Recently, I was working on a story and asked the seventh-grade student that I was interviewing if she had any new year’s resolutions, to which she replied, “What are those?”
Her response got me to think about the history and concept of one making new year's resolutions.
According to the History Channel’s Web site, the ancient Babylonians are said to have been the first people to make new year’s resolutions, some 4,000 years ago. They were also the first to hold recorded celebrations in honor of the new year – though for them the year began not in January but in mid-March, when the crops were planted.
Also, for early Christians, the first day of the new year became the traditional occasion for thinking about one’s past mistakes and resolving to do and be better in the future.
I typically make the standard new year resolutions, such as eating more healthy, being more active and being more kind and patient. I wonder how many make the same resolutions or even make resolutions at all. Despite the tradition of their religious roots, new year’s resolutions today are mostly a secular practice.
Instead of making promises to gods, most people make resolutions only to themselves and focus purely on self-improvement (which may explain why such resolutions seem so hard to follow through on).
There is research estimating 45 percent of Americans say they usually make new year’s resolutions, with only 8 percent being successful in achieving their goals.
What is your success rate of you following through with your new year’s resolutions?
There are years when I go into the new year without making any resolutions, and even if I do make any resolutions I tend to not get too bent out of shape if I fail.
After all, it seems we are all fully aware that we are most likely to never achieve them.
Regardless of your opinion of making new year’s resolutions let yourself go into the new year, and a new decade, with hope, love and peace.
The beauty of entering a new year gives us the gift of a clean slate to move forward into the future with a positive outlook regardless of our past, and if those resolutions that you make for 2020 fall to the wayside or don’t get achieved, know that there is always next new year.
Happy new year everyone.