Did you know the practice of making resolutions is about 4000 years old! The first people to do it, according to History.com, were the Babylonians. Originally, the practice of making a resolution, aka. making a commitment to take action, was a religious one and focused more on keeping oneself in good favor with the gods.
Today’s resolutions have become about health and well being and we’ve decided, as Julius Caesar did for the Romans in 46 B.C., that January 1st is the best time for action.
Now What? Why does the history of resolutions matter to me now?
One of the most important things you’ll ever do with a coach is acknowledge history and notice how it’s operating in your life today. This brings awareness to your actions and the implied, lived with, well-worn ways that are so ingrained you may not know you have them.
Looking at the history of resolutions gives you the opportunity to compare what motivates you or keeps you from engaging in this annual event. This can help you decide, with less guilt or obligation, if you’d like to continue in the traditional or make your own rules 😉
What does this mean for resolutions today?
It means that the first thing to do is acknowledge what’s historical (aka. habitual) for you about resolutions. At the mention of the topic, what do you notice? Take 30 seconds now to say the word(s) “resolutions” or “making a resolution” in your head and just see;
1) How you feel
2) What images come to mind
3) What your first response is
Based on your response, there’s personal work to be done on whether having resolutions in January is what’s good for you now.
This is the practice of operating in the present, noticing how the past is impacting your current choices and being willing and able to make a new choice instead of default to historical behaviors.
If it seems like a small task; it is and it isn’t. Identifying what you’re not aware of yet takes patience and dedication to yourself. It also takes a genuine curiosity and desire to know more about yourself and the courage to face whatever it is you see.
Clients often ask what I think about resolutions. This year, for me, they add pressure. I feel pushed at a time when my body really wants to rest and recover from a busy end of the year. This can absolutely change depending on the year and just as the Babylonians (those original resolution setters), I’m always more inspired for action towards the spring. The Babylonian beginning of the year was March, when crops needed to be planted. It didn’t become January until the Romans changed the calendar.
If you’re one step ahead and rest or contemplation is too slow for you this month, then use January to prepare. Just know, it is a rare few who are in a ready to act state at this time of year. They will choose January 1st because they’re ready to take action, not because history tells them too!
Just for you!
So now you’ve got the recipe to create the beginning you need to Move Strong in January. Here’s your steps:
Take the reflection questions from above and see what you learn.
See who you agree with most as the best time to “start” – January or March? Or make up your own starting line based on what you know you need.
Give yourself permission to rest, recover and take good care of you during the first weeks of the year as you think about what’s most important to you in life now.
If you need help with taking care of you, download the free gift at movestrongmethod.com for simple everyday ways to feel good and create a positive beginning.
Wishing you a joyful year with visions of what’s most important to you dancing in your mind!