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2008 Guide To New Year Resolutions




A New Year's Resolution is a commitment that an individual makes to a project or a habit, often a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as advantageous. The name comes from the fact that these commitments normally go into effect on New Year's Day and remain until the set goal has been achieved. The editors of the Leewood Times have created this helpful guide on New Year Resolutions with tips and tricks on how to achieve your goals.

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The History of New Year's Resolutions

The tradition of the New Year's Resolutions goes all the way back to 153 B.C. Janus, a mythical king of early Rome was placed at the head of the calendar.

With two faces, Janus could look back on past events and forward to the future. Janus became the ancient symbol for resolutions and many Romans looked for forgiveness from their enemies and also exchanged gifts before the beginning of each year.

The New Year has not always begun on January 1, and it doesn't begin on that date everywhere today. It begins on that date only for cultures that use a 365-day solar calendar. January 1 became the beginning of the New Year in 46 B.C., when Julius Caesar developed a calendar that would more accurately reflect the seasons than previous calendars had.

The Romans named the first month of the year after Janus, the god of beginnings and the guardian of doors and entrances. He was always depicted with two faces, one on the front of his head and one on the back. Thus he could look backward and forward at the same time. At midnight on December 31, the Romans imagined Janus looking back at the old year and forward to the new. The Romans began a tradition of exchanging gifts on New Year's Eve by giving one another branches from sacred trees for good fortune. Later, nuts or coins imprinted with the god Janus became more common New Year's gifts.

In the Middle Ages, Christians changed New Year's Day to December 25, the birth of Jesus. Then they changed it to March 25, a holiday called the Annunciation. In the sixteenth century, Pope Gregory XIII revised the Julian calendar, and the celebration of the New Year was returned to January 1.

The Julian and Gregorian calendars are solar calendars. Some cultures have lunar calendars, however. A year in a lunar calendar is less than 365 days because the months are based on the phases of the moon. The Chinese use a lunar calendar. Their new year begins at the time of the first full moon (over the Far East) after the sun enters Aquarius- sometime between January 19 and February 21.

Although the date for New Year's Day is not the same in every culture, it is always a time for celebration and for customs to ensure good luck in the coming year.

Ancient New Years

The celebration of the New Year is the oldest of all holidays. It was first observed in ancient Babylon about 4000 years ago. In the years around 2000 BC, Babylonians celebrated the beginning of a new year on what is now March 23, although they themselves had no written calendar.

Late March actually is a logical choice for the beginning of a new year. It is the time of year that spring begins and new crops are planted. January 1, on the other hand, has no astronomical nor agricultural significance. It is purely arbitrary.

The Babylonian New Year celebration lasted for eleven days. Each day had its own particular mode of celebration, but it is safe to say that modern New Year's Eve festivities pale in comparison.

The Romans continued to observe the New Year on March 25, but their calendar was continually tampered with by various emperors so that the calendar soon became out of synchronization with the sun. In order to set the calendar right, the Roman senate, in 153 BC, declared January 1 to be the beginning of the New Year. But tampering continued until Julius Caesar, in 46 BC, established what has come to be known as the Julian Calendar. It again established January 1 as the New Year. But in order to synchronize the calendar with the sun, Caesar had to let the previous year drag on for 445 days.

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Your Rights and Responsibilities

- The right, privilege, and responsibility to set and achieve important goals.
- The right to be successful, happy, and prosperous in all your endeavors.
- The right to pursue your own individual path in life that you find fulfilling.
- A responsibility to follow through on all personal commitments.
- A responsibility to teach and share what you have learned in life to others.
- A responsibility to become all that you are capable of becoming.
- If you are serious about achieving your goals for the New Year, you must respect your rights and responsibilities.

Many New Year resolutions in the Western world involve maintaining peak vitality, physical fitness, or appearance. For example, one person's goal might be to reduce or to eliminate intake of alcohol, tobacco, or recreational drugs. The most common new year's resolution is weight loss. A student may make a resolution to stay focused in class or to complete all of his assignments. Resolutions to eat sensibly or increase exercise are also quite common.

More socio-centric examples include resolutions to donate to the poor more often, to become more assertive, or to become more economically or environmentally responsible. People may act similarly during the Christian fasting period of Lent, though the motive behind this holiday is more of sacrifice than of responsibility.

The new year resolution is one example of the rolling forecast-method of planning. According to this method, plans are established at regular short or medium-term time intervals, when only a rough long-term plan exists.

While a lot of people who make new years resolutions do break them, it has been claimed that making resolutions is useful.

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Your Personal Resolution Contract

My Personal New Year Resolutions!

I resolve to: ________________________________________________________________

I resolve to: ________________________________________________________________

I resolve to: ________________________________________________________________

I resolve to: ________________________________________________________________

I resolve to: ________________________________________________________________

I resolve to: ________________________________________________________________

I resolve to: ________________________________________________________________

I understand that setting a resolution and then actually achieving it requires focus, accountability, persistence, and personal integrity. These four guidelines will serve as my resolution roadmap.

Focus: I will focus on one resolution at a time, and develop a detailed plan of action for success.

Accountability: I will designate a friend, mentor, or companion for sharing successes, monitoring progress, offering support, and to hold me accountability to my resolutions.

Persistence: I understand that a resolution once achieved is a stunning example of consistency, persistence and hard work. I will persist until my goals are achieved.

Personal Integrity: I acknowledge that my commitment determines my level of success. This commitment boils down to two essential tactics: daily action and daily review.

Date: __________________ Signature: _________________________________________

Congratulations on making your resolutions! Good Luck

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Success Quotes

Peter F. Drucker:
There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.

Abraham Lincoln:
Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing.

Albert Einstein:
The ideals which have lighted me on my way and time after time given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. . . . The ordinary objects of human endeavour -- property, outward success, luxury -- have always seemed to me contemptible.

Albert Einstein:
Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value.

Albert Schweitzer:
Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.

Alex Noble:
If I have been of service, if I have glimpsed more of the nature and essence of ultimate good, if I am inspired to reach wider horizons of thought and action, if I am at peace with myself, it has been a successful day.

Anna Pavlova:
To follow without halt, one aim; there is the secret of success. And success? What is it? I do not find it in the applause of the theater; it lies rather in the satisfaction of accomplishment.

Barbara Jordan:
All my growth and development led me to believe that if you really do the right thing, and if you play by the rules, and if you've got good enough, solid judgment and common sense, that you're going to be able to do whatever you want to do with your life.

Benjamin Disraeli:
The secret of success is constancy to purpose.

Benjamin Franklin:
There are no gains without pains.

Bernadette Devlin:
Yesterday I dared to struggle. Today I dare to win.

Bessie Stanley:
He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth's beauty or failed to express it; who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose memory a benediction.

published 11/30/1905 in the Lincoln (Kansas) Sentinel - an adaptation of this is often attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, though nothing like it has been found in his writings.

Bessie Stanley (adapted; erroneously attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson):
To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

Often attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, it is an adaptation of a poem published in 1905 by Bessie Stanley. No version of it has been found in Emerson's writings.

Bruce Feirstein:
The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.

Coco Chanel:
How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone.

Corita Kent:
Love the moment. Flowers grow out of dark moments. Therefore, each moment is vital. It affects the whole. Life is a succession of such moments and to live each, is to succeed.

Corita Kent:
Life is a succession of moments. To live each one is to succeed.

David Brinkley:
A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him or her.

Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.

Elaine Maxwell:
My will shall shape the future. Whether I fail or succeed shall be no man's doing but my own. I am the force; I can clear any obstacle before me or I can be lost in the maze. My choice; my responsibility; win or lose, only I hold the key to my destiny.

Elbert Hubbard:
The man who is anybody and who does anything is surely going to be criticized, vilified, and misunderstood. This is part of the penalty for greatness, and evey man understands, too, that it is no proof of greatness.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox:
One ship sails East,
And another West,
By the self-same winds that blow,
Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales,
That tells the way we go.

This entry continued ...

Emily Dickinson:
Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne'er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.

Frank Lloyd Wright:
I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.

Frank Lloyd Wright:
The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.

Franklin D. Roosevelt:
It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.

G. K. Chesterton:
I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.

George Washington Carver:
How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.

Havelock Ellis:
It is on our failures that we base a new and different and better success.

Helen Keller:
I long to accomplish a great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.

Henry David Thoreau:
The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.

Henry David Thoreau:
I have learned, that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

Henry Ford:
If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can't, you're right. also attributed to Mary Kay Ash

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:
The heights by great men reached and kept / Were not attained by sudden flight, / But they, while their companions slept, / Were toiling upward in the night.

Herbert B. Swope:
I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure: which is: Try to please everybody.

J.C. Penney:
Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I'll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I'll give you a stock clerk.

James A. Froude:
You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.

John C. Maxwell:
The depth of your mythology is the extent of your effectiveness.

Jonathan Kozol:
Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win. On Being a Teacher

Lily Tomlin:
Sometimes I worry about being a success in a mediocre world.

Lloyd Jones:
Those who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try nothing and succeed. (adapted)

Louis L'Amour:
Nobody got anywhere in the world by simply being content.

Margaret Mead:
I must admit that I personally measure success in terms of the contributions an individual makes to her or his fellow human beings.

Marie Ebner von Eschenbach:
Conquer, but don't triumph.

Maxine Hong Kingston:
To me success means effectiveness in the world, that I am able to carry my ideas and values into the world -- that I am able to change it in positive ways.

Maya Lin:
To fly, we have to have resistance.

Michael Korda:
To succeed, we must first believe that we can.

Oliver Wendell Holmes:
Greatness is not in where we stand, but in what direction we are moving. We must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it -- but sail we must and not drift, nor lie at anchor.

Pablo Picasso:
My mother said to me, "If you become a soldier, you'll be a general; if you become a monk, you'll end up as the Pope." Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.

Pearl S. Buck:
The person who tries to live alone will not succeed as a human being. His heart withers if it does not answer another heart. His mind shrinks away if he hears only the echoes of his own thoughts and finds no other inspiration.

Pearl S. Buck:
The secret of joy in work is contained in one word - excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.

Pearl S. Buck:
The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible -- and achieve it, generation after generation.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:
Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:
What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great person is one who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:
Self-trust is the first secret of success.

Richard Bach:
Sooner or later, those who win are those who think they can.

Robert F. Kennedy:
Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.

Samuel Smiles:
It is a mistake to suppose that men succeed through success; they much oftener succeed through failures. Precept, study, advice, and example could never have taught them so well as failure has done.

Samuel Smiles :
We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success. We often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never made a mistake never made a discovery.

Theodore Roosevelt:
It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

From a speech given in Paris at the Sorbonne in 1910

Thomas Alva Edison:
Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

Thomas Wolfe:
You have reached the pinnacle of success as soon as you become uninterested in money, compliments, or publicity.

Ursula K. Le Guin:
Success is somebody else's failure. Success is the American Dream we can keep dreaming because most people in most places, including thirty million of ourselves, live wide awake in the terrible reality of poverty.

Vaclav Havel:
Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed.

Vanessa Redgrave:
Integrity is so perishable in the summer months of success.

Vince Lombardi:
Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

Vince Lombardi:
Dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you're willing to pay the price.

William Lloyd Garrison:
The success of any great moral enterprise does not depend upon numbers.

William Lyon Phelps:
This is the final test of a gentleman: his respect for those who can be of no possible value to him.

William M. Winans:
Not doing more than the average is what keeps the average down.

William Menninger:
Six essential qualities that are the key to success: Sincerity, personal integrity, humility, courtesy, wisdom, charity.

William Saroyan:
Good people are good because they've come to wisdom through failure. We get very little wisdom from success, you know.

Winston Churchill:
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

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Help sometimes comes at a price or with a hidden agenda, but our helpful guides have neither. We hope that the information in our Leewood Times Guides give you starting points and focus. Our goal is to assist you in making informed decisions.

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