I gave up New Year’s resolutions long ago as my resolve usually faded after a couple of weeks. Instead I replaced them with new day resolutions. A day is much shorter than a year. A day’s success is measurable. With a daily resolution it is easier to begin again after slipping up. You don’t have to wait until the next New Year’s Eve.
Each morning I wake up and set a new intention for rightful living. Sometimes I plan for it the night before when reflecting on the day that has just passed.
My daily resolutions change, but they do follow certain patterns of taking care of my body through diet and exercise and living with personal integrity in myself and with others. When I slip up I try to be the witness, to not judge and criticize, and to move forward with an immediate fresh start. No need to wait until the morning.
According to The Real Truth:
Over 88 percent of Americans will make at least one “resolution” at the start of the year. Of these resolutions, the most common are: (1) lose weight, (2) save or earn more money, (3) quit smoking, (4) spend more time with family, (5) maintain a budget, (6) find a better job, (7) eat better, (8) become more organized, (9) exercise more, and (10) become a better person. While these are all goals that one should strive for—with 88 percent of Americans setting out to accomplish them each year—less than 20 percent are successful in attaining success in even one of their resolutions.
My daily intentions are very similar, yet I have a much better success rate because my time frame is achievable.
The practice of making New Year’s resolutions dates back to ancient Babylonia. Ancient Origins explains:
It is believed that the Babylonians were the first to make New Year’s resolutions around 4,000 years ago, and people all over the world have been breaking them ever since! The ancient Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year, which began in mid-March, that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts. March was a logical time period for the New Year because spring begins and crops are planted. But the Babylonians had a greater motivation to stick to their promises than what we have today, because for the ancient people of Mesopotamia, keeping their promise would mean that their gods would bestow their grace on them throughout the course of the following twelve months, and breaking them would put them out of favour. The practice carried over into Roman times with worshippers offering resolutions of good conduct to the two-faced deity named Janus, the god of beginnings and endings, who looks backward into the old year and forward into the new. In the Medieval era, knights took the “peacock vow” (les voeux du paon) at the end of the year to re-affirm their commitment to chivalry, while early Christians believed the first day of the new year should be spent reflecting on past mistakes and resolving to improve oneself in the new year. At watchnight services, many Christians prepare for the year ahead by praying and making these resolutions.
New Year’s seems like such an arbitrary date. Thanks to Julius Caesar, January 1 starts our new year. In other cultures, the new year begins on an equinox. In Iran, the new year begins on the spring solstice. As life returns from winter dormancy, the new year begins.
Every day is an opportunity to make your life better! It is a great practice to set daily intentions or resolutions with your children before bed or at breakfast. And remember, failure is an opportunity for growth and learning!