So where does the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions come from?
Some say the the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions originates some 4,000 years ago with the Babylonians. Just before the planting of crops, the Babylonians would make promises to the gods to pay their debts and return any borrowed objects. In keeping their promises, they would be blessed with good fortune in the upcoming year.
In Ancient Rome, with the establishment of the Julian calendar in 45 B.C., January 1 was established as the first day of the New Year. January was named after the god, Janus, who had two faces, one face looking to the past year, and the other looking towards the upcoming year, and on this day, officials and consuls would look forward, making vows for the safety of the state.
And now, in modern times, many of us follow a similar tradition, making vows or resolutions for the upcoming year with the aim of self-improvement.
Here at Compassionate Service Society, we set the tone for the New Year by gathering together to meditate, dedicating our collective energy towards the healing of loved ones, and to pray for peace in our families, communities, and the world.
After the meditation session, instead of making typical New Year’s resolutions, Thay Hang Truong asked us to make three wishes for the upcoming year:
What do you wish to disappear (let go)? Think of specific unpleasant, difficult situations you faced last year.
What do you wish to manifest? Think of specific joys or successes you would like to witness this year.
What do you wish to fulfill or achieve with your practice?
Upon follow up of the three wishes, he asked us to reflect on the following:
What bad habits might have brought about or be associated with the negative situations from last year? What could you do to improve yourself?
What good habits might be associated with bringing about the joy and success you wish to see? How can you start those good habits?
What commitments will you make with your practice to achieve what you wish?
Making resolutions is one thing, but reflecting on how you might actually change, identifying the steps you need to take to actually change…that’s where the transformation begins! Be specific with your steps and make them realistic.
This year, we’ll have plenty of opportunities and class offerings to help you achieve your goals of bringing more health, joy, and peace into your life. Keep visiting, and check out our events calendar for the latest announcements and upcoming activities. Happy New Year!