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Happy New Year

By Nickunj Malik - Jan 02,2019 - Last updated at Jan 02,2019

The brand New Year usually takes off to a very slow start in Mauritius because after an intense partying season, everyone is exhausted. Therefore, the first and second of January, are both declared public holidays here. 

If one researches it, initially, New Year’s Day was observed on the Ides of March in the old Roman calendar, but two Roman consuls scheduled it for January 1, in 153 BC. The month is called Janus after the Roman God of doors and gates, who has two faces, one facing forward and the other looking back. 

During the Middle Ages, a number of different Christian feast dates were used to mark the New Year and it was not until 1582 that the Roman Catholic Church officially adopted January 1, as the New Year. It is a national holiday in all the countries that follow the Gregorian calendar, with the exception of Israel. 

Like I said earlier, Mauritians get two days off, which is fair I guess, because they need that additional break to recover from the hectic revelry. All the rich food, which is consumed in large quantities, requires time to be properly digested, and following nonstop dancing, our pairs of aching feet need to be put to rest, so to speak. 

After the requisite break, when we reluctantly go back to work, we start making our New Year’s Resolutions all over again. Like we have done so many times in the past, we begin with good intentions and a renewed enthusiasm, however, a few months down the line, it all fizzles out as we fail to honour the promises we make to ourselves. So, what can be done? 

“Setting minor, attainable goals throughout the year, instead of a singular, overwhelming target on January 1, can help you reach whatever it is you strive for,” says psychologist Lynn Bufka. “Remember, it is not the extent of the change that matters, but rather the act of recognising that lifestyle change is important and working toward it, one step at a time.”

In other words, one must start small by making resolutions that we think we can keep. If, for example, your aim is to exercise more frequently, schedule three or four days a week at the gym rather than seven. 

If you would like to eat healthier, try replacing dessert with something else you enjoy, like fruit or yoghurt, instead of seeing your diet as a form of punishment.

While it may seem like a slow beginning, these minor changes make it easier to stick to your new habits and increase the likelihood of long-term success. Also, Richard Wiseman, a professor of psychology at Hertfordshire University suggests that you should pick doable resolutions and focus all your energies on achieving them. 

The Dalai Lama once observed that every man is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present. “He lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived”, he said. 

Right! So personally, my New Year’s Resolution is to stretch each day to its fullest and accomplish today what I would have put off for tomorrow. 

“You are having sorbet with sparkling wine?” my husband asked me on the January 1. 

“And baklava as well”, I informed him.

“But it is the midnight hour!” he exclaimed. 

“I’m fulfilling the resolutions of the Dalai Lama,” I said, adding“by enjoying the present”. 

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