It is generally believed that the Ancient Babylonians were the first to make new year pledges over 4,000 years ago (so it’s safe to assume that the first people to break their new year pledges were . . . the Ancient Babylonians about 4,000 years ago!). And even though they celebrated their new year in March to align with planting of their crops, much like today their resolutions focused on socioeconomic values, religion and health. Of course, resolutions are now more synonymous with the start of the new year in January.
The name “January” comes from ancient Rome, and is derived from the god Janus who represented beginnings, transitions, and endings. Janus is typically shown with two faces, with one face looking backwards – or to the past, and the other one looking forward – or to the future. Perhaps nothing represents the new year now more than looking towards the future and making resolutions or establishing goals, either personal or professional.
A few quick facts about New Year Resolutions:
- 44% of Americans make resolutions before New Year’s Eve is over
- 81% of these people feel positive heading into their resolutions
- Only 31% of people stay with their resolutions or promises made the prior year
- People who fail to reach their resolutions fail quickly, with 81% failing by February!
Why do so many people of all ages make resolutions? The process of identifying opportunities for meaningful change is appealing to nearly everyone. People love to set goals, and setting objectives can lead to meaningful change, whether it’s quitting smoking, cutting back on alcohol, getting fit, or becoming more organized. But sticking to goals is typically much harder than the act or process of creating the goals. So, what will help make this year different?
- Don’t merely rely on the excitement and thrill of the new year as being the catalyst which will push you towards your goals. Take the time to research your priorities and then create a strong action plan that will not only optimize the process but also will increase your chances for success.
- Make sure to include timeframes and periodic milestones in your plan, to help manage the activity and to guide your journey.
- Avoid being too-specific, if possible, and allow yourself time to begin reaching goals. For example, if you set a goal of losing 10 pounds, and after a month or two haven’t reached this goal, don’t panic. There is great value in the process and as long as you are maintaining the specific action plan that you had created, you will be moving positively towards your goal. Behavior is a critical component of the plan and the process.
Need a suggestion for a potential resolution? Visit our website at https://athomeindarien.org/ and read some of our past Blogs, which have focused on issues that can help seniors establish positive resolutions and goals, such as the “Regular Low Impact Exercise” blog in May of 2022, “Healthy Eating Tips for Seniors” in July of 2022, “You’re Never Too Old . . .” in July of 2023, or finally our “Invitation to Explore AARPs Senior Plant” in August of 2023. You might find a thought or tip that can easily translate into a solid resolution that you can keep throughout the year!
In the meantime, if you are a senior living in Darien and need help with transportation or any other type of service that can help you continue to live at home easier, please do not hesitate to call us at (203) 655-2227.
Best wishes to all in 2024 and beyond!