Sarah delves into the age old tradition of making New Year’s resolutions and explores why we started making these promises to ourselves in the first place.
Every year people around the globe make New Year’s resolutions. It can feel uplifting to come up with a new plan, whether it’s losing weight or being more organised. But, it can also be really difficult to decide on something that is both solid and achievable.
Like us, you’ve probably experienced first-hand that it doesn’t take long for the novelty of a New Year’s resolution to wear off. As soon as you miss a day, that’s it, all good intentions end up going out of the window for another year.
The question is why do we make these promises to ourselves in the first place?
A little bit of history
Well, around 4,000 years ago in Babylon, the earliest recorded celebration honouring the coming of a New Year took place. During the festivities Babylonians made promises to their gods to start the New Year off on the right foot.
A similar tradition continued with the Romans, when Julius Caesar officially declared 1st January the start of the year. On this day people would honour Janus, the god of new beginnings, by offering sacrifices to him.
Fast-forward to today and we continue to make promises that will hopefully lead to an easier, healthier and better life. But, no matter how hard we may try, seeing these out through the year more often than not proves to be easier said than done. So, what can we do to make 2016 a little different? Check out our top five tips to making a resolution and sticking to it…
Make sure you’re ready to commit
Before setting any resolutions, make sure it’s something you really want to work towards. It’s important to set realistic goals so you can stay focused on it. If you can find incentives to keep motivated, that’s even better, because they’ll help you stay strong through the tough days.
Write everything down
Map out your goals so they seem more realistic. If you list the steps you need to take they’ll seem way more achievable. Once everything’s on paper you can see clearly what you need to start changing to get to where you want to be. It’s also a great tool for tracking your progress.
If you don’t enjoy working towards your goals then it’s going to be really difficult to achieve them. Get a friend involved; even if it’s just to provide positive support, it’s always good to know that someone is there when you need them.
Take it a day at a time
As with anything in life there will likely be obstacles getting in your way and challenging your will power. Stay positive and try and avoid anything that’ll deter you away from your long-term plan. Don’t worry if you slip up along the way – stay strong and learn from your mistakes.
You can do it!
Put the time and effort into your resolutions and you’ll get so much more out of them. When you achieve your goals make sure you reward yourself. Hard work deserves at least a pat on the back.
New Year’s resolutions are a tradition destined to live on. Whatever yours may be this coming year, consider them wisely and make sure you have a great 2016.