We’re just a few weeks away from the Summer Solstice. The cold, hard winds of early January are long forgotten. Yet if we reflect back just a few short months, every year, Baby New Year personifies the passing of time. He is often a young boy, pictured in a diaper, top hat, and sash to stand for a fresh start and clean slate – a new beginning. He is celebrated across the country with new parents aspiring to give birth to the first baby of the New Year.
Wikipedia suggests that the ancient Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts. The Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named. In the Medieval era, the knights took the "Peacock Vow" at the end of the Christmas season each year to re-affirm their commitment to chivalry. At watch night services, many prepare for the year ahead by praying and making these resolutions.
There is a relatively recent phenomenon known as the “half birthday” – probably designed by kids in an effort to get presents twice a year – that signifies a six month anniversary of a birth date. A half birthday is a celebration six months before your next - there’s even a calculator.
As Baby New Year approaches his half birthday of 2013, we all can pause to reflect on our resolutions.
So as we look in the mirror and think about what we’ve done to better ourselves in these first six months of 2013 – to what conclusions do we come? – Baby New Year, as a figment of our imagination, has made great leaps and strides, but what have you done?
The world has witnessed much change – we’ve seen political strife, diametrically mixed financial markets, disruptive natural disasters, economic challenges – but what have YOU done to better yourself since your January 1 resolutions?
Each and every day, we choose our path – as humans, we know we have an option to inject ourselves in to the relationship between stimulus and response -- E(Y) = f(x) -- and choose the way we want to behave, perform, and IMPROVE.
We all set out around New Year’s Day with aspirations for the upcoming 12 months. As we approach the collective half birthday for our resolutions, this is a great time to reflect on how we’ve developed our own skills over the past six months, and perhaps -- more importantly -- what we will do next to better ourselves while we have time in 2013.
It’s amazing how quickly time passes. Take time for yourself these next few months and make sure you’re on track for those new year’s resolutions, and developing, so that the 2013 version of YOU is truly “new and improved.”
Here’s a list to think about in getting started:
- Get started – just do one thing differently this month
- Help someone else
- Ask for advice
- Journal or blog
- Send a note to your future self (delay delivery if you can)
- Be more artistic
- Make a “to-do” list
- Invent a new way of doing something
- Write down some new goals
- Make a list of your biggest weaknesses
- Recognize the people who inspire you – and why
- Limit exposure to negativity
- Get rid of a bad habit
- Ask someone to be your mentor
- Turn off the TV
- Take a different route to work once a week
- Smile at, or high five someone - randomly
- Breathe deliberately for five minutes a day
- Develop your skills through practice
- Wake up earlier
- Exercise more
- Stretch yourself – get out of your comfort zone in some way
- Learn a foreign language
- Develop your hobby
- Eat healthier
- Take an online course
- Act inspired
- Be a rebel for a day
- Plan for next year’s resolutions!
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