Every year when we get to the end, we think about how much better we want to do next year. And then we make a bunch of big and inflated promises to ourselves that fall by the wayside by about January 15th. So, this year, let’s make it about New Year’s resolutions we can actually keep.
When did we start making New Year’s resolutions?
Like so many things in life, those often empty promises we make in the beginning of the year, have a history all their own. So where did this tradition of overblown assumptions of our future accomplishments come from? Apparently, it goes all the way back to the ancient Babylonians. Although back then, it wasn’t quite the same concept as today.
Around 4,000 years ago, the Babylonians celebrated New Year’s, but at a different time. There was no Jesus Christ back then, remember, so there were no holidays set up around his life. Rather, the new year was celebrated as a crop-planting holiday that took place in mid-March. The surrounding festival lasted 12 days, and was called Akitu. During this festival, a new king was crowned, or the people reiterated their loyalty to the reigning king.
What they also did was make a bunch of promises to the gods about paying debts and returning anything borrowed from someone else. And it’s these promises that are similar to today’s tradition of making resolutions – or goals, albeit, for a slightly different reason. While today’s resolutions can certainly involve the exact same intentions, they’re usually more around personal goals, like hitting the gym more, sticking to a diet, or spending more time with the kids.
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For the Babylonians, it was believed that if they kept to their promises, the gods would be good to them in the coming year. But if they didn’t, the gods wouldn’t be happy with them. At such a time in history, having gods mad at you was not considered ideal. In that way, there was probably a lot more pressure to keep these resolutions, than there is today. As we don’t generally fear damnation for failing at our self-given goals.
And I think it’s a pretty safe generalization to say that we usually do fail. I’m not saying everyone does. Some people follow through completely with their asserted desire for change. But the majority of us don’t. So many that the whole idea, while taken seriously to a degree, is also seen as a joke. We’re so bad at keeping to our goals, that we practically think of them as a joke when we say them each year. The Babylonians wouldn’t be impressed!!
What are New Year’s resolutions you can actually keep?
Honestly, I can’t give an answer to that on a personal level because we all have different things we want to accomplish. And we all have our own set of weaknesses to account for when trying to get things done. What is easy for some, is impossible for others, and what is desired by some, means absolutely nothing to others.
What I can say, is that it’s good to be honest with yourself, and realistic about your abilities. If you’ve quit the gym every other time you tried, consider what you were asking yourself to do. Maybe four days a week is too high a goal to start with, and just getting your butt there twice is good enough for now. Maybe you try to diet every year by cutting out literally everything you love, when it might be more realistic to cut out just a few choice things.
Resolutions in their most basic form are nothing more than goals. If you’re someone that has a hard time setting realistic goals, you might have a hard time setting realistic resolutions. If you’re someone that doesn’t like setting goals at all, no reason to believe a holiday will make it any better. The fact that something becomes a cultural habit, doesn’t mean that all of culture will succeed with it, and we see this every year.
Cannabis New Year’s resolutions you can keep
As I said, resolutions are personal, and therefore it doesn’t make sense to tell people what kind of resolutions to make. But I think there are some similar things that many people aspire to in tandem. Like the examples of dieting and going to the gym that I mentioned. Probably 50% or more of resolutions made are about those specific things; though people attack the idea differently, setting different parameters for themselves.
Having said that, maybe there are some cannabis-related New Year’s resolutions that those looking to make positive changes, can follow. And one of the biggest ones in terms of improving health, is in how the weed is taken. Smoking is one of the biggest dangers to health and well being, and it doesn’t matter what you’re smoking. Just because its weed and not cigarettes, doesn’t get you out of smoke damage.
So, this year, if you’re really trying to improve your health, and tired of being short of breath, or hacking up a lung, switch to vaping, eating edibles, or using tinctures or oils. No reason to give up the weed, but might as well use it more safely. We’re not back 50 years, or even 20. We’ve got better options. Maybe this year, resolve to use them.
Or, maybe consider how you use marijuana, and how it affects your life. Weed is great! I’ve been a major fan since I started getting high back in college, but I’ve also had to come to terms with certain things in life. Like that it can make me lazy, and less willing to do a lot of things, like working out…or working at all.
We’re all different in this, but I’m not the only one to have this particular issue. If you’re like me, maybe try to resolve to be better about when you get high, and what you accomplish before you do it. After all, sometimes its really nice to have a reward to work for, anyway.
If you don’t have the above problem, such a resolution doesn’t apply. Some people, after all, are great at toking up, and then handling all their responsibilities. While those of us who don’t have that ability will probably always be jealous, it creates a good example of how not every resolution, is for everyone.
Another thing to consider is how much is smoked (or vaped or eaten or whatever). And this again is not specific to either amounts or people. But if you’re someone having a thought that maybe you should cut down, then maybe that’s not a bad resolution to set.
Again, weed is great. But so are a lot of things that don’t need to be used or consumed constantly. It’s like the saying goes, ‘everything in moderation, except moderation.’ No one ever said you can’t take account of your situation and modify it as needed. So maybe this New Year’s…do that.
And maybe your change might be in how you relate to others in your smoking habits. Maybe you’re the guy (or gal, or whatever else) who hogs the joint every time it gets passed to you. Maybe instead of upholding the holy ‘puff, puff, pass’, the unofficial law of social smoking, you’re a ‘puff, puff, puff, puff, and then another puff, pass’ person. Maybe this year, just try to be a little more giving. Maybe if you’re that person, you can resolve to be a bit more considerate with how you smoke.
Let’s be honest, life is littered with unfulfilled New Year’s resolutions of just about every kind. This year, let’s not drop the tradition, but maybe let’s resolve to make better goals. This year, here’s to making New Year’s resolutions we can actually keep!
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