New Year’s Resolutions

Posted by Harry Hertz, the Baldrige Cheermudgeon

Like many other people, I make at least one resolution every New Year. But, have you ever wondered about the origin of New Year’s resolutions. I was, as I thought about what I might offer up for the coming year. As best I can tell from some quick research, the concept goes back to early Roman times when Janus was placed at the head of the calendar (hence the name January). Janus was the Roman god of beginnings and Holidsay Party 2010 endings with two faces, one looking back (at the past year) and one looking forward (to the new year). It was believed, at the stroke of midnight Janus looked in both directions and the Romans, by begging forgiveness for past transgressions and offering gifts for good fortune in the year ahead, could seal their fate for the year ahead. 

Next, I wondered (based on my own history) about keeping of those resolutions made with such conviction at the end of the year. Some more web-based research led to the very plausible data that a 1997 University of Washington study found 47 percent of the 100 million adult Americans who make resolutions give up on their goals after two months. Newer research from the University of Minnesota says that number has grown to 80 percent in the last decade.

Undaunted by these statistics, I have made several resolutions for the coming year: 1. To lose some weight (This one fails every year, but now it’s public.) 2. To spend more quality time with my family. 3. To balance cheering and mudging in the coming year. and, 4. To write more blog posts about Criteria concepts (like the recent post on intelligent risks.)

Hold me to my resolutions, please. And, a Happy New Year to all my Baldrige friends and Blogrige readers! May we all journey further down the road to performance excellence in 2011!


About Barbara Fischer

NIST Baldrige
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2 Responses to New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Phil Foil says:

    As someone who set a goal to lose weight three and a half years ago, may I offer some suggestions: 1)Set a weight goal. For me it was 175. I weighed 210+ at the time. 2) Set a date you want to achieve the goal. 3) Set intermediate goals. 4) Reward yourself when you hit intermediate goals. I would have pizza or real ice cream.
    My systematic approach included both diet and exercise. I picked a low carb diet plan to kick start new eating habits. I also started walking and gradually added some running into the mix for 20 minutes a day. It also helps to have someone on a plan with you. Another thing that helped me is that I weighed myself each morning to see progress or lack of it. I hope this helps. Best wishes.

  2. Walter Eschmann says:

    I’m glad your resolution includes a promise to post more blogs like the recent post on intelligent risk, as I found the premise thought provoking. I look forward to enjoying many more of your articles. Good luck on the weight reduction program;I would include bicycle riding to the mix, as it is easier on the bones,(I started cycling in March of 2010 and have lost 20 pounds and removed a lot of pain from an arthritic knee) and I’m up to 15 miles a day riding and cross training with running. Planning on a half marathon this April, which is one of my resolutions, to do my first one at 60 years young. So, just as companies must strive to reinvent themselves with a solid handle on quality, I hope you are successful with your personal journey to a quality health upgrade…..Walt E.

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