Turning an annual failure into my success

Jan 04, 2018

Darn right it is 2018.

That makes it time to remove your has-been calendars and replace them with fresh ones for the New Year. It’s also time to reflect on how we did with our resolutions for 2017.

Do you even remember what your goals were? How many days, weeks and months did you attempt to follow through on your pledges? How did you do on your scorecard?

If you had a less than stellar score, well like the Mariner’s 2017 building year, this 2018 will be yours and our Safeco’s playing team’s winning season. If you had a high score, then pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

Are our Jan. 1 goal setting rituals just a fleeting joke for the bulk of us? Yet an exercise we do for no other reason than we are just following a tradition than has a long floating history.

I recently learned it was about the minus year (Before the Common Era-BCE) of 1894 in Babylon that as its citizens saw the first spring equinox they began their 11 days of celebrating the moonlight. It was their time to collectively enjoy the various festival foods and to partake in testing the various concocted distilled moonshines.

Was their party under the influence of their alcohol thinking that their dreaming of next year’s accomplishments were set?

During those years all concerned emphatically believed they could appease the agricultural god by letting this potentially ire deity know that his subordinates were willing to sacrifice for him. In return this god had to be willing to let the rains flow and the sunshine to shine so their sowed seeds could grow into bushels of food for their next year staples.

These individual’s spiritually motivated gifts were mostly about returning loaned equipment; offering-up more wine and bread to the gods; or the men would swear they would exercise more. Their vow was to walk more and ride less on their ox carts.

History notes it was around 753 BCE that Romulus, the first King of Rome, instituted the new 304 day calendar. Then since the Roman’s had control over a major part of the known world it was mandated that Rome and its vassal states must put a new month onto their calendar.

With this being the case all New Year’s resolutions were no longer made in the spring equinox period. Rather all the people’s resolutions were now being made in the cold month of Ianuarius, which we now called January.

Now let us jump further into the Common Era (CE) and land ourselves into Martin Luther’s Protestant Reformation Era.

Sociologist Isidor Thorner’s now decades old research noted those who were under the Protestant Reformation influences were more likely to honor the custom of making New Year oaths. Whereas, those who lived in the territories that were under the influence of the Pope were less likely to conform to the old custom.

As humankind was leaving the 20th century and entering into the 21st century individual resolution decrees were greatly decreased. It fact, it became a joke to make any pledges at all.

According to a Jesuit’s University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, New Year’s compliance pledge research study indicated that only 8 percent of those who made New Year’s vows actually kept those vows. So I guess I can be proud of myself since I belong to the 92 percent herd?

But in my quest to become part of the 8 percent I will make four separate New Year’s vows. With one of them being a pledge I am 100 percent sure I will reach. Then when I do, I can legitimately say I am one of those few 8 percenters.

Three of my resolves will be common ones such as: I will lose weight. I will exercise every day. I will dust the house at least twice a month. Being a realist, I know when 2019 begins three of my 2018 goals will just remain unfulfilled targets. Thus I will be with the herd of the other 92 percent failures.

However, since my fourth 2018 pledge will be to not following through on my other three vows, I am instantly guaranteed a small token of success.

To look at it another way, by failing I will become one of the few eight percent “succeeders” (sic).

Darn right to all, have a happy, productive and successful 2018!

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