Every year we make our annual promises. We are going to do better this year, exercise more, lose weight; those are two of the big ones. Making more money is another. We all want to have more, do more for our family, enjoy a better life. We need to spend less money on frivolous things.
Some of us promise ourselves to get organized, maybe get a hobby or start a small side business with the skills we already have, quit smoking, or be better about some of the habits we aren’t proud of.
Our motivation is high as the year rolls in, but we usually lose steam by month two or three. The gym membership we were stoked about feels like another failure when we go from five times a week to twice a month or… not at all. The cigarettes beacon to us, as does the cheesecake. The side hustle that was going to be our big money maker feels impossible to get started.
We get discouraged. We get complacent. We feel like a failure. But be of good cheer. We are not alone. Most people give up their resolutions pretty quickly. We are human, after all.
How did we get into this new year’s resolutions grind, to begin with?
New Year’s resolutions started with the Babylonians around 2000 B.C. The story goes that they made promises to the gods in hopes of earning their favor in the year ahead. Mostly it had to do with money and getting out of debt. It sounds like a lot of Americans, right?
Why do we mark January 1st as the new year?
We have Roman General Julius Caesar to thank for that. He changed the Roman republican calendar in 46 BCE, referred to as the Julian calendar. He declared January 1 as the first day of the new year, and the idea spread throughout the Roman Empire, and it stuck till this very day.
How can we stick to our resolutions?
Well, for starters, we can help one another. If you need to lose weight, maybe want to exercise more and eat healthier foods, we need to express that to our friends and families. Yes, we all love the Pizza at the Lion’s Den, but maybe we commit to eating one less slice or having a salad with that. When it comes to exercising, do it with a friend. Make a buddy system. When one of you tries to cop-out, the other says, “C’mon, we’ve got this.” You still might miss some sessions but forgive yourself when you do. We’re only human.
Get organized if you want to get out of debt or save money. It’s not complicated. Just commit to taking one night and sitting down after work to put all the bills on the table, get with your significant other or even a friend, and get a clear picture of what you owe each month. Then be honest with yourself. Estimate how much you spend on energy drinks, or fast food, things you don’t need on any level. Try to cut those things in half.
What if we made a different kind of resolution?
Not all resolutions need to be about weight loss, money, or organization. What if we resolve to be a better friend to someone in our life who has had a rough couple of years. Or maybe just a better friend in general.
In Marshall, we have wonderful churches. How about resolving to check in with them more often and asking what we can do to help. There are families in need, seniors living alone who could use a little help, food pantries, and outreach for the sick, the poor, even the homeless.
How about resolving to be a better citizen. Marshall has lots of opportunities for you to get involved. Organizations could use volunteers or help a candidate campaign for a local office if you believe in what they stand for. Check out the Marshall Library. So many fantastic events and programs are created for you. Get over there and see what they’re doing and ask if you can be of use in any way.
Resolve to spend your money in local stores, eat at local restaurants, and get down to the local events created for your enjoyment.
We’ve had to be separated, socially distanced, stay away from school, loved ones, friends, and… even the gym for the last couple of years.
Resolve to make new friends, try new things, in short, participate. It’s a new year; make it a great one.
Happy New Year, Marshall!