New Year’s Resolutions
Will you stick to your New Year’s resolutions this year? Or have you decided not to make any? Assistant Curator Georgina explores some of the most popular ones and their appearance on stamps.
History of the Resolution
Making New Year’s Resolutions is not a new concept and is believed to have begun as far back as 4000 years ago with the Babylonians. Their new year was in March not January, but they made promises to pay debts and return borrowed items in the hope of carrying good favour with the gods. We see this again with the Romans, who moved new year to January and made promises to the God Janus for the coming year. New Year’s Resolutions have now become more of a secular past-time and it is generally believed that they are not kept. Resolutions tend to be more about self-improvement and below I’m hoping to explore some of the most popular.
Do more Exercise
One of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions is to do more exercise, whether this to be for health reasons, to lose weight or just to get more active and cycling is a great way to do this. In 2016 nearly 2 million people cycled everyday or nearly everyday, which proves you can make it part of your everyday life and hopefully see a little more of your local area.
Do more for the Environment
We all know that the current way we live is having a detrimental effect on our planet. The above stamps were drawn by children to explain some of the main problems, such as damage to the ozone layer and the increase of the Green House effect. The competition was held by Blue Peter and Royal Mail and the stamp products that accompanied this issue also contained the children’s work.
Take up a Hobby
Taking up a hobby can be quite a commitment, to learn a new instrument requires dedication and a lot of time. The above stamps look at two very different hobbies, including playing golf on the Scottish course, Muirfield. Golf has been played at Muirfield since 1891 when it was only 16 holes, the year later it was increased to 18 for the Open.
Many people see the new year as a fresh start to be healthier and potentially lose weight. In his youth Henry VIII was fit and athletic, it wasn’t until his mid-forties that he had a serious injury to his leg and became increasingly incapacitated. It was then that his lifestyle and lack of exercise led to his waist expanding from 32 inches to 52.
We all have upcoming projects that we need to save for; a holiday, down payment on a house or even a wedding. Cutting back in some areas can help to contribute to the pot when according to the Great British Wardrobe report we each spend on average £1042 a year on our wardrobe.
Watch less TV
This is one of my worst habits and many of us want to stop watching as much television in the new year. With Netflix, iPlayer and countless other streaming sites, you can really binge on some of your favourite shows. Ofcom suggests that 7 in 10 of us watch back to back episodes in one sitting from these catch up services.
Eat more Healthily
Who knows how much fruit and veg we should eat each day it’s forever changing. One thing I think we can all admit is that we should be eating some. The above smiler sheet allowed you to adorn your fruit and veg stamps with eyes, lips and even a tie.
Spending time with Family
We all have busy lives and getting enough time with family can be difficult. I love the above stamps that look at picture postcards featuring families at the seaside eating ice cream and watching a Punch and Judy show, which is always a slight risk in this country.
Look after your Wellbeing
We need to look after both our physical and mental health. Smiling releases endorphins which is good for your health and your stress level. It’s also contagious so if you can smile and have a giggle you’re likely to start a trend.
And am I going to make a New Year’s Resolutions…………I’m not sure. I suppose I’m just going to enjoy 2018 to the full.
Hopefully one of your New Year’s Resolutions will be to come and visit us here at The Postal Museum soon.
Wishing you all a Happy New Year!
– Georgina Tomlinson, Assistant Curator (Philately)