The Back Place Blog

December 20, 2008

Everyone Else is Doing It

Filed under: New Year's Resolutions — Tags: , , , — Administrator @ 11:54 am

The idea that we might miss out on something everyone else is benefiting from is enough to get us to participate in any number of “opportunities”. There is benefit to having a specific time of the year when making resolutions is normal; we can talk about them with friends and family (see yesterday’s Blog), but the down side comes from bringing out our “me too” tendency.

When we “join in” because it seems like the thing to do, we miss out on the benefit of real commitment. A friend of mine explained to me that one of the best ways to move a human being from simply being comfortable to getting something done is to secure their commitment.
When we make a New Year’s Resolution (NYR), chances are it will take us out of our comfort zone for some period of time, which requires a firm and solid commitment. Coming up with your NYR while out partying with a group of friends won’t feel like an actual commitment. We say it, we don’t really mean it, and 10 to 30 day’s later we can’t even remember what it was.

We might make New Year’s Resolutions so we don’t feel left out, but this contributes the NYR mortality rate.

December 16, 2008

Why do we Make New Year’s Resolutions?

Filed under: New Year's Resolutions — Tags: , , , — Administrator @ 11:40 pm

Why do we make New Year’s Resolutions??

When I wonder why we do what we do, my first instinct tells me to look at history.

From www.heb.com/mealtime/celeb-newYearTraditions.jsp
I learned the following:
New year’s resolutions. The ancient Babylonians began the idea of New Year’s resolutions as a way to start the year off with a clean slate by returning borrowed items.

Then from:

http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/39353

I learned this:

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.

A clean slate?? Forgiveness of our enemies?? It’s amazing how much hasn’t changed in over 2000 years.

Before we examine the multitude of reasons why we make New Year’s Resolutions in 2009, take a few minutes and look at the sources of historical information about this unique tradition.

December 15, 2008

Blog Series: New Year’s Resolutions

Welcome to the first in a series of weblogs about making and keeping our New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve been tracking a few of the articles and blogs on this topic and two questions are showing up repeatedly: Why do we make them? Why do we fail to keep them?

These are basically the questions I will take on over the next 28 days.
My personal experience with this over the last, say, 30 years or so indicates many of us do not take the whole New Year’s Resolution (NYR) thing very seriously. A glib commitment can become more detrimental than no commitment at all.

Keeping our resolutions is more complicated. The reasons we don’t keep them are numerous and full of nuance; I’ll begin with one that comes from Leif Enger and “Peace Like a River” when Reuban makes the profound statement, “ . . worry died, as usual, at the hands of routine.” Most of our NYR’s also meet their demise at the hands of routine.

There’s a lot to explore and I’ll work to provide useful nuggets that lend themselves to your exploitation. Since this is my weblog I can shamelessly promote my solutions on our website.
www.thebackplace.com, click on Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions.

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