History of Resolutions

Where do New Year’s resolutions come from?

Emily Lemerand

New Year means new beginnings right? With January of 2019 being over, people across the world are seeing if their resolutions are being kept up or being thrown out.  

According to history.com, New Year resolutions are known to have come from the Babylonians nearly 4,000 years ago. During their 12-day religious festival, a new ruler is appointed for the new year, and Babylonians promised their new king to pay back debts and to return all borrowed items. If they kept all promises, in return they would be granted with the favor of the new year and they received the opposite if they failed to keep their promises.

In ancient Rome, January had a special significance for the Romans as it was the event that marked the future of the new year. Romans offered sacrifices to their God/Goddess along with promising good behavior.

For Christians, the New Year marked a time to dwell on the past year’s mistakes and promising to do better in the future. They would dedicate the eve of the new year to singing hymns, reading the Bible, spending time with family and friends, praying, and making resolutions for the future.

According to The Statistic Brain Research Institute, around 45% of Americans make resolutions and outstandingly only eight percent stick to them. Another difference is that most Americans make resolutions to better themselves and only make promises to themselves.

According to inc.com, the top 10 New Year resolutions for 2019 included dieting/eating healthier (71%), to exercise more (65%), to lose weight (54%), to save more/spend less money (32%), to learn a new skill or hobby (26%), to quit smoking (21%), to read more (17%), to find another job (16%), to drink less alcohol (15%), and lastly to spend more time with family and friends (13%).

Throughout the past 4,000 years, people worldwide have taken on their own meaning of The New Year by making different resolutions and traditions. Have you stuck to your resolutions?