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Why New Year’s Resolutions Are Like Janus Masks

Each year, we welcome the beginning of another approximation of Earth’s orbital period by celebrating the New Year with new resolutions.  Very often, though, these new resolutions are really old ones with only fresh attempts at keeping them. Thus, in effect, our transitions into January are riddled with last year’s guilt masked by the hopes of new beginnings. We cheer to each other’s enthusiasm with bubbly wine and resolve to be the grown-up who can finally stick to her plans, because this time, she is yet another year wiser.

January Wanes, and so Do Our Resolutions

Like the snow-people we build, we quickly see our plans dissolve and run away not even leaving carrot noses and charcoal eyes behind. And with the first month coming to its close, we begin to feel the pressure of our resolutions closing in on us. Alas, by the time January is over, most of us have either barely managed to sign up for a gym membership or have already succumbed to the inevitable failure of asking too much of ourselves. Yet again, Janus, the two-faced Roman god, shows us his ugly side. Instead of open gates and new beginnings that smiled at us so alluringly over bubbly in rimmed glasses, his tragic side of endings slams the doors shut on our hopes for betterment much too soon.

Tips for Resolutions You Can Keep

Janus, the deity January was named after, is indeed the god of gates and, therefore, holds potential for both opportunity and failure, open gateways and shut doors. However, nowhere does it say that the beginning of the month must show his happy side, while the 31st has to end tragic. The mask is only a mask, albeit two-faced, but in the theater of life you choose which face to wear!

  • Take the pressure off New Year’s resolutions by resolving to change something when you think it is a good time to do so. This way, you won’t have a laundry list of demands on yourself to live up to.
  • Live every day of your life as if it were a new beginning. For example, start exercising when you hit a certain clothes size and feel uncomfortable, instead of postponing it to the new year.
  • Make decisions about changes from a place of love and forgiveness for yourself. When you are gentle and loving with yourself, you ensure that the anticipated change is really what you want and not what something or someone has suggested you do. Peer pressure thus holds a much lesser place in your life and decision-making process.
  • Be smart with heart and know that goals are much more easily achieved when the steps toward them are manageable. For instance, instead of pledging to jog daily for three miles, promise yourself to move your body in an enjoyable way once every day. You will see that the time you joyfully exercise increases automatically.

Now, does Janus smile at you again?

Bio: Ronja Vieth, Ph.D. is a published scholar, poet, and author from Germany, who teaches and works as an Intuitive Life Coach. Find more information on http://www.englobe.me.