20 Healthy New Year's Resolutions (that don't include weight loss!)

Practice gratitude

Stop complaining/excuses


Compliment at least one person per day

Volunteer regularly

Call my mother more frequently

Rather than reducing my spending, make more money!

Forgive someone

Make regular doctor appointments

Donate to an important cause

Practice self-acceptance

Say a mantra every day

Become more assertive

No more snooze button

Floss regularly

Make my bed every day

Pick a theme for the year

Get more organized to reduce stress

Connect more with others via Social Media

New Year's resolutions go back to ancient, pre-biblical times. Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts. In ancient Rome, the month January had special significance. The first month of the new year was named for the god Janus who's two faces, one facing backward (reflecting on the past) and one facing forward (looking ahead into the future). To honor this god, they made promises of good acts for the coming year.

The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, through the High Holidays to Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), involves praying in synagogue, personal reflection, seeking and/or offering forgiveness, and hearing the shofar (horn).

In the early 18th century, Christians from Moravia (a historical region of the Czech Republic) had a tradition of marking the new year with a vigil to reflect upon the past year and contemplate the one to come. In England, John Wesley adopted this practice for his Methodist congregation; he believed all Christians should affirm their covenant with God annually and called this service the Watch Night Service. In American, the Watch Night Service was given new significance of freedom and hope for change in 1862 when slaves in the Confederate states gathered in churches and private "safe houses" while they waited for the Emancipation Proclamation to go into effect.

Traditional celebration of the Chinese New Year (February 5th this year), is secular; however, their New Year traditions are rooted in myth and fear of bad luck. Important customs for good luck in the New Year include cleaning, putting one's finances in order, beautifying one's self, decorating the house, feasting with family, giving generously, and connecting with loved ones (always bring a gift).

Today, many Americans don't make even make resolutions because they know they're never going to keep them, at least not past January 31st. Maybe it's because we don't fear angering the gods or bringing bad luck to our family that has made it easy for us to "cheat" on our resolutions. Or have we forgotten how hard our ancestors worked to survive that has caused us to take these vows of bettering ourselves and future so lackadaisical? I know I fit in this category, so I put "practice gratitude" at the top of my list; this short history on the tradition of New Year's resolutions definitely put new perspective on my New Year's resolution list this year.

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F#CK 50:
One woman's journey
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In 365 days I will turn 50 years old.  I’m giving myself 52 weeks to turn my life around: I'm going to take time for myself by eating better, exercising regularly, spending time with friends and family that support my goals and blogging about my progress (or regress) to keep myself accountable.

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