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How resolutions help us see life with a more optimistic viewpoint

By: Ellie Burgueño

By this time so close to the End of the Year, and after celebrating an amazing Christmas with our loved ones, we are probably done and ready with our New Year’s Resolutions list, and even though most of us make those lists and by around the fourth month of the year fail to achieve them, the creating process of that list certainly has many positive effects on us.

Making New Year’s resolutions isn’t just about keeping them—it’s about the profound benefits they bring. Setting intentions to grow and improve cultivates personal fulfillment and aids mental and emotional health. The optimism behind resolutions fuels action, driving positive change in your life and community. Notably, resolutions impact more than just yourself—they ripple through families, workplaces, and communities. They inspire others, shaping behaviors and contributing to a collective drive for improvement.

The tradition of New Year’s resolutions, tracing back through diverse cultural and religious origins, remains a customary practice globally. Dating back to ancient civilizations like the Babylonians and embraced by cultures like the Romans and medieval knights, this tradition embodies a collective commitment to personal betterment and responsibility.

Historically rooted in ceremonies like the Babylonian Akitu festival and the Roman calendar shift designating January 1st as the new year, the custom evolved into making pledges to deities like the Roman god Janus. It further resonates in contemporary practices within various faiths, from Christian watch-night services affirming commitments to Judaism’s period of reflection and atonement during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Across diverse religious and cultural realms, the essence remains consistent: the annual reflection on self-improvement and embracing a spirit of renewal. This practice transcends boundaries, engaging individuals worldwide in a shared pursuit of personal growth and accountability.

Resolutions have and currently, still act as guiding stars illuminating your aspirations. By crafting a deliberate list of goals, you forge a roadmap to your dreams, charting a clear course for your journey ahead. Without these aims, resources like time, money, and energy become scattered, leaving you unprepared to seize the potential opportunities that come your way. Goals empower you to step into your potential, steering you away from feeling adrift and overwhelmed, instead offering a sturdy compass to navigate life’s vast possibilities.

Crafting a successful New Year’s resolution list involves adhering to several key rules:

First and foremost, commitment stands as the foundation of any effective resolution. Your dedication to making a change significantly influences your success.

Realism serves as another critical aspect; setting achievable goals ensures that your resolutions aren’t out of reach, fostering a greater likelihood of accomplishment.

Writing down your resolutions further solidifies your commitment and provides a tangible reference point. Planning plays an essential role; outlining steps to achieve your goals offers a structured pathway toward their attainment.

Flexibility remains essential; adaptability allows for adjustments along the way, acknowledging that plans can evolve. Utilizing reminders serves as a valuable tool to stay on track and maintain focus. This is imperative for a resolution like losing weight or getting back in shape, for self-care and health goals, which is the number one resolution in the new year.

Tracking your progress offers insights into your journey and encourages momentum.

Lastly, rewarding yourself for milestones achieved serves as motivation and acknowledges your dedication and progress.

Following these rules paves the way for a more achievable and fulfilling pursuit of your New Year’s resolutions.

So, whether you achieve every goal or not, the act of making resolutions fosters positive outcomes for you and those around you.

Remember that “The only thing that will stop you from fulfilling your dreams and your New Year’s Resolutions is you.”

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