For the New Year: A Higher Resolution

For the New Year: A Higher Resolution

Resolution: a “decision to do something or to behave in a certain manner.” 

The tradition of making New Year’s resolutions goes back to 153 B.C., when Janus, a mythical king, was placed at the beginning of the Roman calendar. Janus has two faces: one that looks back into the past; another that looks forward to the future. Janus became the symbol for making amends for past transgressions, asking for forgiveness from past enemies, exchanging gifts, and making resolutions to be healthier in the future. January, named after Janus, became the first month of the new year in 46 BC when Caesar dedicated a calendar that more closely reflected the seasons.

The beginnings and endings of cycles are often relative to one’s culture, but the themes are universal: we want to put the difficulties of the past year behind us. We are inspired with the hope that comes from new beginnings, like the lengthening of the days and the promise of Spring. 

According to my web surfing, some of the most common resolutions are:

1.    Spend more quality time with family and close friends
2.    Exercise and get physically fit
3.    Lose weight
4.    Save money
5.    Reduce stress at home and at work
6.    Get organized
7.    Get out of debt
8.    Get a more fulfilling occupation
9.    Enjoy life
10.  Quit drinking
11.   Quit smoking
12.  Give more to charity; help others
13.  Learn something new
14.  Get a better education

My friend Katherine Stuart writes a wonderful blog,”Best Friend Handbook,” everything from fashion and beauty tips to nutrition and recipes – including recipes for success. The following is from her most recent blog on the subject of New Year’s Resolutions, a story she entitled “A Higher Resolution.” It is about changing your heart and mind, not your eating or exercise habits.

Katherine Stuart

Katherine Stuart

This  year, instead of making my standard list of New Year’s resolutions (you know the ones: lose those last 5 lbs., get more exercise and finally organize that storage room), I am only making one resolution — a higher resolution. My goal for 2017 is to practice compassion. It will require me to let go of pettiness, bi-partisanship, jealousy and anger and to embrace empathy and love.  A lofty goal, I admit. But if our recent presidential election has shown me anything, it’s that our country and its people are way more divided than we are together. And it’s only by coming together that we can change the world.

Compassion, defined as “concern for the suffering or misfortunes of others”, may also be the key to a happy life. Researchers have found that money and things don’t make people happier. Lottery winners may experience an initial bump in their happy quotient, but it doesn’t last. However, people who consistently give their time, their love and themselves to others… they experience lasting happiness. Part of that could be due to the fact that the practice of compassion forces us to get out of our own heads. Which takes our focus away from the things in our lives that might not be going right and places our energy on, let’s say, helping a friend who’s feeling depressed. This not only makes our friend feel better and us feel better, but it also gives you a different perspective which engages the brain in new ways thus making you smarter…

Continue reading here.

More about Katherine Stuart (in her own words):

I want you to think of “The Best Friend Handbook” as your virtual best friend. You know, the person who is there for you no matter what. Who never judges you for eating, say, a quart of ice cream or drunk dialing your ex.  Who always knows the best recipe for an impromptu dinner party or exactly which eye cream will help you look like less of hag the morning after one glass of wine too many.

So what, you ask, are my qualifications in the best friend business? Well, for starters, I’ve been a best friend to the same people for over 30 years. I’m also the girl that other friends always come to for advice on everything from food, to fitness, to fashion, to beauty, to life. And not because I’m an expert on everything. But because I truly enjoy sharing what I’ve learned with other women, helping them to feel better about themselves. You might say it’s my calling.

Who am I? Katherine. Short for Katherine Stuart. Former movie executive, screenwriter and currently the founder, head writer, and gal Friday for Content by Katherine.

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