Looking both ways not same as two-faced

BY BOB WACHS, News + Record Staff
Posted 1/10/19

Around this time of year, many folks go to great lengths to make resolutions about things they will do or say or not do or say in the new year. For most of them, that change in behavior lasts somewhere around 10 or 15 minutes.

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Looking both ways not same as two-faced

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Posted

Around this time of year, many folks go to great lengths to make resolutions about things they will do or say or not do or say in the new year. For most of them, that change in behavior lasts somewhere around 10 or 15 minutes.
Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with trying to improve ourselves. Rather, it’s that it can be really hard to change. Take, for instance, the popular resolution “I’m going to lose weight.” I’ve made that promise many times. And on occasion I’ve been successful – a pound or two here, four ounces there. And then all of a sudden, I’ll run across a dozen doughnuts with my name on them and there goes the resolution.
There is, however, another obstacle in keeping resolutions. And that is that often they can be too general in scope. Take the weight loss one, for instance. How much weight? Over what period of time? And so on. It’s been said we need a formula for success. One I’ve found is called SPAM, which is also a meat product my mother-in-law used to put on toast with lettuce and tomato and invite me to eat two or three of them.
Here, SPAM refers to our goals and stands for Specific, Personal, Achievable and Measurable. Were I to adopt the aforementioned lose weight the SPAM would be “Bob (P) will lose 14 pounds (S) because he’ll never weigh 175 again (A) and he’ll do it within three months by eating less, exercising more and weighing every week (M).”
While all that talk and activity is a part of the new year or New Years, there’s another tidbit about January that can – and should – drive us forward. That’s its name.
All the months of the year have some origin and background to what they’re called. March, for instance, is named after the Roman mythological god Mars, the god of war. October at one time was the eighth month on the calendar and not the tenth so it’s stuck with “OCT,” which being translated means “eight.”
So, here’s January, named for the Roman god Janus, the god of beginnings. The old boy throughout history was pictured as a man with two faces, back to back, one looking forward and the other backward. The idea behind that was that he could see both ways – at what had happened and what would happen.
While that may have been easy for him, it can be pretty hard for us humans. Some people have trouble looking forward with hope because they keep looking back and moping over mistakes of the past. But crying over spilled milk isn’t a good recipe for life. Nothing is gained by continually grieving over the past.
So, here’s a good resolution you might want to try on. Stop looking back and brooding over past failures. Try the forward look; move ahead with hope and joy. Make your life right with the Creator and your fellow human. Look for ways to be of help to one another.
And if you see a jelly doughnut that has your name on it, go ahead. And if you see one with my name on it, please call me. I can adjust my SPAM.

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