The Origins of the Infamous Resolution

Well, we're here officially finding ourselves in the first week of January 2021. By now, you've surely flirted with some ideas for resolutions. If you're like us, you may have already given up and started again on trying to keep them. While we're doing our best to do the same, we're wondering, where does the origin of the infamous New Year resolution lie? 

The History Channel informs us that “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. During a massive 12-day religious festival known as Akitu, the Babylonians crowned a new king or reaffirmed their loyalty to the reigning king. They also made promises to the gods to pay their debts and return any objects they had borrowed. These promises could be considered the forerunners of our New Year’s resolutions.”

What is the point of a New Year resolution anyway? Life moves fast. It really does. If we don’t stop and smell the roses, and then alter our watering patterns if the roses just aren’t growing or smelling particularly sweet - then we can sometimes live our entire lives without ever attempting to live better. We could just accept things as they are and wallow in the wrong turns that our lives had taken and those permanent roads that we stayed down. Let’s not do that! First, we need to get real with reality around us. 

Oftentimes we get so overloaded and overwhelmed by the world around us that we fail to truly live in the moment. Sometimes it seems that the only way one can really escape getting stuck on loop is by actually “snapping out of it”. How does one do this? Try taking a step back from yourself and imaging viewing yourself from another person’s perspective. Get specific with it. Imagine how are viewed through your sister’s eyes? This will often force you to really witness the beautiful life you’re living that has sometimes seemed so commonplace! So, now that you’re “awake”, how about having some fun and trying to make your life even better? There’s a reason why happiness is so sought after, it really does feel better and goes smoother. 

So, say we finally understand the purpose and attempt to put it into effect, what are the chances of it actually working? Best Life lets us in on some troubling statistics “A landmark 1988 study out of the University of Scranton found that while 77 percent of people who committed to a New Year's resolution stuck to it for a week, only 19 percent of those who made resolutions actually fulfilled them within two years. And the statistics have only gotten worse over time: According to a survey by Statista, only four percent of people who made New Year's resolutions in 2018 said they kept them. So if you can stick to your New Year's resolutions this year, you'll definitely be in the minority.”

Now that you know some of the history and facts surrounding this incredibly controversial, often eye-roll inducing tradition across the world, what will you do with it? Will you shake it off and assume that no resolutions ever truly stick? Or will you try to prove the studies wrong? Either way, we’re here for it, even though we’re secretly hoping that you’ll take the long road and make your resolutions a reality.