Fingers Crossed, 2022 Resolutions Revealed


New Year’s Resolutions may seem like a modern phenomenon. That’s wrong, unless internet postings are sometimes completely fabricated. Resolutions are centuries in the making.

Going back 4,000+ years, Babylonians were the first to make them, but not in January. Their New Year was celebrated during a 12-day festival in mid-March as crops were planted. If Babylonians kept their promises, or resolutions, favors were granted by pagan gods. If promises were broken, they would fall out of favor.

Fast forward to the Romans and 46 BC. Known for his reforms, Emperor Julius Caesar modified the calendar resulting in January 1st as the start of the New Year. January was named for Janus, a two-faced god who symbolically looked backward into the previous year as well as forward into the future. Romans offered sacrifices to their gods followed by promises, including good behavior, in the New Year.

The first day of a New Year for early Christians involved a tradition to reflect on past mistakes and a resolve to do better. For some, religious services were held on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. They were called watch night services and included deep reflection and development of resolutions.

Into more modern time, resolutions generally involve self-improvement, which may explain why they are so darn hard to keep. Research says as many as 45 percent of Americans make resolutions for the New Year. Oh No! Only eight percent are successful with keeping their word. That bad track record won’t stop people from making resolutions, however.

So what about January 1st 2022 in the St. Croix Valley? Twenty-two resolutions for 2022 will not be presented. The usual ones like getting in shape, weight loss, or dialing down stress won’t appear either. Avoiding coffee or products that are distilled, brewed and fermented is not on the list either, as long as they are enjoyed in some measure of moderation.

OK St. Croix Valley, how about these ten suggested resolutions as a solid foundation in 2022:
-Learn something new each day, week, or month;
-Learn two or three new skills each year;
-Make new connections;
-Respect all;
-Volunteer in your community;
-Talk less and listen more;
-Dial down cell phones, tablets, and laptops;
-Complain less, compliment more;
-Make an investment – in yourself; and
-Cheer for an underdog once in a while

The St. Croix Valley is a remarkable corner of the world. Many of its residents are likely part of the eight percent group who abide by their resolutions. Regardless, there is no secret police to enforce them. But adherence to some common sense actions spread over 12 months can go a long way toward making the Valley an even better locale. Ready or not, here’s to 2022!