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New Year’s Resolutions Are Nothing New

Every year, Americans make resolutions about how they will tackle some perceived personal short-coming in the new year.

We wondered how this tradition came to be, and found some interesting history around the web. We also heard from SNO readers about what they’ll be up to in 2013.

The ancient Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts.

The Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named.

In the Medieval era, the knights took the “peacock vow” at the end of the Christmas season each year to re-affirm their commitment to chivalry.

At watchnight services, many Christians prepare for the year ahead by praying and making resolutions.

There are other religious parallels to this tradition. During Judaism’s New Year, Rosh Hashanah, through the High Holidays and culminating in Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), one is to reflect upon one’s wrongdoings over the year and both seek and offer forgiveness. (Wikipedia)

So we asked S|N|O readers on Facebook what their new year’s resolutions might be this year, and received a well-varied series of responses, from ideas on health and behavior to professions of modified consumerism.

Local Sherry Nooner Stone immediately placed priorities in perspective when she responded to our question with a stunner of an answer. “To beat my cancer,” is Sherry’s number one resolution in the coming year. We can’t think of a better place to direct positive energy than good health, and wish Sherry and everyone else the very best opportunities for vital living and wellness in 2013.

On another note, one many can relate to, Facebook fan Steva Dooley says she really wants to “overcome procrastination.” We’re not surprised that she added, “but I won’t start until the 2nd or 3rd!” We’re rooting for you, Steva, and all the other would-be “getter-dones” out there.

Reader Tamie Taylor plans to avoid conspicuous consumption in the coming year, vowing “to not buy new stuff, except toiletries and food. Used is cheaper and less waste.” With our mountain area so full of great, off-beat thrift stores and up-cycle boutiques, plus loads of online sites to swap and barter locally, Tamie’s suggestion is both doable and timely. She’s not alone in her quest for a less-is-more lifestyle.

According to one government website, top resolutions for US citizens include those ranging from recycling more to drinking less. People still resolve to quit smoking and more are staking their claim to conscious, healthy eating. The dual desires for better jobs and education also top the list.

2013 has been a tumultuous year politically and financially across a war-torn globe, so it’s no surprise that people seek the strength to manage debt and stress. Losing weight and saving money are also common goals for many as a New Year dawns, while other have decided to make more travel plans, instead.

It’s a welcome sign that volunteering to help others remains a top resolution for our friends and neighbors, according to the U.S. government, again this year. That’s good news for the mountain community, where volunteerism is already the norm rather than the exception. Things can only get better.

From all of us at Sierra News Online to all of you, thanks for stopping by and we’ll see you next year!


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Sierra News Online

Sierra News Online