What is A New Year Resolution? How Did It Start?
8th January, 2019 @ 12.07 pm
New Year is here and many of us will be busy making New Year Resolutions, some simple and achievable, while some complicated and unreasonable! But have you ever wondered how did the New Year resolution come into being? If you think it is probably a pretty recent fad and has been around for a few decades you are wrong.
New Year resolutions go as far back as the Babylonians. It is believed that the Babylonians who lived 4000 years ago were the first people to make a New Year’s resolution. The Babylonians celebrated the New Year in mid-March because that is when they planted the crops. It would be an enormous 12-day religious celebration called Akitu and during this festival they delegated a new ruler or reaffirmed their dedication to the prevailing lord. This is also the time they made resolutions in the form of promises to their Gods that they will pay off their debts and also return any object that they have borrowed to its rightful owner. This is how the tradition of the resolution began. The Babylonians followed their resolutions strictly as they had a strong belief that their Pagan Gods would be favourable to them for the coming year if they kept their oath, but if they failed, they would drop out of the divine beings' support which nobody wanted.
Similarly, the Romans celebrated New Year on January 1. The month of January was named after the two-faced God Janus who resided in the doorways and the arches. So the Romans believed that Janus emblematically looked in reverse into the earlier year and ahead into what's to come, and hence they made offerings to the deity and also promised him of good conduct in the coming year.
In Medieval time, the knights took the "peacock vow" toward the finish of the Christmas season every year to re-assert their promise to gallantry. For early Christians, the principal day of the New Year turned into the customary event for considering one's past errors and setting out to improve later on.
At watchnight service, numerous Christians plan for the year ahead by offering prayers and making resolutions. Regardless of the custom's religious roots, New Year's resolutions today are a generally mainstream practice. Rather than making guarantees to the divine beings, the vast majority make goals just to themselves, and spotlight absolutely on personal growth which may clarify why such goals appear to be so difficult to finish on.
It is also observed that those who make common New Year’s resolutions such as quitting smoking, weight loss, exercising had a much better success rate than those who decide to make life changes at different occasions of the year.
Some of the popular resolutions followed by people around the world are:
• Trying to become environmentally responsible.
• Improve their mental health by training their minds to think positively, enjoy life, laugh more often, etc.
• Improvement in career; either perform better at the present job or move on to a better job or go ahead and start their own business.
• Improve their financial situation like getting out of debt fast, try to save some money and make more investments.
• Getting a better education.
• Self-improvement like preventing procrastination, reducing stress, becoming more organized, managing time efficiently, etc.
• Participate in volunteer activities.
• Making time for family, etc.
So, what is your New Year resolution for 2019?