By State Representative, Leon D. Young
It happens every December usually around this time of year. Christmas has just come and gone, so we begin to take inventory of the previous 12 months, by assessing recent accomplishments as well as recent disappointments. However, in short order, we invariably turn our attention to the New Year.
If you are like many Americans, the advent of the New Year means that you are likely to make a resolution. A New Year’s resolution is a promise a person makes for the New Year. Regardless of what resolution you commit to, the goal is to improve your life in the coming year.
Resolutions can come in many forms. Some people make a promise to change a bad habit, such as quitting smoking or eating less junk food. Other people make a promise to develop a positive habit, such as starting an exercise program, volunteering in their community or recycling more.
The tradition of New Year’s resolutions dates all the way back to 153 B.C. January is named after Janus, a mythical god of early Rome. Janus had two faces—one looking forward, one looking backward. This allowed him to look back on the past and forward toward the future.
On December 31, the Romans imagined Janus looking backward into the old year and forward into the New Year. This became a symbolic time for Romans to make resolutions for the New Year and forgive enemies for troubles in the past. The Romans also believed Janus could forgive them for their wrongdoings in the previous year. The Romans would give gifts and make promises, believing Janus would see this and bless them in the year ahead. And thus, the New Year’s resolution was born!
Just in case you’re interested, these are some the most popular New Year’s resolutions every year:
• Lose weight
• Volunteer to help others
• Quit smoking
• Get a better education
• Get a better job
• Save money
• Eat healthy foods
• Manage stress
• Manage debt
• Take a trip
• Reduce, reuse, recycle
• Drink less alcohol
So whatever promise you make for yourself for 2019, I wish you the strength, discipline and fortitude necessary to achieve your goal(s). And, I wish you all a safe, healthy and most prosperous New Year.