As this year comes to a long-awaited close, many people are now jotting down, making mental notes about their New Years Resolution plans. I have wondered over the years why so many people adhere to this societal ritual when often times the resolutions planned falters within a few months of initiation.
For me, I have far to may personality disorders and character defects and flaws that need attention. And I have admirable traits that I need to hone and or acquire more of; so I certainly do not need to add anything to my already full cornucopia of life.
How did the idea of resolution originate?
Are the way we project and forecast for a brighter future, changing some aspect of our life steeped in some mystery, I doubt it. To know the history of anything is beneficial for understanding the present and future actions.
During the Roman Empire about the 4th Century when Christianity was the official religion, resolutions were based on fasting and prayer. Ans earlier in the Roman culture, resolutions were based on moral deeds towards people. Interesting, no mention of losing weight, or exercising or cleaning out an attic.
The Puritians of Colonial America during the 17th Century, resolutions during this period focused on the year past and to contemplate on what to do for the upcoming year. Some attributes to strive towards are:
1) Employ their skills for good deeds
2) Treat neighbors well
3) Stay away from habitual sin
As those two above examples don’t shed light on a moral standard to resolutions, American Theologian, Jonathan Edward, compiled about 70 Resolutions that he insisted to be used to live a good life. Here are some of his 70 resolutions:
A. Resolve to live with all my might, while I do live.
B. Resolve never to do anything out of revenge.
C. Resolve never to suffer the least motions of anger to irrational things.
As I stated earlier, I have too many things I have to work on in this lifetime and adding to my list would just be counter-productive.
Other than the fact that it appears that resolutions have a deep religious history, the one thing that strikes me is that on any December 31, most people are proclaiming their resolutions, what happened to the other 364 days which were a perfectly good day to set a goal or a plan or a commitment.
So what about you, what are your thoughts on making resolutions?