The Origin | New Year’s “Resolutions” & A Few of My Own

New Year’s resolutions. We all have them. “This year, I’ll lose weight,” we say. “This year, I’ll give up my vices,” we promise. Sometimes we follow through and sometimes we fall short. New Year’s Resolutions are yearly traditions. They’re  promises we make to ourselves every year that we tend to break. But why do we make resolutions in the first place? Do we actually take time to evaluate our previous actions from the year before and then come up with the new resolve? Why do we choose to take part in the common practice of an age-old tradition without fully understanding it? I determined that before I create a new resolution for next year, I would attempt to understand it first.

So, I figured I would explain the origin of the New Year’s Resolution to the masses before we all jumped at the chance to make a change for the rest of our lives. Based on research, resolutions date back to the ancient Babylonians when the people of the culture used the new year to make amends and start over. This tradition included celebrations through huge parties during the autumn equinox (hence why we have such awesome New Year’s parties like “Famously Hot New Year”). The purpose of the celebration in the past was to request blessings for the upcoming year.

So, let’s answer the question: why do we make resolutions? It is basic human nature to want to start over whenever we make mistakes, those of us who have a conscience, anyway. Oftentimes we take part in certain traditions because it’s the norm. The point behind the resolution is to start a new and try not to make the same mistake in the upcoming year. This year I have a few resolutions of my own:

1. Proficiency in French language

2. Learn how to swim

3. Grow longer, healthier hair

4. Drink more water

5. Enroll in a masters or doctoral program

Resolutions are like goals to me; they should be S.M.A.R.T – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. Some resolutions seem far-fetched, like learning how to swim, while others I feel are more attainable. I chose a more realistic approach to my resolution this upcoming year mainly because I know that I can stick to them. I’m not going to promise myself that I will never date again or that I will never ponder the idea relationships again because I know myself. I know my capabilities. So, what are your resolutions? Comment below and let me know.

Photo cred. We Know Your Dreams

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