Did you know that the first recorded celebration of the New Year dates to about 4,000 years ago to ancient Babylon? The new year for them triggered a religious festival that lasted about eleven days. In addition to the New Year, they also celebrated the mythical victory of the Sky God Marduk over the Sea Goddess Tiamat. This celebration had significant political meaning: during this time they crowned a new king.
Like the ancient Babylonians, we also carry on the tradition of renewal and following new ideals in the form of New Years’ resolutions. Usually, this means we take the resolutions from last year and renew them, or we decide on a new plan we want to accomplish.
If we’re not careful, our renewal of resolutions might become dangerous in the way of apathy. Frankly, we usually decide we don’t have enough time or push it off again and again until we forget about it or it becomes unimportant. Therein lies our problem.
Sometimes resolutions can mean a lot to someone which is why from this point on in this post the word “resolution” no longer exists. Instead, it’s to be replaced by the word “goal”. Why? Goals are more manageable for our brains to take on: we can break them down into little bits and therefore manage them more effectively.
If you want to accomplish something this New Year, try thinking of it as a “goal”. Our perspective and frame of mind hold all the power behind what we want to do.
So you want to build some New Year’s goals for this upcoming year. Great! It’s great for motivation and helps you feel productive and happier. The hiccup for some people when setting up New Year’s goals comes when you’re breaking the goal down. It can feel like those little steps are like resolutions waiting to be forgotten about. To build a habit, or reach a goal, you must be consistent, and that takes time.
If your goal is to get in more exercise, pick one day a week and do it, even if it’s for 20 minutes. Something is always better than nothing. Next week you do the same. Build up the habit from there. Cement it into your daily routine, it’ll help you build that habit faster. Push yourself to do it and remember if you think of your goal as a chore, it’s never going to get done. It’s about your mindset: aren’t you worth this change you’re trying to make? The answer is yes. Yes, you are.
Here are some game plan tips to help you with a goal-oriented mindset to work towards those New Year’s goals!
Visualizing yourself at the finish line – and how good you’ll feel there – will help when your motivation wanes.
When you’re relying on pure willpower to do something, and you feel yourself wanting to give up, remember to weigh how you know you’ll feel at the end of the goal to now.
Let someone else know what you’re doing. This is so they can send you an encouraging text or phone call, but remember to stay accountable to yourself, which is why you reached out to that someone in the first place! You could even have them join you, depending on the goal.
This is incredibly important. Your brain and body need the time to relax. It’s not counterproductive, and it’ll help with your productivity in the long run.
Ah, our lovely overthinking brains. Don’t talk yourself out of working on your habit, it’s for a greater purpose, and you are worth the effort. Don’t think about it, go do it, and you’ll feel better for it after.
This might help to remind you to work on the goal when you want to do it, but it also can become annoying especially if it’s a consistent reminder and you’re especially busy; you might ignore it in terms of getting other stuff done. If that’s the case, try setting reminders less frequently, or at better times of the day.
Now that we’ve talked a little history, a little goal building, let’s talk New Year’s celebrations and traditions!
Perhaps for this New Years’ celebration, you could make a big dinner for your family or grab some drinks with friends as you ring in the new year. You could make a ginormous cake and eat it all by yourself! Hey, it’s your tradition, no one can judge you!
Alternatively, you could try some of these New Years’ good luck traditions from around the world to spice up your celebrations this year.
In Brazil, everyone wears white for good luck and peace.
In Brazil, if you head over to the beach, you can become luckier in the new year by jumping over seven waves and you get a wish for each wave.
In Denmark, broken dishes are a good thing and even a sign of luck! The more shards there are on your doorstep, the luckier and more well-liked you are.
In Spain, they eat exactly 12 grapes at each stroke of midnight, one grape for every month of the year. If you eat a grape at every chime it’ll guarantee you a lucky year!
You’ve probably heard and done this one before. Supposedly this is borrowed from English and German folklore where the first person you kiss will help guide your year’s destiny.
In Denmark, people stand on chairs and “leap” into January to bring good luck and banish spirits!
It’s a common superstition that opening doors and windows will air the old year out and bring in the new.
In Germany and Austria, there are a few lucky symbols that you can gift to friends and family to bring them good fortune. These include pigs, mushrooms, clovers, and chimney sweeps.
Instead of writing down your wish and burning it, why don’t you write it down and place it in a jar for your future self to find at the next New Years’ Eve? You can see how you’ve progressed through the year!
Happy New Year from everyone at CanScribe!!