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Day 1 of Your New Year
Day 1 of Your New Year

The first day of 2011 is upon us and inquiring minds want to know, have you broken your resolution already? Did you eat a greasy hangover breakfast that your “new” diet forbade? Did you break down and buy a pack of cigarettes because you just needed one more?  

According to the Marist Poll, 56% of Americans did not even make a New Year’s resolution this year and only 60% of the population think that they honored last year’s resolutions.

Where does this tradition come from? Historians point to ancient Rome as the origin of this practice. Romans worshiped Janus, the god of new beginnings, doorways and gates. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Janus was said to have two heads. One head could look to the past and the other to the future, a gift from the god Saturn. Romans made Janus the head of their calendar, what we now know as January. It was a custom for Romans to look at the past year and reflect on what they did wrong and think about what they could do better in the new year.

The Men’s Divorce Law Firm sees your new year’s resolution as an opportunity to plan for your future and bring you some security in an unknown sea of marital and family law.

While divorce brings new fears, feelings and frets, the new year brings with it a new resolve to make things better in our lives. Ezine Article “Beyond Divorce – New Year’s Resolutions for Life After Divorce,” shares the following productive resolutions to strive for:

1. Letting go of your anger toward your ex-spouse so that you can move forward boldly into this new year rather than still cling to the hurts of the past?2. Plan to begin dating again this year. The goal here should not be to get married again, but just to get out of the house and meet interesting people

3. If you’re engaged to remarry, why not use this next year to complete your step family preparation. Give yourselves the gift of time so that you’re both sure this is the next step in your relationship and that you’re ready.

4. If you’ve recently remarried, resolve to learn ways to nourish your marriage and develop better relationships with your step children. Don’t just accept that you won’t ever be close to your new step kids or take this new marriage for granted. Take time NOW to learn how to strengthen all of those relationships.

Anja Pujic in her blog at Suite 101 has good advice about how best to keep your resolutions. She offers the following:

1. Don’t be afraid of failure. The trick is not to put so much pressure on yourself that you start doubting your ability to achieve your goal. Tell yourself that this is something you would like to achieve one day. Doing so will make it seem less like a chore and more like a hobby.

2. Don’t put a time limit on your resolution. If it takes one year, that’s great; if it takes longer, then it’s no big deal. By giving yourself a little bit of breathing room, you reduce pressure and stress and make your resolution easier to achieve and more enjoyable.

3. Don’t make your resolution too ambitious. Set and stick to realistic goals because you are more likely to achieve them and less likely to be disappointed in yourself.

4. Practice discipline in every aspect of your life. This will make it easier to discipline yourself to follow through with your resolution. When you feel tempted to procrastinate, remember that the sooner you start working on your resolution, the faster and easier it will be to attain.

5. Take baby steps. You cannot reach your New Year’s resolution overnight so don’t expect to. If you do, you are more likely to become disappointed in yourself, lose motivation and, in the end, fail.

6. Tell someone about your resolution so that it feels real. Even better, find someone with the same resolution and support each other along the way. Talking to someone who is going through the same thing as you are can be a great source of relief, encouragement and support during moments of weakness. It can also help build and develop great lifelong relationships between people.