Home >> At Home >> Student >> Education World At Home

Search form

Home > At Home > Archives > Students > Students

The Complete Guide to New Year's Resolutions OR It's Always Next Year Someplace


Hello, students! You are probably looking at an article called "The Complete Guide to New Year's Resolutions" either because you have a homework assignment about New Year's Resolutions, or you are wondering how to deal with the misery and boredom of your life. Maybe both of those are the same reason.

Anyway, cheer up! You will ALWAYS want to think of new ways to deal with the misery and boredom of your life, so stop worrying about it and take comfort in the fact that you can make New Year's Resolutions any time you want. Call them "New Week's Resolutions," or even "New Afternoon Resolutions." Nobody is fussy about this.

The tradition of New Year's Resolutions goes back to the mythical king of Rome named Janus who had two faces. Either he was mythical or maybe our record of Janus comes to us from supermarket tabloids. Anyway, one face looked at the past while the other face looked toward the future. A handy pocket calendar is more convenient, but maybe they didn't have stationery stores in ancient Rome.

Janus, as the legend does not go, chipped New Year's Resolutions into stone. Here's an example:

New Year's Resolution XXIXLVXCCMMCXXLIVVIIIVIVIXXC.37, subsection Xii: Stop getting two pairs of sunglasses each summer! Only one face is looking into the sun at any one time! What a waste of money!

Ancient Babylonian celebrations of the New Year lasted 11 days, with each day having a particular ritual or activity. Eleven days stood as a record new year's celebration for three thousand four hundred and seventy-two years, before Wilbur McBristle of New Cough, Minnesota, celebrated from December 14, 2005, to January 27, 2006. Rather than having a different ritual or activity for each of those 44 days, however, Mr. McBristle offered no particular explanation for his extended observance of the holiday, and basically just sat on his couch eating Pringle's.

Chinese New Years are different, both mathematically and in terms of how they taste. As you know, the Chinese celebrate years as having special relations to certain animals, so that you get the Year of the Rat, the Year of the Monkey, the Year of the Rooster, and, since 2006, the Year of Wilbur McBristle.

The song "Auld Lang Zyne," the words of which mean "It's too late at night for me to pronounce anything clearly," is sung at the stroke of midnight, making it one of the shortest songs in history. In 1752, one man managed to sing "Auld Lang" as midnight came and went, but throughout the rest of the centuries, the best people have done is the syllable "Au."

Amidst these rich New Year's traditions, of course, the idea of improving your life by hand-writing a list of things you'll do in the coming year is probably even sillier than singing "Auld Lang Zyne," but people do it anyway. I have a list, but I keep getting it mixed up with my list of three wishes that I keep just in case I ever run into a magic genie. This was very frustrating the one time I found a mysterious lamp and started rubbing it, saying "I will stop eating that third helping of ice cream after dinner." I heard a strange voice say, "You don't need my help with that, buddy!" and I realized I'd made a horrible mistake.

People say "Happy New Year" in a lot of different ways. In Turkish it is said, "Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun." In Irish Gaelic, it's said, "Bliain nua fe mhaise dhuit." In the rural Carolinas, where I grew up, it's said, "Where did you put the aspirin?"

When it comes time to make your New Year's Resolutions, keep these three simple ideas in mind:

  1. Don't list anything you don't really, really, really mean to do.
  2. Don't list anything you listed before that you didn't do, unless you really, really, really, really mean that this time, this time, you're going to do it.
  3. Don't start adding new things to your list unless, now, be honest: you really, really, really, really, really, really, really mean to do them, no fooling!


A lot of interesting people were actually born on January 1, including, born in 1918, Willy den Ouden, a Dutch swimmer who set a world record in the 100 meter race of 1:04.06, but not, however, on the day he was born. Also, born in 1449, Lorenzo de'Medici, known as "The Magnificent," again, however, not that first day. Finally, J. Edgar Hoover, of FBI fame, born on New Year's Day 1895 … No jokes about him: he's probably still spying on people!

Well, we hope this has been a completely useful romp through the history of New Year's and its famed Resolutions. We leave you with a little song:

If you make a resolution, make it strong
With determination for however long
You might take to make it right
Or give it up by New Year's Night
If you make a resolution, make it strong!


Back to EducationWorld At Home main page