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New Year, new you, maybe

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Janus, God of Doors.

2012 is so last year… almost. This year I am going to get organized, I am not going to smoke cigarettes, I am going to be nicer to my in-laws, I am going to use that treadmill I bought three years ago, I will not have "road rage."

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? If you answered yes, then you are in the minority. Only 45 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions and an even smaller percentage of people actually follow through with them. My guess was about 20 percent of people keep their resolution but I must have a lot confidence because the accurate percentage of Americans who keep their resolutions is a mere 8 percent, yikes (Journal of Psychology, Scranton University 2012).

Self reflection is never an easy undertaking, but it seems fitting that such an occasion would occur at the end of a calendar year and the beginning of another. Although it was not always this way; dating back to Babylonian times (before the calendar year) the New Year was celebrated, but it was in March – something to do with the new harvest. And then the Romans changed the New Year to January. The name January is derived from Janus the Roman God for beginnings or choice. Janus is an old Italian god often depicted with two faces (no, not your old friend from college) but two faces that are looking in the opposite direction. One face is said to be looking back on the past and reflecting on what has already happened while the other face is focused forward on what is yet to be.

I interviewed some people on their goals for 2013, and below are their responses. 


Hillary S. long time Sacramento resident.

Hillary S. long time Sacramento resident.

Hillary S. has lived in Sacramento and the surrounding areas all her life.
“I set the usual resolutions every year – lose weight and work out, but this year I am looking for more balance,” said Hillary.
What do you mean by balance I ask? She says she is looking for more work-life balance.

Carla E. from East Sacramento.
 Carla E. from East Sacramento is in the minority – she has been able to keep the last two New Year’s resolutions. “The year before last I didn’t buy any new clothes, they were all from second-hand stores except for under garments. That one was more on a global level," she said. "This past year I said I was going to lose 10 pounds. I lost 15. I am still working out the details for this year’s resolution.” 

I myself have never been able to keep a New Year’s resolutions, but maybe this year will be different. Let us know if you are making any resolutions, and if you are one of the 8 percent who have been able to stick with your resolution through the end please tell us your secret.

Cheers and happy New Year!


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