Resolve to Renew

Resolve to Renew

The History of New Year’s Resolutions

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.

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.

The Romans named the first month of the year after Janus, the god of beginnings and the guardian of doors and entrances.

He was always depicted with two faces, one on the front of his head and one on the back.

Thus he could look backward and forward at the same time.

At midnight on December 31, the Romans imagined Janus looking back at the old year and forward to the new.

The Romans began a tradition of exchanging gifts on New Year’s Eve by giving one another branches from sacred trees for good fortune.

Later, nuts or coins imprinted with the god Janus became more common New Year’s gifts.

In the Middle Ages, Christians changed New Year’s Day to December 25, the birth of Jesus.

Then they changed it to March 25, a holiday called the Annunciation.

In the sixteenth century, Pope Gregory XIII revised the Julian calendar, and the celebration of the New Year was returned to January 1.

Global Good Luck Traditions

Yes, I know we are 3 days into our New Year; however here are some of the good luck rituals from around the world.

They are believed to bring good fortune and prosperity in the coming year.

AUSTRIA – The suckling pig is the symbol for good luck for the New Year. It’s served on a table decorated with tiny edible pigs. Dessert often consists of green peppermint ice cream in the shape of a four-leaf clover.

WALES – At the first toll of midnight, the back door is opened and then shut to release the old year and lock out all of its bad luck. Then at the twelfth stroke of the clock, the front door is opened and the New Year is welcomed with all of its luck.

SICILY – An old Sicilian tradition says good luck will come to those who eat lasagna on New Year’s Day, but woe if you dine on macaroni, for any other noodle will bring bad luck.

SPAIN – In Spain, when the clock strikes midnight, the Spanish eat 12 grapes, one with every toll, to bring good luck for the 12 months ahead.

PERU – The Peruvian New Year’s custom is a spin on the Spanish tradition of eating 12 grapes at the turn of the year. But in Peru, a 13th grape must be eaten to assure good luck.

GREECE – A Special New Year’s bread is baked with a coin buried in the dough. The first slice is for the Christ child; the second for the father of the household and the third slice is for the house. If the third slice holds the coin, spring will come early that year.

CHINA – For the Chinese New Year, every front door is adorned with a fresh coat of red paint, red being a symbol of good luck and happiness. Although the whole family prepares a feast for the New Year, all knives are put away for 24 hours to keep anyone from cutting themselves, which is thought to cut the family’s good luck for the next year.

UNITED STATES – The kiss shared at the stroke of midnight in the United States is derived from masked balls that have been common throughout history. As tradition has it, the masks symbolize evil spirits from the old year and the kiss is the purification into the New Year.

NORWAY – Norwegians make rice pudding at New Year’s and hide one whole almond within. Guaranteed wealth goes to the person whose serving holds the lucky almond.

Top 10 Most Common New Year Resolutions
1. Lose weight
2. Stop smoking
3. Stick to a budget
4. Save or earn more money
5. Find a better job
6. Become more organized
7. Exercise more
8. Be more patient at work/with others
9. Eat better
10. Become a better person

Most of these Resolutions target some form of Renewal – Renew Health, financial stability, career, relationships, and better life styles.

I believe that more practical Resolutions to Renew include –

Renewed Personal and Professional Goals that complement and support each other

Renewed Excitement and Enthusiasm targeting what’s important in your life

Renewed relationships with friends and family by re-introducing yourself to these people and their changing personalities, goals and dreams

Resolving to Renew can only occur if we apply four basic guidelines to our efforts

Focus: One Resolution at a time – Don’t loose focus of the task or the reason you made the Resolution

Being Accountable to the task – Tell a friend about your desires and ask them to help you keep track of your plan and actions

Persistence – Never stop working toward your resolutions – To use the edict of a professional friend of ours – Never – Never – Never Quit

Personal Integrity – is key to your success – Do what you say you are going to do. Do not idly or cavalierly proclaim you are going to resolve anything unless you are going to commit to the daily actions and review of your progress.

Resolving to renew our selves should be a part of our regular planning and review of our lives.

We should review our resolutions thru out the year rather than just on New Years day.

A continual resolution to renew is more apt to be successful vs. the traditional flash resolutions of the New Year.

As toastmasters I feel that we should also regularly resolve to renew our goals and desires that brought us to this Toastmasters club.
Renew your goals to achieve a new Toastmaster level of Leadership or communications skills

Renew your commitment to be an active part of your club thru involvement in club activities and leadership roles

Renew your support of your club members.

Have you done this recently?