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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Ringing in 2009!

The Holidays have come to a close and now we are ready to celebrate the ringing in of 2009! Just how much do you really know about the celebration of New Years?

Did you know that the New Year celebration is the oldest of all holidays? In fact, celebration of the New Year was first observed in ancient Babylon about 4000 years ago. The ancient holiday was originally celebrated for 11 days and each day had a specific ritual to help celebrate the holiday. Additionally, the first New Year celebration was NOT on January 1st, as we know it, but it was celebrated on the first day of spring on the first new moon after the Vernal Equinox. The celebration on January 1st as the New Year first began in 153 BC with the establishment of the new Julian calendar under the reign of Julius Caesar.

Did you know that many Americans traditionally eat specific foods to bring in the New Year? It is common for many people to eat black-eyed peas or ham for good luck. Others around the country consider eating cabbage on New Year’s Day to bring prosperity into their lives. Some people celebrate the New Year by eating rice, which is seen as a lucky food source.

Ever wonder how the idea of resolutions became part of our New Year’s celebration? Early Babylonians actually started the tradition not with promising to lose weight, or to exercise, or stop smoking…but commonly they made resolutions to return farm equipment borrowed from surrounding neighbors.

Americans around the country make an average of 1.8 resolutions per year with the most common resolutions surrounding losing weight, stopping the smoking habit, or adding an exercise regime to their life.

To make this year’s resolutions more rewarding, it might be important to focus on some key elements to make this year’s resolutions successful.
• Establish specific goals for your resolution. Try not to be vague such as saying, “This year I’m going to be happy.” Try stating specifics such as attempting to tell one joke a day, looking for one thing to be grateful for each day, or perhaps smiling as each person talks to you at work.
• Write down your resolutions. When we commit something in writing, we are more likely to stick by our resolutions.
• Focus on positive achievements by building on what has worked for you in the past.
• Make your resolution something realistic like losing 2 pounds a month versus saying you are going to lose 50 pounds this year. It is important to build success patterns by creating reasonable expectations for your resolution.
• Spread out goals. Try to establish a plan for the year versus setting 20 resolutions to work on in January.
• Compliment and reinforce your successes along the way. If you don’t show how happy you are with your achievements, you will surely lose your steam along the way.

Most importantly, remember that resolutions are something we should focus on 365 days a year.

May this year be filled with good health, well-being, laughter, prosperity, serenity, gratefulness, and peace—and let’s all hope our world is filled with love!


Anonymous said...

I agree, resolutions are something we should be thinking about all the year through. I myself don't make resolutions, but I do think the new year is a good time to sit back and evaluate things.

Anonymous said...

My new years resolution is tree identification. I figured if I took the time to identify all the trees I come across it would slow me down in the moment and help me respect others more...

joymiller said...

Thanks for the comments. I'm still dedicated to my "life changing" resolutions and hoping you are doing well with your goals.