The tradition of New Year’s resolutions dates all the back to 153 B.C. when January was named the first month after Janus, a mythical god of early Rome.

Janus was often depicted with two faces — one looking forward, one looking backward. This allowed him to look back on the past and forward toward the future.

On December 31, the Romans imagined Janus looking backward into the old year and forward into the new year. This became a symbolic time for Romans to make resolutions for the new year and forgive enemies for troubles in the past.

The Romans believed Janus could forgive them for their wrongdoings in the previous year. They would then make promises, believing Janus would see this and bless them in the year ahead. Those promises are the origin of our New Year’s Resolutions today.


The familiar saying, “Do what you love and the money will follow,” reminds us of the importance of pursuing our dreams, but is it really practical career advice? After all, you may love lying on the beach, but there’s not much money in that. Here’s how to approach the whole “Do what you love” notion:

• Decide what you want. What you choose to do for a living should be based on what kind of life you want. If you dream of a life of luxury, a career as an artist (however much you love to draw) probably won’ be very satisfying.

• Learn your strengths. You may love playing the piano, but are you really good enough to make a living at it? Be honest and realistic with yourself before committing yourself to a career that could be filled with frustration.

• Understand secondary requirements. Every job and career includes some tasks that are less enjoyable than others. Movie stars have to deal with intrusive paparazzi; CEOs have to make tough decisions about layoffs and ethical dilemmas. Be sure you’re ready for the downside when you choose to follow your dream.

• Remember that work is still work. Your career has to carry you through days and weeks when you don't really want to go to the office, or wherever your job takes you. This is part of being realistic about your goals: Even the best jobs can seem like drudgery at times, and you’ll have to stick with it even when the initial enjoyment fades.

• Don't define yourself by your job. Instead of seeking the perfect job, concentrate on finding satisfying work that allows you to enjoy your life as a whole. Remember that other old saying: “No one ever died wishing they’d spent more time at the office.”


It sounds like the scenario for a disaster movie, but it’s real: The world’s magnetic field is growing noticeably weaker, and since that field protects the Earth from solar radiation, the deterioration sounds ominous.

In fact, it might not be so catastrophic as it sounds. Scientists theorize that the weakening is a sign the Earth’s magnetic poles are in the process of shifting, an event that happens every few hundred thousand years. The flip will be gradual, not sudden, taking as long as 1,000 years (or perhaps just 100). Previous shifts haven’t resulted in any doomsday extinctions—although this time around, power grids and communication systems might be at risk.


The skeptical king spoke to the newest prisoner in his dungeon, “All these others loudly proclaim their innocence. I suppose you’re as innocent as a lamb, too?”

This man shook his head sadly. “No, Your Majesty. I’m a thief. I was caught fair and square, and my sentence was just.”

The king blinked in surprise. “Release this man!” he proclaimed, and the thief was promptly set free.

The other prisoners began shouting. “Your Majesty, how can you do such a thing? How can you free a confessed criminal while we rot in here?”

“I’m doing you a favor,” the king said. “I can’t risk leaving that evil scoundrel in here to corrupt all your innocent souls, can I?”


You work out regularly, so why aren’t you in the best shape of your life? You could be sabotaging yourself without realizing it. Whether you go to a fancy health club or simply exercise at home, don’t undercut your progress with these mistakes:

• Not warming up properly. Without a thorough warm-up, you won’t get all the benefits of a good workout, and you increase your chances of injury. Don’t leap right into exercise—get your muscles ready to work.

• Consuming the wrong calories. Energy drinks and power bars may seem healthier than soda and chocolate, but they still add unwanted calories. Keep up your energy with fruits and vegetables, not trendy sports beverages or massive bran muffins.

• Starving yourself. The flip side of eating too much is not eating enough to get through your workout. If you’re hungry, you’ll tend to binge on high-calorie foods later. Focus on a healthy diet that supports your effort.

• Doing the wrong exercise. What do you want to accomplish? Get specific: Do you want to lose weight, build up muscle, increase your endurance, train for a marathon? Set clear goals, and then talk to a trainer about the best exercises for them.

• Overdoing your workout. Exercising for hours at a time can release hormones into your system that aren’t good for your body in excess. Training seven days a week can wear you out and won’t give your body sufficient time to adapt and recover. Take a reasonable approach to your workouts.