New Year's Resolve...
As well as giving you gobs of interesting NY Resolution facts, Matt was busy plugging the UNITE Cologne Collection, whilst Antonio was trying to get you to buy his book.
What we said, more or less...
Matt: Hi, I’m Matt
Antonio: And I’m Antonio. Happy New Year!
MB: A very happy New Year indeed! And welcome to 2018 from Coming Clean, the podcast that opens up our beautiful business and lets you see all the gory details. In this podcast episode, to kick off the New Year we wanted to take you through the history and significant of something we know is important to many of you in our community: New Year’s Resolutions.
AW: That’s quite right. Around a half of us will start the new year with resolutions. And we think you’re probably no different. And for many, health and wellbeing, and looking after oneself - one of the things we care passionately about at Thomas Clipper is an important resolutions. So Matt- money where your mouth is. Any New Year’s resolutions for you?
MB: Generic bizarre resolution. To wear more cologne…?
AW: Ok, will this is probably to much info...but it’s all about what I eat for me. With a different hat on I’ve been doing a bit of work around epigenetics - basically what your genes say about you - and I was pretty amazed by the extent and range to which we’re all very different, which explains why you have some friends who’ll have a six pack but eat pretty terribly and others who constantly diet but, well, don’t look quite so fit and healthy. And so, I want to listen to my body a bit more and try cutting out certain foods and sleeping more - both have a huge impact on health.
MB: You’re right too. Too much information. But, since we’re on the subject - how did this all start then, this resolutions malarky?
AW: So, unsurprisingly, this all starts a look time ago, and it didn’t happen on 1st January… The Babylonians - so that’s the people of the huge area which is now modern Iraq, previously Mesopotamia - around 4,000 years ago are believed to have started the tradition that each year, at the end of their 11 day festival celebrating the advent of new crops in March they would make promises to the gods that they would repay all debts in the year ahead, in return for an abundant return on the crops.
MB: So a sort of a quid pro quo. Which, is a clever use of Latin and segway to how the Romans really brought this tradition into something more recognisably modern for us. So of course, we celebrate New Year in January, and with the development of the Gregorian calendar and its use from 46 BC, the Romans switched the tradition and started honoring the god of heart and health - Janus - and making sacrifices to the the two-faced god in return for a healthy year ahead.
AW: Now, the move to more personal self-reflection actually took place until the mid-eighteenth century, at least in the Christian tradition, when the founder of Methodism John Wesley introduced the Convenant Renewal Service, which would be held on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day and be a period of self-reflection and recognising past mistakes, and vowing to do better in the year ahead. And really, it’s this focus on improvement in the year ahead of yourself that has lasted as the main tradition today.
MB: Now, a study by Marist - a New York based pollster - in December last year found that nearly half of Americans would undertake a resolution for the year ahead. Common ones are being more healthy, giving more to others, or achieving certain goals. But research by Statistic Brain suggests, at least in the US, only 8 per cent of people will be successful in achieving their goals. So, what can they do to be more successful?
AW: Well, I’m delighted you asked Matt. So from my book 101 Business Ideas with the Financial Times - note: no other good books are available from other publishers - I looked at work by Amy Dalton and Stephen Spiller from the Journal of Consumer Research, which found that there are certain things you can do to enhance the likelihood of achieving your goals. And these were: have a tiny number of goals, 2 or 3 at a maximum, and don’t overly focus on planning on how to achieve them, because this will overwhelm you and focus on the obstacles, and instead, just set a few goals, with a small number of sub-goals that are realistic. So, if I want to “eat healthier”, I need to be more specific. To I could say I want to cut out refined carbs from my diet, for instance, then set that as a “meta goal”, but then say per week I want to eat let’s say fewer than 2 meals with refined carbs for the first few weeks, and then taper this own to 1 meal. But don’t go for a big bang where I never hit my delicious white bread again from 1st January onwards.
MB: Errr… ok. Let’s see how you get on! But until then, for many of you who’ve maybe chosen using our UNITE cologne collection each day as a resolution - I’m sure there are some of you! - let us know how you get on! As always, we’d love to hear from you on firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
AW: But until then, I’ve been Antonio.
MB: And I’ve been Matt, and this has been Coming Clean from Thomas Clipper. Thanks for bearing with us.