room for improvement, right?

4. Go back to school – Chalk up another one for me.

5. Get organized – Ah-ha-ha-ha!

6.  Quit drinking – OK, this one was stupid right from the get-go.  I like me a good glass of wine now and again.

7.  Manage finances better – Ah-ha-ha-ha!

8.  Learn something new – Check. Blogging counts, right?

9.  Spend more time with family and friends – OK, but just the ones I like…

10.  Be nice to others – OK, but just the ones I like…

Like I said, limited success.

So this year, I’m only making two New Year’s resolutions:

1. Do good and avoid evil.

2. Stop making New Year’s resolutions.

How about you? How are you doing?

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15 Responses to I resolve…

  1. Neva Flores says:

    To be happy and share that happiness with others. A wonderful post you have delivered to us.

  2. Baino says:

    Haha . . yeh well not too far off mine. Sadly the losing weight coincides with the give up drinking WAH! As for exercise. Well, I walk my dog every day, stare at a treadmill and do three sets of five dumbell exercises for the canteen lady arms. I’ll let you know in April how I’ve fared, which is odd because I won’t be wearing sleeveless shirts then, it’s Autumn. *sigh*

  3. souldipper says:

    Fascinating post – made even better by all your true confessions.

    My resolution? Have Fun!

    The more I learn from the Guides, the more I realize the significance of having more fun in my life.

  4. Tara R. says:

    I have given up on making resolutions because I know I have zero willpower. I guess the best I can come up with is ‘do no harm.’ That should cover me.

  5. I resolve to get through one day at a time. . .

    Patti, I love this post. Love that you researched the Babylonian bit.

  6. JeffScape says:


    1. Lose weight – Never made. Although I did resolve to lose weight back in 2006, it wasn’t a New Year’s Resolution
    2. Stop smoking – Yeah, well… I’m doing good, so far. Been a few weeks. Driving me nuts.
    3. Get more exercise – Never made. The Army made it for me.
    4. Go back to school – Not a resolution, but a goal since I left school.
    5. Get organized – Never made. I like my piles of crap.
    6. Quit drinking – Never made, although I’ve not had a drop of alcohol since before Thanksgiving.
    7. Manage finances better – Never made.
    8. Learn something new – Never made. I just assume this one happens on its own.
    9. Spend more time with family and friends – Never made. And I’m of the opposite mentality. Strangers are more fun.
    10. Be nice to others – Never made.

    Weird… I’ve only made one of the top 10 resolutions? I’m slipping.

  7. KB says:

    OK, who stole my list and gave it to Patti? I too have made all of those resolutions and some of them I still work on EVERY year. I guess life is a work in progress after all.

    • PattiKen says:

      Hey, I didn’t know that KB stood for Krazy Blonde.

      Well, I’m thinking that you and I are among the masses with this list. Seems like everybody has at least some of these on their list.

  8. 2zpoint says:

    Hey Patti! I have a 2zpoint face book and I am inviting my favorites and my favorite’s favorite authors, artist, and interesting characters to come. There are many different types of authors but I believe them to be awesome people to know and I would like you to come too. On this site I tell everyone to post as they will their works, links, and words and in doing so the coolest people I’ve met can get to know each other and link up! I would be honored if you would send a friend request to: http://www.facebook.com/#!/2zpoint
    Peace be with you!

  9. Lisa says:

    I feel the need to comment on just a few of those….

    1. How’s that going? I’m down by 7+ so far.
    3. You should wear those weights I got you. You’ll get more out of your walking.
    4. I could be your personal tutor. Want to learn Geometry? How about Algebra? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
    9. I’m still laughing.
    10. See 9

    Your first resolution sounds a lot like something you say to me all the time…oh wait, it is. (GRIN)

    Personally, I only have two real resolutions.
    1. Continued improvement in my health.
    2. Increase my metal wellness.
    I think they kind of go hand and hand.

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