The New Year is here!

Girl jumping at sunset welcoming New Year 2017


The thing about dates and resolutions
365 days; and there comes a new year yet again! Far back, the Babylonians decided on every first of January that they should repay their debts. The Romans prayed to the gods to forgive their sins; and knights used the day to make promises of chivalry. Have you ever thought of something you would like to do starting with the New Year?

I shall improve my health — eat less junk, stop sodas; and exercise more often.
I will be positive — more tolerant and less angry; will laugh more and sulk less.
I will study harder, better my grades, think about career and be responsible.
I will improve myself — be more organized, manage my time and be independent.
I will get spiritual — meditate, do the right thing, and be nicer and kinder to people.
I will be more social and I will do so by actually spending lesser time on social media.

Resolutions are good; they are needed!
Of course resolutions are very important. They are like dreams you haven’t set out to make real yet. You have them at the back of your mind and are waiting for the right place, the correct skills, the best luck, and the appropriate time to bring them in the open. They can be objectives you want to achieve over a short period of time (short-term goals) or targets you want to accomplish over a year or many years (long-term goals). Often enough these resolutions made on specific days become fashionable — everyone makes resolutions at the New Year so why shouldn’t I? Clearly there is added enthusiasm and zest while making resolutions, but is it the same when it comes to keeping them?

Are resolutions on a timer?
I’m sure the Babylonians repaid their debts, but did they create new ones as days passed? And hopefully the Romans didn’t sin again! If you ate healthy wouldn’t you just continue to eat wholesome all the time? Or manage your time, focus on studies or be a positive person in general? And if that had to be done, why is the date so important? And why when we think of this resolution well in advance; do we not decide on the 27th of November or 19th of December or 9th of May itself to follow it? How is the 1st of January so special that things can and must happen just on that day and not on any other?

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Dr Shefali Batra
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Dr Shefali Batra

Dr Shefali Batra is a Senior Psychiatrist and CBT Expert, and is the Founder of Mindframes. She posts and conducts regular ‘lives’ on Instagram @drshefalibatra.