Monday, December 31, 2018

New Year's Resolutions--Makin' Them, Breakin' Them.

Are you planning on making any New Year’s Resolutions? Maybe to get that first draft finished? Perhaps to catch the attention of that literary agent? To attend at least one writers’ conference? Your resolution might be as simple as promising to sit down and write…every single day. Something. A sentence, a paragraph. Every single day.

But I’m a pragmatist, so who better to throw cold water on anyone’s intent to have a better 2019?Only 8 percent of people who make resolutions actually keep them. According to multiple sources, some of the reasons that people can’t stick to their resolutions are they set too many of them and are derailed by small failures. And when setting overly ambitious goals, the glow of the moment fades when we realize how difficult our resolutions are to keep.

How did all of this start? It’s said that the ancient Babylonians were the first people to make New Year’s Resolutions as long as 4,000 years ago. According to the History Channel, they were also the first to hold recorded celebrations in honor of the new year, but with a twist. Their year began in mid-March, when the crops were planted. In addition to crowning a new king or reaffirming their loyalty to the reigning king, they made promises to the gods to pay their debts and return any objects they’d borrowed. These promises were the forerunners of our present day New Year’s Resolutions.

Then in ancient Rome, Julius Caesar tweaked the calendar and established January 1 as the beginning of the New Year, circa 46 B. C. Named for Janus, the two-faced god whose spirit inhabited doorways and arches, January held a special meaning for the Romans. Believing that Janus symbolically looked backwards into the previous year and ahead to the future, the Romans offered sacrifices to the deity and made promises of good conduct for the coming year.

In the Medieval era, knights took the “peacock vow” at the end of the year to reaffirm their commitment to chivalry. Early Christians believed that the first day of the new year should be spent reflecting on past mistakes and resolving to improve oneself in the new year.

So, what are my resolutions?

1) A healthier diet…more salads, less carbs, less sugar…which means less wine. Well, we all know how that resolution is going to end up.

2) Exercise more often. Carve out time for a long walk or the stationary bike.

3) Don’t be afraid of my first draft. I have to remember that a bad first draft is better than no draft at all.

4) Read more. I’m a voracious news junkie, but I find when I’m writing, I can’t seem to find time to read books.  That should be every bit as important as time for writing.

5) Cut back…way back…on the Internet. That is a time KILLER.

6) Learn to relax, take a deep breath, look around and appreciate life.

I have no idea how many of these resolutions I’ll be able to say that I kept by this time next year. But I do know that I want to wish you all a Happy New Year and I hope that 2019 will be epic.


Judy Penz Sheluk said...

Good resolutions .... seem very similar to mine! Happy 2019.

Annie Hogsett said...

Good ones, Tom. I’ll just take yours.

Frankie Y. Bailey said...

I echo that. I have most of the same resolutions. Make them every year, but at least I'm getting better at getting back on track when I stray from my good intentions :)

Anonymous said...

Let's talk about #6 and another ferry ride to Ocracoke Island.

Lord Mark said...
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