New Year’s Resolutions…Promises to Yourself! By Bev Filer

New Year Resolutions listNew Year’s Resolutions…Promises to Yourself are ways to start doing something good or stop doing something bad for you on the 1st day of the year! As we Ring in 2014 with good cheer and celebrations at Brunswick Plantation and Golf Resort and around the World, the promise of the New Year looms ahead of us !

The origins of these resolutions date back to the ancient Babylonians.  They made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts.

Janus_coinThe Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named. Janus, the two – faced god looks backwards into the old year and forwards into the new.  Janus was also the patron & protector of arches, gates, doors, doorways,endings and beginnings.  He was also the patron saint of bridges.

The custom of setting “New Year’s Resolutions” began during this period in Rome.  Their resolutions were made with a moral flavor; mostly to be good to others. However, when the Roman Empire took Christianity as its official state religion in the 4th century, these moral intentions were replaced by prayers and fasting.

In the 18th century the Puritans avoided even naming Janus and called January “First Month”. They taught their children to spend their time reflecting on the year past and contemplating the year to come. This is how they adopted the old custom of making resolutions. These resolutions were:

  • Commitments to better employ their talents

  • Treat their neighbors with Charity

  • Avoid their habitual sins

Other Religious Parallels to this Tradition:

  • During Judaism’s New year, Rosh Hashanah through their High Holidays to Yom Kipper (Day of Atonement), one is to reflect upon one’s wrongdoings over the year and seek & offer forgiveness.
  • Catholic fasting period of Lent, though more about sacrifice than responsibility…In Fact: The practice of New year’s resolutions partially came from the Lenten sacrifices.
  • The concept , regardless of creed, is to reflect upon self-improvement annually.

Some of the Most Popular New Year’s ResolutionToday

Famiyl-exercise-700x4661.  “Fitness”…Get in Shape!

WHY? Studies show that “Fitness” reduces the risk of some cancers, increases longevity, helps achieve and maintain weight loss, enhances moods, lowers blood pressure & improves arthritis…It keeps you Healthy and makes you look & feel better.

Ideas for Better “Fitness”:

Mature couple riding tandem

  • Ride Your Bike…To work and/or with Family & Friends
  • Join a Fitness Center  or go to your clubhouse for  your for exercise classes…Exercising with friends is good for both of you and helps you to “Stay on Track” better.
  • Choose a Healthy Diet…Plan ahead for grocery shopping.  Choose more veggies and fruits.
  • Keep a Food Journal to keep track of what you eat.
  • Have a support system in place…It is important to have someone there on a regular basis to get you through those rough times. A “Fitness Buddy” is good for both of you!
  • Set Reasonable Goals & Stay Focused!

2. Cut Your Stress

sleep exerciseWHY? Though short bouts of stress may give us an energy boost, Chronic Stress can Increase your risk of : Headaches, Problems Sleeping, Frequent & More Serious Colds, Insomnia, Depression, Obesity, Heart Disease, 

Ideas for Reducing Stress

  • Planning ahead & deciding which tasks need to be done first.
  • Noticing when you feel stressed and taking time to relax.
  • Getting Active…Physical activity can help prevent or manage stress. It will relax your muscles and improve your mood.
  • Relax with Deep Breathing Or Meditation.
  • Talking to Friends & Family
  • Healthy Eating…Get Energy by eating vegetables, fruits, and protein.
  • Drink alcohol only in moderation. ( 1 Drink a day for women & 2 drinks a day for men are considered moderate drinking.)
  • Relax your muscles…Try stretching or taking a hot shower.
  • Circuit Breaker…Get your mind off the problem: Take the dog for a mini-walk, Revisit funniest E-mails, Listen to you favorite song, Make yourself a cup of herbal tea.
  • Eat small protein meals often to maintain steady blood sugar levels to stabilize mood. Every 2 or 3 hours eat some protein…Ex: 10 – 12 almonds or small can of tuna.

3. Get More Sleep

sleep importanceWHY? Lack of sleep has been linked to a greater risk of obesity & Type 2 diabetes.  Sleep is crucial for strengthening memory.

Ideas for getting better sleep:

  • Set a regular bedtime.
  • Nap to make up for lost sleep. If you need to make up for lost sleep, choose a day time nap so a snot to disturb  your natural sleep-wake rhythm.
  • Be smart about napping. If you need a nap, do it early in the afternoon, and limit it to 30 minutes.
  • Boost melatonin production at night: Turn off your television or computer. Light  suppresses melatonin production and television can stimulate your mind instead of relaxing it.
  • When it is time to sleep, make sure the room is dark. Sleep masks work, also.
  • Keep outside noises down…Listen to recording of  soothing sounds.
  • Make sure the  mattress and pillow on your bed are comfortable.

4. Spend More Time with Family & Stay-In-Touch with Long-Distance Friends

Senior Facebook friendsWHY? Research suggests that people with strong social ties live longer.  A 2012 Study in the journal PLoS Medicine suggests that…Lack of social bonds can damage your health as much as alcohol abuse and smoking & more than obesity and lack of exercise.

Ideas for stronger Social Bonds:

  • Plan more time at home with family…Family meals together , Playing games, whatever your family enjoys.
  • Optimize your phone calls…Make more one-on-one calls and consider Friend conference calls via 2.0 The Google Hangout.
  • Chat over E-Mail
  • Use Social Media
  • For special occasions like Birthdays…Send a card and/or gift.
  • Plan a trip to meet in a city or place you enjoy …Once a 6 month or a year . Great for making new memories!
  • Send “Real Mail”…A Note in your mailbox will “Brighten” anyone’s day!

5. Keep Learning

WHY? A 2007 study found that middle-age adults who had gone back to school (Including night school) sometime in the previous quarter century had stronger memories & verbal skills. Several Studies have linked higher education attainment to a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Explorer's Guide ShenandoahIdeas to Keep Learning

  • Take a class in something that interests you.
  • Take up a new hobby.
  • Join a club that does something you have to learn how to do…EX: Card Clubs like Bridge
  • Travel to new places.  Tap into a new life adventure.  It makes you feel rejuvenated & replenished. A change of your typical scenery can be revitalizing! Traveling to another country with a different language may inspire you to learn a new language.


Happy New year from Brunswick Plantation and Golf Resort ! May your New Year be Bright with New Adventures! May your Promises to Yourself in Resolutions be Fulfilled and Fulfilling!new-years-resolution-be-more-awesome

Thanks and credit to the following for information for this post.   Author: Bill Petro @  Albrecht Powell @ Author :Sara McCord

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