Are You Making New Year Resolutions? Well Stop!

I know that it's traditional to make New Year Resolutions on January 1st but are you sure that the dreariest month of the year is the right time to set yourself new challenges?

There is some sense after a month of over indulgence to have a period of more restraint, but I'm not convinced that a month of cold, damp and short days is the right time to make significant changes to your life!

Personally I prefer September 1st as a time for new beginnings. It feels right after summer holidays and more relaxed routines to use the start of the new school year to harness your renewed energy and make some changes. It also helps that you can use the Xmas holiday as a target, so go swimming twice a week/go veggy/get a new hobby until Xmas. That's achievable, and less intimidating than trying to do it for a whole year!

But if September 1st doesn't suit you then there are a whole lot of other options from other cultures to chose from.

  • Chinese New Year. In 2020 it falls on 25th January and it is the Year of the Rat, and billions of Chinese people will make long journeys back home to celebrate with their families. Not sure there is enough of a difference between 1st and 25th January to make to much of a difference but at least the kids will be back at school?


  • If January is just too dark and gloomy to make those changes how about April? Thai New Year, called Songkran, which is on 14th April every year. Traditionally Thais clean their house and especially clean images of the Buddha. Songkran focuses on spiritual intentions like giving alms to monks and visiting Buddhist temples so if your New Year Resolution is of a spiritual nature then this sounds like a perfect time to make them.


  • If you agree with me that September is a much better month for New Year resolutions then this year the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, is on September 18th. It is a 2 day festival which marks the anniversary of human's creation and the special relationship between humans and God. There are many traditions associated with Rosh Hashanah, including eating apples dipped in honey which represent wishes for a sweet and pleasant year. Also eating pomegranate as its seeds symbolise the hope that the year will bring many blessings. 


  • Can't wait until September? The Islamic New Year is on August 19th, like most non Western New Years it changes every year and if you are planning ahead by 2022 it will be in July so a halfway point for you to use to consider any changes you want to make.


So this year, why don't you leave your New Year Resolutions until later in the year and just be kind to yourself through January. Making positive changes is good but they don't have to make a dreary month worse!


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