DARKE COUNTY - It’s that time again when many people decide to make their resolutions for the ensuing year.
With 2013 fast approaching, it’s time to decide whether to make out that list or not. Not everybody does, as it’s up to one’s own discretion whether or not to do it.
The practice of making resolutions for the new year is thought to have first caught on among the ancient Babylonians, who made promises in order to earn the favor of the gods and start the year off on the right foot. (They would reportedly vow to pay off debts and return borrowed farm equipment.)
Looking at different websites available, there were different things that a person can wish to happen in the new and coming year.
One website listed 10 popular New Year’s resolutions. They were: Spend more time with family and friends, fit in fitness, tame the bulge, quit smoking, enjoy life more, quit drinking, get out of debt, learn something new, help others and get organized.
Additional ones on another website are getting a better education; get a better job; manage stress; reduce, reuse and recycle; take a trip and travel to new places; and volunteer to help others.
People are advised to make resolutions they can keep. Some of those, according to another website, could be:
• Be more productive at work or in school. Don’t procrastinate.
• Organize your life. An organized individual is a reliable person. You want to change because you want your life to progress.
• Boost your confidence. Believe in yourself. Improve your self esteem. Gain more knowledge. Have faith in your abilities.
• Be more friendly and approachable. Interact with more people. Let people in your life.
• Learn how to cook. Have a healthy meal by avoiding take-outs and fast-foods.
• Drink moderately. Hangovers lead to a lot of mental and physical problems.
• Share knowledge with others. Life is a never-ending process of making mistakes. Every day is a chance to learn something new to pass on to others. Leave a meaningful legacy to the world.
These seems like reasonable goals but many times as the new year gets under way those who had the best of intentions to lose weight, eat healthier food, exercise and adopt a healthier lifestyle might be successful for the first few days or even weeks, but slowly their resolves break down and they gravitate to their unhealthy habits for a variety of reasons.
According to a 2009 study published in The Guardian, a university psychologists found that 78 percent of people who make New year’s resolutions do not following through on those vows. A different study published in 2002 by the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that only 8 percent of people are successful in achieving their resolution(s).
Dr. Scott Lewis, who offers guidance and advice on how hypnosis can be used to lose weight and control the temptations faced during the holiday season and beyond, claims there are ways temptations that sabotage the best intentions year after year can be prevented.
Author of The Hypnosis Treatment Option and a clinical hypnotherapist, has a four-step method that consists of these steps in M.I.N.D.ing those resolutions:
Map - a clear vision of the goal you wish to attain
Initiate - the first step toward your goal
Navigate - dealing with temptations and setbacks
Drive - continuing action toward your goal
According to Gary Ryan Blair, 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.
The New Year has not always begun on Jan. 1, and it doesn’t begin on that date everywhere today. It begins on that date only for cultures that use a 365-day solar calendar. Jan. 1 became the beginning of the New Year in 46 B.C., when Julius Caesar developed a calendar that would more accurately reflect the seasons than previous calendars had.
The Romans named the first month of the year after Janus, the god of beginnings and the guardian of doors and entrances. He was always depicted with two faces, one on the front of his head and one on the back. Thus he could look backward and forward at the same time. At midnight on Dec. 31, the Romans imagined Janus looking back at the old year and forward to the new.
The Romans began a tradition of exchanging gifts on New Year’s Eve by giving one another branches from sacred trees for good fortune. Later, nuts or coins imprinted with the god Janus became more common New Year’s gifts.
In the Middle Ages, according to Blair, Christians changed New Year’s Day to Dec. 25, the birth of Jesus. Then they changed it to March 25, a holiday called the Annunciation. In the 16th century, Pope Gregory XIII revised the Julian calendar, and the celebration of the New Year was returned to Jan. 1.
The Julian and Gregorian calendars are solar calendars. Some cultures have lunar calendars, however. A year in a lunar calendar is less than 365 days because the months are based on the phases of the moon. The Chinese use a lunar calendar. Their new year begins at the time of the first full moon (over the Far East) after the sun enters Aquarius- sometime between Jan. 19 and Feb. 21.
Although the date for New Year’s Day is not the same in every culture, it is always a time for celebration and for customs to ensure good luck in the coming year, Blair said.
The celebration of the New Year is the oldest of all holidays. It was first observed in ancient Babylon about 4000 years ago. In the years around 2000 BC, Babylonians celebrated the beginning of a new year on what is now March 23, although they themselves had no written calendar.
In order to set the calendar right, the Roman senate, in 153 BC, declared Jan. 1 to be the beginning of the New Year. But tampering continued until Julius Caesar, in 46 BC, established what has come to be known as the Julian Calendar. It again established Jan. 1 as the New Year. But in order to synchronize the calendar with the sun, Caesar had to let the previous year drag on for 445 days.
In many countries, New Year’s celebrations begin on the evening of Dec. 31—New Year’s Eve—and continue into the early hours of Jan. 1. Revelers often enjoy meals and snacks thought to bestow good luck for the coming year.
In many parts of the world, traditional New Year’s dishes feature legumes, which are thought to resemble coins and herald future financial success; examples include lentils in Italy and black-eyed peas in the southern United States.
Other customs that are common worldwide include watching fireworks and singing songs to welcome the new year, including the ever-popular “Auld Lang Syne” in many English-speaking countries. The practice of making resolutions for the new year is thought to have first caught on among the ancient Babylonians, who made promises in order to earn the favor of the gods and start the year off on the right foot. (They would reportedly vow to pay off debts and return borrowed farm equipment.)
In the United States, the most iconic New Year’s tradition is the dropping of a giant ball in New York City’s Times Square at the stroke of midnight. Millions of people around the world watch the event, which has taken place almost every year since 1907. Over time, the ball itself has ballooned from a 700-pound iron-and-wood orb to a brightly patterned sphere 12 feet in diameter and weighing in at nearly 12,000 pounds.