Have you made your New Year’s resolution list yet? Love’em, or hate’em, they have been around for a while. History tells us that the origin of New Year’s resolutions is attributed to Babylonians in Mesopotamia some 4000 years ago. But it wasn't any New Year’s celebration. Resolutions were made over 12 days in March/April during the festival of Akitu. It is indicated that promises were made to the gods in the hope that these people would earn good favour in the coming year. This was even in the time before New Year’s was on January 1st, which was only established by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C. and then cemented by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582.
It’s intriguing that people, ever since early civilisation, have naturally used the new year as a reference point for new beginnings and a fresh outlook on their lifestyles. Today, people normally undertake one big resolution, but more are not uncommon.
The important thing is to set a goal that is both challenging but manageable. Setting a goal that you can track and set a deadline for will also ensure that you make incremental changes while tracking your progress.
So, what are the stats?
· About 40 to 45 percent of American adults set at least one resolution come New Year’s
· Research has found that 52% of resolution-makers were confident that they’d achieve their goals, yet only 12% succeeded
· One study found that 46 percent of individuals who made resolutions were successful, compared to four percent who wanted to achieve a certain goal and considered it but didn’t actually create a resolution
· Of those who chose a New Year’s resolution, most people (55.3%) are realistic about their New Year’s resolutions and only plan to tackle one goal in 2016. Still, 23.7% of respondents are setting two to three resolutions, and 21% are aiming for four or more resolutions.
This begs the question: should you undertake a New Year’s resolution?
Well, research indicates that if you are looking to make a significant life change then setting an actual resolution and defining it, to yourself or others, goes further than simply thinking about making the change but not making any concerted effort.
Simply put, it’s not all about saying what your goal is, but outlining what you want to change about yourself and at least trying to achieve your goals. In doing so, you’ll be motivated further in your quest to eating more vegetables and cutting out those 4am weekend nights.