ALBANY, Ga. -- It's that time of year again when we say goodbye to the old and usher in the new. The prevailing attitude is let's dust off 2010's New Year's resolutions and see what we can make work in 2011.
The tradition of making resolutions at the dawn of a new year reportedly go back to pre-Christian times in Rome and Babylon. For Romans, the two-headed god Janus was at the top of the calendar and the belief was that as the new year started, Janus (after whom January is named) could both see clearly both back into the past and ahead into the future.
A study of 700 people in 2009 by the University of Hertfordshire found that 78 percent of new year's resolutions failed, though the chance of success was 50/50 if the resolver broke down the overall goal into smaller steps; rewarded himself or herself when one of the smaller steps was achieved; told friends about the goals; focused on the benefits of success, and kept a diary of progress.
The Herald asked 14 people selected at random (with one notable exception at the end) in Albany what their resolutions for the upcoming new year were. Like the people themselves, the reponses were varied.
"I hope to see my kids and grandchildren more ... or win the lottery. Thanks to Cooper Tire, we haven't been able to see them as much as we would like."
-- Diane Burns, Albany
"I have the same resolution every year, to lose 50 pounds. This year I actually plan to do it. I can do it if I plan for it."
-- Lori Parker, Sycamore
"I am not going to cook as much next year. That way my husband (Steve) won't have as much to put on his plate."
-- Debbie Santos, Albany
"I plan on getting closer to God."
-- Kierra Roberts, DeSoto
"I am going to work on becoming a better person. I want to become more Christ-like and live a healthier lifestyle."
-- Lindsey White, Albany
"I want to finish college on a good note and go to grad school."
-- Meredith Lucas, Birmingham, Ala.
"I want to finish school, get into pre-med and begin my path to becoming a pediatric surgeon."
-- Josh Gautney, Talladega, Ala.
"I want to get a job and be able to support myself. That is all I want this year."
-- Megan Pilcher, Albany
"I want to be less dependent on my mom and get a better job."
-- Ashley Anderson, Albany
"We plan on getting healthier and enjoying our kids more."
-- Mindy and Kirk Spencer, Putney
"I hope to lose weight, keep it off and have a better attitude about life."
-- Jasmine Whaley, Albany
"My resolutions are to spend less and have a drama-free year."
-- Josalyn Daniels, Albany
"I want to become a better person in 2011, love my family more and pay more attention to the small stuff around me."
-- J.W. Hitt, Pensacola, Fla.
"I resolve to do the stuff I've resolved to do over the past five or 10 years and didn't do."
-- Bill Strickland, Albany
"I want to have more patience with my kids. I want to grow along with them and appreciate the time we have together now, because it is a gift that is finite."
-- Terry Lewis, Albany