Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution? More importantly, have you ever stuck to and succeeded in seeing your resolution through? Some life coaches claim that it only takes 30 days to change or form a habit, so if you can maintain the momentum past February, it’s more likely that you’ll succeed.
That said, if the research is correct, as little as 8% of people who make resolutions actually achieve them. So where does this bizarre idea of promising to do something and then mostly failing come from?
Like Yuletide and Christmas, it seems that the origins are ancient, and have been adapted and transmitted through the ages via various cultural adoptions. The attached article claims that it was 4000 years ago when the Babylonians used to make promises to the gods that the tradition may have started.
The Romans followed suite, possibly via the Greeks – as with Christmas – and then Christians carried the torch to modern times. Now, just like Christmas, making New Year’s resolutions has gone mainstream and become secular. Why is it that people share so much more of their lives today and feel the pressing need to announce their resolutions to the world in order to seek validation from social media?
Who really cares how much less junk food you’ll eat or how much more exercise you’ll do? Perhaps social media is the surrogate congregation now, and the judgement of your peers is the equivalent of those ancient pagan gods?
The History of New Year’s Resolutions