Activities for January - New Year's Resolutions

Resolutions Based on Songs

Getty Images

1.   Dream Lover, Dream of You, The Impossible Dream

I sing these songs in my January program. When I think of New Year’s resolutions, I equate those with having dreams and wishes therefore the songs selected reflect that. How did this tradition of resolutions start? Well it goes back again to the Romans. They indulged themselves in excess as a way of acting out all of the chaos that they hoped a new year would get rid of.

Their New Year’s festivals were seen as a way to start over. By purging yourself of so-called excess energy and confessing your sins, there was hope that you would be better in the year ahead.

Puritans never did approve of all this hoopla. So they went for the religious renewal of cleanse, purge, fast and confess. They encouraged young people not to waste the new year on foolish things but to use it as an opportunity to make a good change in their lives. They made New Year’s vows or pledges focused on overcoming their weaknesses, to enhance their given talents and to make them better citizens.

The custom of resolutions came into vogue in the 20th century. Most was done in jest and an understanding that they would not be kept. Resolutions today are simply a secular version of the religious vows made in the past toward spiritual perfection. Perhaps they had the right idea in the past.

Dream Lover was written by Bobby Darin and recorded on March 5, 1959 and released April 20, 1959.

Bobby Darin was a very special and talented entertainer. He was a Grammy award winning singer ("Mack the Knife") and his other hits included "Dream Lover," "Splish Splash," and "If I Were a Carpenter," which earned him a respected place in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Impossible Dream was written for the Man of La Mancha (1972) by Mitch Leigh and Joe Darion.

  •  Ask residents what they think of New Year’s resolutions. Did they ever make them? What kind? Did they keep them? Do they make them now.
  • Collect resolutions from each person as able and review in three months to see how they are doing. Develop and focus activities around the resolutions that they make.

2. Unforgettable

Romance can be a wish for the new year and as we know there is no shortage of it in nursing homes and assisted living!

If you fall in love in the new year than you need a good love song and this one is it. Of course Nat King Cole’s signature song was Unforgettable, which he recorded in 1951. After his death, his daughter Natalie recorded the song as a duet combining her voice with her father’s original recording.

  • Ask residents what they thought of Nat King Cole and the era of great music that he came from.
  • What is the most unforgettable moment that you have ever had? Share it with the residents (if you dare) and ask them for theirs as well.

3.   Luck Be A Lady

Traditionally, it was thought that one could affect the luck they would have throughout the coming year by what they did or ate on the first day of the year.

For that reason, it has become common for folks to celebrate the first few minutes of a brand new year in the company of family and friends. Parties often last into the middle of the night after the ringing in of a new year. It was once believed that the first visitor on New Year's Day would bring either good luck or bad luck the rest of the year. It was particularly lucky if that visitor happened to be a tall dark-haired man. Traditional New Year foods are also thought to bring luck. Many cultures believe that anything in the shape of a ring is good luck, because it symbolizes "coming full circle," completing a year's cycle. The song Luck Be A Lady written by Frank Loesser was a big hit for Frank Sinatra and was featured in the movie Guys and Dolls.

  • Ask residents if they believe in good luck. Ask them to tell you about the luckiest thing that ever happened to them. Share your own story as well.
  • Luck has many superstitions around it. Here are some. See what residents think. Are they old wive’s tales or true? And what others can they add?

    Lucky - Finding a penny on heads, horseshoes, four-leaf clovers, rabbit's feet, ladybugs.

    Unlucky - Friday the 13th, the number 13 (Many buildings skipped 13 when numbering their floors for this reason), black cat crossing your path, stepping on a crack (it breaks the mother of the stepper's back), breaking a mirror (seven years bad luck), spilling over salt (but you can get rid of the bad luck by throwing the salt over your left shoulder), putting a hat on a bed, opening an umbrella indoors, seeing three butterflies at the same time, killing a ladybug, walking underneath a ladder.

Read our other articles for the month of January. Origin of New Years. New Year's Babies. Article Hub.

Continue Reading