It is believed the idea of New Year’s resolutions began in ancient Babylon. At the beginning of a new year the Babylonians as well as the Romans, would make promises to their gods. Knights of the Medieval period were known to take the ‘peacock vow’ which reaffirmed their commitment to chivalry. During the celebration of their new year, the Jewish people reflected on their behavior and sought forgiveness for wrongdoing. It has also been a part of the Christian tradition during the season of Lent.
According to the AMA, approximately 40- 50% of Americans participate in this tradition. Regardless of the period or group involved, it appears the idea is self-improvement. I’m sure many of you, as have I, made New Year’s resolutions. It seems like a great idea, but unfortunately, they don’t seem to last very long. However, any commitment, anytime toward self-improvement is beneficial if taken seriously.
Perhaps the best way to develop new behaviors is to concentrate on making the action a habit. Habits are hard to form because the behavioral patterns of humans become imprinted in neural pathways, but it is possible to change old and form new through repetition. It has been suggested that a new habit can be formed after about 21 days of repetition. The more difficult the action, the longer it may take to master. The idea, However, is to repeat the action until it becomes automatic.
There are many different reasons and methods associated with the tradition of New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps the most popular is associated with losing weight or overcoming negative habits. I challenge you to use the month of January 2018 as an opportunity to make positive, long-lasting improvements in your family relations. Things we all know are important but never seem to have the time to develop.
Every family is unique, and no size fits all. However, the following could be an option.
- Weekly family conference. – Predetermined time and place free of judgment and criticism where individuals may express personal opinions, concerns and suggestions relating to the family without the fear of reprisal.
- Consider something similar to the ‘Roberts Rule of Order’ as the standard for facilitating discussions and group decision-making.
- All have equal rights
- Full and free discussion of all matters introduced
- Only one person speaks at a time
- No interruptions
- Before a new topic is presented – current speaker must voluntarily yield the floor
- Remarks unrelated to the subject under discussion are out of order
- Attitudes not allowed
- A 100% vote required to adopt change
- A 100% vote of those present needed to open or close the meeting.
A 30-day investment in January can produce a much healthier and happier family for 2018.
Happy New Year!