New Year’s Resolutions

From Wikipedia:

The ancient Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts.[2]

The Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named.[3]

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.[2]

At watchnight services, many Christians prepare for the year ahead by praying and making these resolutions.[4]

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.[4] The concept, regardless of creed, is to reflect upon self-improvement annually.

Anyway, clearly blogging kind of fell by the wayside this year. It was a busy year: finished intern year, moved cross-country, finally started neurology, and it’s been kind of a whirlwind. And honestly I’m not sure blogging in the traditional sense is such a great use of my time right now, since I should technically be doing other things with my limited free time, like studying. That said, I haven’t done so well with that either this fall. Thus the subject of New Year’s resolutions. This year, mine is to learn something every day. And in particular, to read an article every day (weekends and holidays are exempt if I do something else, like my Anki flashcards). To hold myself accountable, I’ll be posting the articles I read here, starting tomorrow.

One more factoid from Wikipedia:

A 2007 study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people showed that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail,[7] despite the fact that 52% of the study’s participants were confident of success at the beginning.

Will I fail? Maybe. Maybe even probably. But to quote the great one, you miss 100% of the shots you never take. Here’s to 2015. Let’s learn something.



Filed under Articles, Uncategorized

2 responses to “New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Pingback: Week 1: New Year’s Resolutions, part 2 | Evidenced

  2. Pingback: Week 2: VKH, part 3 | Evidenced

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