What are New Year’s resolutions really all about?
Well, it turns out the practice of making New Year’s resolutions started among the ancient Babylonians, who wanted to earn favor with the gods. So they promised to pay off debts or return things they have borrowed. But these days we are not trying to curry favor with the gods, so why do we do it? Perhaps we are trying to curry favor with our critical judge instead.
New Year’s resolutions have turned to a promise for self improvement. A promise to be a better us, to be more of the person we think we should or could be. Of course, it never works but we try again next year.
But why do we do it and what do we really want? The Dalai Lama has said that all humans suffer and all humans want to be happy.
So, is the ultimate goal of these self improvement is to become happier or have more well-being? If that’s the case, I propose we make New Year’s resolutions more about being happy.
So what kind of internal changes would make you more happy? Would it be about acquiring something you don’t have, or giving up something you feel is a burden?
Perhaps it’s even giving up the dream you’ve been carrying, like being more organized or changing your spouse/parent/children.
What do you need to change this year in order for you to be happier?
How about this for a New Year’s resolution:
Let’s make a resolution not to make resolutions. Let’s make a resolution to be comfortable with who we are and not who we think we should be. Let’s make a resolution to try to do things that are fun more often.
Happy New Year everyone. And I do mean happy!