Tyranny of New Year’s Resolutions

Tyranny of New year’s Resolutions

It’s the time of the year when we fall into the biggest trap we create for ourselves; the New Year’s Resolution.

At the changing of the calendar year we are expected to make New Year’s Resolutions. Oh, the tyranny of the New Year’s Resolution!!

The expectations that drive the creation of New Year’s Resolutions started 4000 years ago in ancient Babylon. 

At their New Year, which wasn’t January but Spring, the idea of rebirth and growth spurred the population to reaffirm the reign of the king, or crown a new monarch.  They also made promises to each other and their gods that debts would be repaid, or expunged, and that stolen and borrowed goods would be returned to their owners. 

Failure to live up to the resolutions might displease the gods who would withhold favor.

You might be interested in checking the histories of different societies’ experiences with the concept of New Year’s Resolutions.

The History of New Year’s Resolutions – HISTORY

What are you resolving to accomplish this year?  What behavior modifications are you going to commit to?

In our modern western world, the New Year’s resolution isn’t about pleasing the gods.  Those beliefs and superstitions have been supplanted by visions of self-actualization. 

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

How are you going to be ‘better’ in the new year?

A New Year’s Resolution is just the outline of a goal that often is spontaneously created publically at the prodding of friends and family.  They want us to resolve to be better. 

Because of its lack of forethought and hurried definition, the resolution becomes a tyranny in our lives.  The New Year’s Resolution becomes tyrannical because we shared it with family and friends. 

Now you gotta do it.  You toasted it at the celebrations, large and small.  You broadcasted it.  You published it.  You have witnesses.  Now you are committed to tyranny!

The goals defined by the New Year’s Resolution often aren’t your own. They are the goals of your friends and families for you to achieve.

The New Year’s Resolution is all about goal setting. Goal setting shouldn’t be a parlor game. The challenge is that the ad-hoc nature of the New Year’s Resolution undermines structured, considered goal setting.

Goal setting is trickier than it seems and shouldn’t be taken as lightly as the goal-setting exercise that is The New Year’s Resolution.

My Goals

Yes, I have goals that become my resolutions:

  • Paint more, draw more, create better art, and show it.
  • Explore the full potential of my drone work.
  • Expand my genealogy studies and interests into a side hustle.
  • Write more!  Finish my novel, write more creative non-fiction, and make this blog more than it is.

There are so many layers in each of these goals!  Thinking about the potential investment in time and energy to move these goals forward to some undefined goal post is overwhelming!

The top 10 Resolutions made by Canadians: Canada resolves.

What are your New Year’s goals?  Have you been able to define a framework that will allow you to follow through? I’m suggesting you check out the following website to give you a hint as to how you should be pushing forward.

What is Goal Setting and How to Do it Well (positivepsychology.com)

Avoid the Tyranny of the New Year’s Resolution!!


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