Sam Bauman: To resolve or not to resolve, that’s is the question



I’ve rarely indulged in making New Year’s resolutions. It just seemed to me that if there was something about my life that needed changing, I should do it now. I know the New Year can be a sort of sign post of change, and I’m always in favor of change. But I feel like “do it now” rather than wait on the calendar.

Wikipedia says the origins of New Year’s resolutions come from religion:

“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 watchnight services, many Christians prepare for the year ahead by praying and making these resolutions.

There are other religious parallels to this tradition. During Judaism’s New Year, Rosh Hashanah, through the High Holidays and culminating in Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), one is to reflect upon one’s wrongdoings over the year and both seek and offer forgiveness. People may act similarly during the Christian liturgical season of Lent, though the motive behind this holiday is more of sacrifice than of responsibility, in fact the practice of New Year’s resolutions partially came from the Lenten sacrifices. The concept, regardless of creed, is to reflect upon self-improvement annually,” Wikipedia says.

Here’s other information about resolutions from Wikipedia:

The most common reason for participants failing their New Year’s resolutions was setting themselves unrealistic goals (35 percent), while 33 percent didn’t keep track of their progress and a further 23 percent forgot about it.

A 2007 study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people showed that 88 percent of those who set New Year resolutions fail, despite the fact that 52 percent of the study’s participants were confident of success at the beginning. Men achieved their goal 22% more often when they set small measurable goals. While women succeeded 10 percent more when they made their goals public and got support from their friends.

Popular goals include resolutions to:

Improve physical well-being

Improve mental well-being

Improve finances

Improve career

Improve education

Improve self:

Take a trip

Volunteer to help others

Make new friends

Spend quality time with family members

Settle down, get engaged/get married, have kids

Pray more, be more spiritual

Be more involved in extra curricular activities

I resolve to write lighter pieces in the future.


Last week, I wrote about dining at the Carson City Senior Center. The cost of the meal is a suggested donation of $2.25 although no senior will be turned away for their inability to pay.

Sam Bauman writes about senior affairs, among other things, for the Nevada Appeal.


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