We see it every year. People blowing up social media about their latest New Year resolutions. Some resolutions are generic, others are incredibly specific. Then about halfway through the year it seems 90% if not more of those people have fallen off their resolution bandwagon. But first, where did this tradition start?
Where did the New Year Resolution come from?
Looking through history, New Year Resolutions were practiced by the Babylonians every March by worshiping Janus, the two-faced Pagan god whose face looks backward and forward. Janus was viewed as the protector of arches, gates, doors, doorways, bridges, endings, and beginnings.
The custom of setting “New Year’s resolutions” began during the Roman era typically with moral goals that focus primarily on being kind to others. When the Roman Empire took Christianity as its official state religion in the 4th century, these moral intentions were replaced by prayers and fasting.
In the 18th century, Puritans in America avoided using the name Janus and referred to the first month of the year as January instead. To avoid celebrating the Pagan god, the Puritans urged their children to skip the festivities and use that time to reflect on the past year and plan for the year to come.
While looking to the future, parents encouraged their kids to make commitments to enhance and use their talents, be kind to others, and avoid sins. Funny how history manages to circle back to repeat itself.
Today we carry on much of the Puritans’ focus on bettering ourselves. I do believe the most common (at least among my circle of friends) New Year Resolution is fitness-related. No surprise that most people fall off their resolution bandwagon after the first few months out of the year as old habits die hard. Sound familiar?
I’m honestly not sure if I’ve ever stuck to a New Year resolution. I’m one of those people who always have good intentions for bettering something with myself, but perhaps the resolutions I’ve chosen were not true to my current interests and ambitions. For the past couple of years, I admittedly didn’t even participate in making a resolution (or celebrate the New Year at all). Instead, I’ve focused on appreciating how far I’ve been able to pull myself out of my health disaster that lasted nearly a decade.
This year, I’m focusing my efforts differently. I’m choosing a theme.
Learn. Love. Grow.
My theme this year is largely a continuation of my life’s current trajectory: Learn. Love. Grow.
The best thing to ever happen to me was in 2013 when I became fed up with the status quo of my broken health. My boyfriend at the time (now my husband) and I decided to start changing our lifestyle to see how it could improve our quality of life. Nothing in modern medicine available through the veteran’s hospital was working to help alleviate my pain, seizures, weakness, confusion, or low blood pressure spells. Knowing we had nothing to lose, we dove into the Paleo diet and subsequently into removing toxins from our home. It changed my life. Suspecting that the changes would kill me, as my neurologist warned, the lifestyle change ended up curing me completely. In the process, my intuition and faith became stronger, and I became a better listener.
From that point on I have become a master at listening to my body and opening my mind to possibilities that sometimes didn’t make sense based on what I had spent my life learning. Learning new things relating to health and nutrition lead to experimenting in the kitchen and with supplements (and essential oils), which lead to reversing my autoimmune disorder symptoms, improving my mental health and clarity, and even allowing us to have a baby.
It’s amazing what can happen when you open your mind and accept new knowledge!
This next year I will continue my learning addiction, with a goal of learning something new each day… and reading at least one personal development book each month.
I’m not talking about romantic love or the butterflies in your belly when you see the object of your affection.
I’m talking about genuine love. Love is a verb, and not the definition you’ll find in a dictionary.
What is love?
In my opinion, love is what you do when you truly care for someone, whether they are a platonic friend, your children, your parents, your spouse or partner, or even a stranger.
Love is doing little things to enrich the lives of other people.
- volunteering to feed the hungry or shelter the homeless
- leaving encouraging notes in your spouse’s lunchbox
- sharing information about something that can help someone you care about.
- sacrificing your wants to provide for someone else’s needs
Love is what you do, not necessarily how you feel. Love is the force behind charity and nonprofits. Love is the force behind sharing… and is definitely something we need more of in our global society.
Love is what drives me as a Mom and Entrepreneur. Nothing is more pleasing than to watch someone you care about become healthier and achieve their personal goals.
I started my business coaching moms and military veterans by making nontoxic lifestyle changes out of love, wanting to help them enrich their lives like I was able to enhance mine. After sharing some info, product ideas, and essential oils with a couple of friends and family members. Shortly after providing some information and recommendations, they responded by telling me about how good they felt. Fast forward to a year later and I had helped 34 families achieve their wellness through coaching them on dietary habits and essential oil use. Fast forward to a few years later, I helped impact over 200 families’ lives.
I take time for each and every one of my customers (and the coaches I now teach) out of love to make sure they have the support they need on their journey and are accomplishing their goals.
This is the love I will continue to focus on over the next year: expanding the number of families I am able to help.
Amazing things happen in life when you focus on personal growth. I know I talk about it a lot, but that’s because I’ve been making a conscious effort to grow and it’s made some impressive changes to my life.
When you embark on a journey of personal growth, you also end up growing professionally and in relationships. There isn’t an aspect of your life that ends up untouched, and it’s incredible. Things that used to be stressful (even just a week ago) now seem trivial. You feel more organized and prepared to face the world. You feel nervous and challenged, and then suddenly that anxiousness melts into a proud moment of intense achievement. Nothing compares.
This past year I started my intentional personal growth journey by reading 15 Invaluable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell. I cannot say enough good things about this book!! It’s intense, and I found it best to read one chapter per week as part of a book club. This year I want to continue growing by reading more books and spending extra time talking with my mentors to help facilitate my growth. In continuing to grow and sharing my love of personal development with others, I will also be opening up my schedule to mentor two or three individuals, as life sees fit because knowledge is worthless if it’s not shared.
Are you setting New Year resolutions? Do you have a theme?
A Note From Nicole
If you enjoyed this post, please comment below and share it with your friends and on your favorite Pinterest board to save it for later. Our website team LOVES hearing about your personal experiences and wins.
Let’s Connect! You can find me online at:
Nicole is a military-trained research analyst, homeschooling mom, healthy lifestyle coach, flexible business consultant, and writer for MotherhoodTruth.com and GracefullyAbundant.com. After living through and overcoming a season of homelessness and chronic health, Nicole developed a passion for helping others develop healthier habits using functional nutrition, herbalism, and renewing faith.