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New Year Resolutions

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Every year a big celebration takes place on New Year’s Eve that counts down until the new year. Most people partake in some sort of celebration, and many of those people come up with a New Year’s resolution. These resolutions can range anywhere from being more organized to learning a new language. Have you ever wondered why people make New Year’s resolutions? Or how the tradition even started?

The first records of New Year’s celebrations came from the Babylonians around 4,000 years ago. They held a 12-day festival to celebrate the renewal of life at the beginning of their calendar year. The Babylonians would make promises to repay debts in order to please their gods. The ancient Egyptians also celebrated the start of their new year in July with sacrifices to their god of the Nile, Hapi. They made requests to their gods for things such as good fortune, rich harvests, and military successes in exchange for these sacrifices.

Resolutions did not become a part of New Year’s festivities until until medieval times in Europe. People said prayers and made confessions pertaining to a specific set of religious values. In some records knights were said to have taken an oath in which they placed their hands on a peacock to renew their vows to chivalry in the new year. These acts started the tradition of making a yearly vow to oneself in order to become what he sees as a better version of himself. The actual term “New Year’s Resolution” did come about until it appeared in a Boston Newspaper in 1813.

Modern day resolutions are generally not as serious as they were back in medieval times and usually do involve as much commitment. Most modern day resolutions have to do with losing weight, becoming more fit, quitting habits such as smoking, and self-indulgent actions. For some people a resolution can be almost like a promise they make to themselves to feel as if they can change themselves, but they do not plan on keeping true to it for very long.

A large amount of people who make New Year’s resolutions do not stay true to them, usually focussing on them for a month or two then slowly letting them slip away. Having a plan to help people keep their resolutions is important if the matter really has a lot of importance to them. A great system to uphold a resolution can be found on lifehack.org. On their website they go through a simple seven-step plan that will ensure success in one’s pursuit of self improvement. The most important things I believe a person has to do in making a resolution can be making a specific enough goal and not giving up after he runs into obstacles.

I personally do not make New Year’s resolution because I do not like my lifestyle changing all of a sudden. However, I do still believe they can be an important tool and a very effective way for some people to get their lives on track to a better, happier life.

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/featured/7-steps-for-making-a-new-years-resolution-and-keeping-it.html

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1 Comment

One Response to “New Year Resolutions”

  1. Brady Johnson on January 12th, 2018 8:51 am

    Good story Mack! I agree with you on not making resolutions. Instead of setting new major goals, I tend to fix the little things. I like how you brought the history of celebrations and resolutions to back up why people do such a thing. Nice job!

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Lewis Cass High School, Walton, Indiana,
New Year Resolutions