Every time another year rolls around, you generally find people scrambling around trying to figure out how they’re going to take advantage of the new year. You also typically see ads on television for cheap weight loss plans or banks promoting financial wisdom.
Every time this happens, I ask myself “What’s the point of this?” Then, I realize that people are wrapped up in New Year’s resolutions, and I find that quite amusing.
According to the History website, the tradition of New Year’s resolutions started with ancient Babylonians. They would celebrate the new year in mid-March instead of January, due to their crops being newly planted.
Their celebration, called Akitu, would last 12 days and during it, they would crown a new king or reaffirm allegiance to the current one. In addition, they would promise the gods that they would repay debts and return borrowed items in the upcoming year. These promises are considered the first examples of New Year’s resolutions.
Further in history, Julius Caesar established Jan. 1 as the start of the new year. This was to honor the Roman god, Janus, who was a two-faced god that inhabited doorways.
Caesar believed that due to Janus’s two faces, it could see the past and the future. With this in mind, Romans made sacrifices to Janus and made promises of good conduct as a result.
In today’s society, New Year’s resolutions are more secular, typically surrounding topics of self-improvement. Some common New Year’s resolutions are losing weight, making more money and finding love. Also, most resolutions have some sort of numeric value attached, usually a measurement.
Most people approach resolutions as they would a goal, however, goals and resolutions are different. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a goal is “the end toward which effort is directed”, yet a resolution is “something that is resolved” or in this case, to be resolved. The stark difference between a goal and a resolution is that resolutions have to be completed in order to be a resolution, or else it’s simply a goal.
With this in mind, I would wager that most peoples’ resolutions stay goals. Personally, I never make New Year’s resolutions. I know that mine will always stay goals and nine times out of 10, they’ll change over the course of the year. I find the whole entire concept pointless.
My approach to New Year’s resolutions is more simple and realistic, in a sense. I do create goals for myself, however, I also write down and verbalize manifestations. Manifestations are verbal or written confirmations of future events that you do in the present.
For example, if you have a goal of losing weight by May but it’s February, you would write down or say, “I lost 35 pounds by May 15” or whatever aligns with your goals. You’re essentially speaking your weight loss into existence. I prefer this method because this way, you can continue having goals, however, there’s less pressure surrounding it.
I’m aware that you have to still put in effort for these things to happen, but I happen to be a firm believer in the power of words. Growing up, my elder family members would always tell me to watch what I say because speaking things into existence. I’ve also experienced enough in life to know that it’s true.
I would like to usher out a warning. Please don’t expect money to come raining down from the sky or your prince charming to appear in a cherry red Porsche. Manifestation isn’t magic.
Whether you stick to New Year’s resolutions, change them to goals, or even try out manifestations, I’d like you to be aware of this very important concept. With the right intentions, mindset and effort, anything is possible.