by Kristi L.
2017 is under way! New Year’s traditions piqued our interests so we did some research. Resolutions are found mostly commonly in the Western Hemisphere. People resolve to change an undesired trait or behavior or to acquire beneficial new ones.
Babylonians made promises to the gods each year that they would return borrowed objects and repay debts.
Romans began each year making promises to the god Janus (January’s namesake). Janus is the two faced god of beginnings, transitions, doorways, passages and endings. He is usually depicted with two faces; one looks to the future and one to the past, hence the term two faced.
In Medieval times, knights took a “peacock vow” at the end of the Christmas season to reaffirm their commitment to chivalry.
At watch night services (late-night Christian church services started late on New Year’s Eve and ending after midnight on New Year’s Day) the year that has passed is reviewed. Confessions are made and prayers with resolutions are made for the year ahead.
This tradition parallels other religious. During Judaism’s New Year, Rosh Hashanah, through to Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), one is to reflect upon one’s wrongdoings over the past year. One should seek and offer forgiveness of those they have wronged and have done wrong by them.
People act similarly during the Christian season of Lent. In fact, the Methodist practice of New Year’s resolutions came, in part, from the Lenten sacrifices. The concept, regardless of creed, is to annually reflect upon spiritual self-improvement.
Approximately 40% to 50% of North Americans participate in making New Year’s resolution. It should be noted that the 46% of those who made common resolutions (e.g. weight loss, exercise programs, quitting smoking) were over ten times as likely to succeed, compared to only 4% who chose not to make resolutions.
So is it better to resolve to make small changes over time? An example could be adding flossing to our home care routine. Or should we look at changing our bigger pictures and go for the large change? Use the KISS (keep it simple silly) principle. Resolve to make a change that is attainable little by little, adding change every day, eventually bringing about your desired change.
Resolve: Oral wellness, Whole Health!