New Year’s is a time of celebration, filled with traditions that go back 4,000 years. We have parties, special foods, fireworks, resolutions, and since 1907, a large ball that drops in NYC.
Babylonians celebrated the New Year in March when they planted with an eleven day religious festival. Babylonians made resolutions to curry favor with the gods: return borrowed objects and pay off debt.
In 46 BC, Julius Caesar added two months to the calendar and began the new year on January 1st to honor its namesake, Janus, the Roman god of new beginnings. Janus had two heads, one looking forward (future) and one looking backward (past).
These traditions, practiced mostly in the West, have lasted a long time. They are no longer religious so instead of making promises to the gods, we make them to ourselves. Defining resolution as a firm decision to do or not to do something, we resolve to improve ourselves and our life.
2016 was quite a year and our country was seriously divided. It’s time to embrace another definition of resolution: the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter. Instead of losing weight as #1, change it to spending more time with people who matter.
After reading through lists of resolutions, here are a few new ones to consider:
- Stop procrastinating
- Meet new people everyday
- Stop judging
- Go for daily walks
- Volunteer and give more to charity
- Let go of grudges
- Travel more
- Be more responsible
- Face your fears and insecurities
- Express yourself artistically
- Consider adopting a pet
- Shop locally, support small businesses
- Support the arts
The artists at 311 Gallery wish you luck with whatever resolutions you make this year. While most resolutions are abandoned, sharing your goals with others will help you succeed. We wish you good fortune in 2017.