Peggy Bechko: New Year’s Resolutions

calvin-hobbes-new-years-resolutions

by Peggy Bechko

Are we all mad?

Seriously, how did this idiotic practice get started?

I mean it’s a created ‘holiday’ (New Year’s) and then somehow, somewhere, by someone there’s this ridiculous ‘tradition’ that gets started wherein we all make some promise (that’s probably unkeepable), then break it, then feel guilty about it.

Really?

So where’d it come from? Here’s a little history I found on the whole thing:

A Historical Look at New Year’s Resolutions – from How Stuff Works 

… Some 4,000 years ago, Babylonians rang in their new year with an 11-day festival in March, and ancient Egyptians celebrated the advent of their new calendar during the Nile River’s annual flood. By 46 B.C., Roman emperor Julius Caesar had moved the first day of the year to Jan. 1 in honor of the Roman god of beginnings, Janus, an idea that took some time to catch on. However, in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII brought the Jan. 1 New Year back in vogue with the Gregorian calendar — a concept that persists today.

The origin of making New Year’s resolutions rests with the Babylonians, who reportedly made promises to the gods in hopes they’d earn good favor in the coming year. They often resolved to get out of debt.

(Any of this sound familiar?? The out of debt part I mean…)

And don’t forget the Roman God Janus , the two-faced god who looks backwards into the old year and forwards into the new. Janus was also the patron and protector of arches, gates, doors, doorways, endings and beginnings. He was also the patron of bridges. (Busy guy; and are you sure you want to model some ‘resolution’ on all this?)

So enough already. How about we give up on these resolutions? I mean do we really want to declare, as writers, to the world what we haven’t been able to accomplish in years past and probably won’t stick to this year either? Do you want to put that kind of pressure on yourself? All together, let’s hear a big, “HELL NO!”

In your capacity as writer you can set goals any day, week, month of the year. And with a goal you can applaud yourself if you make it and if you don’t you can reevaluate, reposition and set a new goal.

Seriously folks, stop being so serious about something that isn’t even a little bit serious. Put on your writer’s caps and set your goals. And don’t just do it on New Year’s Day. Don’t let all this end of the old and beginning of the new fervor sweep you into its gullet.

I mean think about it. How many times have you decided you were going to put down on paper your New Year’s Resolution to write more, or find an agent, or find a writing partner, or stop procrastinating or whatever? Most of the time I think ‘resolving not to’ is the recipe for doing just the opposite. And what’s worse, once the resolution is broken it leads to one throwing up one’s hands and declaring, “who cares, I can’t do this.”

It’s all kinds of negativity, and who needs that? We writers get all sorts of negativity in the way of feedback at various times and at any stage of our career, so why heap more on yourself? Skip the New Year’s resolution and dive into the New Year’s work.

Life is change. And it doesn’t happen to just writers or just once a year. Go with it, create with it, learn from it, and don’t let it get in your way.


Peggy Bechko is a Contributing Editor to TVWriter™. You can learn more about her HERE.

One thought on “Peggy Bechko: New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Rreed423 says:

    My usual New Year’s resolution is, of course, to lose weight. I feel guilty after eating lots of holiday goodies, then do the resolution thing, then feel guilty for failing. It’s the circle of guilt.

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