Dad: (Silence for several moments then) No
Me: Oh well I have a couple movies as a kid I didn't like so I want to watch those this year. And I really want to re-try clam chowder.
Dad: Isn't that a To Do list?
Me: Isn't that what resolutions are? A list of things to do over the next year.
Dad: I guess
This conversation really made me stop and think. What does resolution mean? Where did this resolution thing start? And so I looked it up.
Merriam-Websters Dictionary lists this as the definition to Resolution:
1: the act or process of resolving:
2: the subsidence of a pathological state (as inflammation)
3 a : something that is resolved
b : firmness of resolve
4: a formal expression of opinion, will, or intent voted by an official body or assembled group
5: the point in a literary work at which the chief dramatic complication is worked out
6: the process or capability of making distinguishable the individual parts of an object, closely adjacent optical images, or sources of light
So only one of the six, #3, really has anything to do with the New Year. And that deffinition just points us to the word resolve so I looked that up. The word Resolve has eight means but I will only list numbers 4 and 5 for you.
4 a: to deal with successfully : clear up (resolve doubts) (resolve a dispute)
b : to find an answer to
c : to make clear or understandable
d : to find a mathematical solution of
e : to split up (as a vector) into two or more components especially in assigned directions
5 : to reach a firm decision about (resolve to get more sleep) (resolve disputed points in a text)
That made a little more sense; I need to make a firm decision about something and make sure it is clear. This makes me think it is more than just a to do list for the next year it is more of life changes I am making a firm decision to change.
Next I looked up some history on resolutions for the new year. Multiple sources advised me that it was originally started back 4000 years ago with the Babylonians. Though for them they would return items that they had borrowed the previous year. For a time in history some cultures used the new year for traditions for luck. Greece in 600 BC paraded around a baby in a basket to represent the birth of a God and good fertility. Others have taken the baby image for sign of rebirth with the new year. Others eat only round foods on New Years day, base their luck on their first visitor New Years day, and even today people eat legumes and pork for luck.
The closest thing I found to our current tradition was created by the Romans. They worshiped a god named Janus, she was the god of beginnings and endings. So the Romans would at the new year make promises of good conduct to Janus.
So after reading both of those I realize my father was right I was trying to make a to do list not a resolution list. I really have no interest in making a list of resolutions and when I stopped to look at last years resolutions I realized why. I didn't accomplish anything.
Last year I had three resolutions: Finances, Weight, and God
Finances - Although I do not eat out in restaurants like I had I still spend too much money on things I do not need. I have no money in savings and may have to foreclose on my house.
Weight - Last year was rough. I did loose 15 lbs and my BMI went down 2%. However trying HHGC has really messed with me mentally and I am currently eating way to much food and having trouble stopping myself.
God - I did not stick with devotions or daily prayers. I am praying more than I did the previous year but I don't think that is because of my resolution. I have been attending Living Streams on Saturdays for a year now which satisfied the bible study I was looking for.
There are positives and negatives but I don't know that the resolutions I made on the first really affected all of the positive changes I made. Plus knowing that all three would still again be my resolutions this year makes me feel unsuccessful. So instead I want to do a 2011 to do list. I think I will have to add things for now the below is what I want to do this year.
2011 TO DO List
1. Eat a great bowl of Clam Chowder
2. Try movies I hated as a kid:
a. Labrinth - I hate watching kids hurt and I felt the girl was kind of being torchered.
b. The NeverEnding Story - I hated the scary wolves
c. The Princess Bride - Watched it too many times to and from camp as a teen
3. Read 20 classic books (currently Emma, Wonderful Wizard of Oz next)
4. Do NaNoWriMo again this year
5. Go to a batting cage
6. Save $150 a month toward buying a new car. (Mine is on its last leg)