So this is Christmas,
And what have you done?
Another year over,
And a new one just begun.
So sings John Lennon around this time of year on almost every radio station into which you can tune.
But just why do we ruminate on what we have achieved in the previous twelve months, and feel the need to look forward and make a fresh start?
According to the internet (I must use it less and my brain more), in ancient Babylon, people promised their gods that they would repay all debts and return borrowed goods. The Romans made similar entreaties, but to only one specific god – Janus (from whom January gets its name), and medieval knights renewed their chivalric vows at the start of each year.
Many religions have incorporated periods of reflection around the year-end.
Regardless of your spiritual orientation, it is a chance to look again at making self-improvements. For those considering what to do, here's a list of the most common New Year Resolutions.
- Eat better/lose weight
- Take more exercise
- Give up a bad habit (smoking and drinking are the most common)
- Better manage your personal finances (saving, budgeting, etc)
- Improve yourself (with a new skill or hobby)
- Read more books
- Spend more time with those you love
- Travel more
- Get a new job
- Make no new resolution
Regardless of your chosen inspiration, I like to think that we all want another chance to be the very best person that we possibly can, so good luck, happy new year, and here’s to twelve months of fulfilled promise.