Marking the new year with a bunch of intentions is pretty much a given. Almost half of us make resolutions every year: start doing “x”, stop doing “y”. We’re not very good at following through, but it's a habit: we’ve been going through the motions for nearly 4,000 years.
Yeah, 4,000 years. No wonder we feel guilty when we skip it. Caesar may have marked January 1 as the first day of the calendar in 46 BC, but it was the Babylonians who first made a bunch of promises tied into the beginning of the year. Typically, they would promise the gods they would pay off debts or be kind to others. (Sounds familiar, amirite?)
But maybe there’s a better way. What if each of us tackled something off our bucket lists instead?
Let’s face it. New Year’s resolutions are just going to make you feel bad about yourself by mid-February and no one needs that kind of pressure. Resolutions are stuffed full of “stop being lazy and doing fun things”. It’s disheartening. Instead, we should focus our energy on a single big life goal, something we’ve wanted to do for a long time.
Like ballroom dancing. Building a doll house. Speaking Welsh. Or learning to snow shoe, climbing a mountain or opening a cafe/bookstore/antique store. (Not that we’ve thought about it.) Who knows? We might all end up happier, healthier and with better cognitive abilities —which will inevitably make us kinder to strangers and check off those pesky resolutions we skipped making. Sounds like a win to us.