Bringing Gratitude of 2010 into New Year’s Intention's for 2011

Whether you are ringing in the New Year with a loved or watching the ball drop in Times Square on TV in your jammies by yourself, revelry and resolutions have been essential to New Year’s Day.

The New Year did not always begin on January 1 and it does not begin on that date everywhere today.

In 2,000 BCE the ancient Babylonians celebrated New Year's on what is now March 23. It was an eleven day celebration and marked the new beginning of the spring season. Each day celebrated a different purpose such as returning borrowed items and repaying debts.

Originally, the Romans celebrated New Year’s Day on March 23rd as well, until they decided to synchronize their calendar with the sun. Around 154 BCE the Roman Senate declared January 1 the first day of the New Year. The first month of the year was renamed January in honor of Janus, who was the god of gates, doorways, beginnings, endings, and time. Janus is often depicted as having two heads, one looking forward and one looking behind. With two heads, Janus could look back on the past events and into the future simultaneously. Janus became the ancient symbol for resolutions and many Romans looked for forgiveness from their enemies and also exchanged gifts before the beginning of each year.

Once a tradition of celebrating life and performing simple deeds, people now make ostensible resolutions to quit smoking, lose weight, exercise more, be happier, spend more time with family, and to make the New Year better than the last. While improving yourself is a wonderful declaration, it is most notable to understand why you want to make these changes. Resolutions involve change and if one really has no desire to change, the new resolution becomes obsolete.

If you absolutely want to break bad habits and have big plans for 2011, then by all means shout out those declarations for all to hear. I believe you can do and achieve anything your heart desires. If you really want to make it so, it will become so. I never underestimate the determination and perseverance of another’s heart.

I on the other hand handle my New Year’s resolutions a little bit differently. Instead of becoming another unfulfilled promise to myself I make my intentions for the New Year very carefully. I think New Year’s resolutions should be fun and practical. I do not wish to set myself up for failure or disappointment so I know I am not going to make grandiose promises I cannot keep. I do not say I will climb Mount Everest by the end of 2011 because first: hell must freeze over, chickens must finally be able to fly, and my hair has to magically stop turning gray before I ever even contemplate such a feat. In short, if I genuinely have no desire to accomplish something it will not become a resolution.

What I like to do is to take some time and look back on the previous year and list what I have learned and most importantly what I was grateful for. This list becomes overwhelming in a good way and I get to see how much I have grown. I make an intention to continue this practice of reflective gratitude into the New Year. I look at my list and decide what I want to see more of in the year to come. By focusing on the goodness of the past and being grateful for it, I ensure that positivity continues into the future.

Some of my intentions for the New Year are:

  • To continue to love myself – When I love me, I eat healthy, I go for walks, I take care of myself, etc.
  • To continue to stay in contact with family and friends – I want my relationships to always remain strong so I know I must continue to nurture them.
  • To continue to work on myself – For me this involves continuing to maintain an open heart and mind, writing, going to school, meditating, and other spiritual work for spiritual growth.
  • To continue to read good books – Being partnered with a publisher makes this one fairly easy.
  • To continue to focus on the present and enjoy it – The past is gone and the future is undetermined; all I have is now. I will continue to make plans for my future but I will not squander my energy by trying to live there.

These kinds of New Year’s resolutions work for me. They are not extravagant and I know I can succeed because they are a part of my life already. Although these intentions still involve changes, they are changes I am happy to continue to make. They are all about becoming better and that is always good.

Look to the past and bid it a fond farewell,
bring to the present that which you wish to keep, 
and intend a positive future by wishing it well.

At the stroke of midnight kiss your past, present, 
and future at once purifying and unifying it all.


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4 Response to "Bringing Gratitude of 2010 into New Year’s Intention's for 2011"

Candace C. said...

I love this post! I think this is something I will have to try. Happy New Year to you too.

Katlyn Perry said...

Happy New Year! Great ideas in this post. Im never able to stick with resolutions so I may have to try this out too! Blessings to you!

H.H. said...

Thanks for stopping by ladies! Happy New Year. =-)

Debbie said...

I decided to do something similar this year and just try monthly goals. I think I can handle that much better!

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