New Year's Resolutions and Things to be Grateful For [4 templates]
Remember last year when we put in our lists, travel, get a new job, lose weight…
We knew so little.
Origin of New Year's Resolutions
It’s an old tradition to make New Year’s Resolution. But, how old?
Traveling back to ancient Babylon, over 4,000 years ago. It’s said that Babylonians had this tradition during Akitu that was a 12-day New Year’s celebration.
Akitu was a festival. People would plant crops, pledge loyalty to the king or crowning a new one, and make promising the gods to paid debts and return borrowed items, and if they keep their promise, they believed that gods would favor them in the year ahead.
But, if they broke their promise, gods would punish them.
In ancient Rome, Julius Caesars (you know, Cleopatra’s Husband) introduced a new calendar in 46 B.C.: he declared January 1st as the start of the new year. January comes from Janus, he was a two-faced god. He was chosen to name the first month of the year because his two faces resembled he looked back into the previous year and forward the new one.
So, Romans offered sacrifices to Janus, and make promises for the year ahead.
Knights in the Middle Age place their hands on a live or roasted peacock to renew their vow to chivalry. This was called the annual Peacock Vow, it was intended to maintain their knighthood values and took place at the end of the year
So, all over history, people tend to make promises to the year coming. New Year’s Resolution as we know it started back in the 17th century. According to the Merriam-Webster website, in 1671, Anne Halkett, a Scottish writer member of the Scottish Gentry, wrote a diary entry on January 2nd, and tittle it Resolutions. This entry contained several pledges typically taken from Bible Verses such as “I will not offend anymore”.
Would she thought at that time that her diary entry will make one of today’s first references to New Year’s Resolutions?
But, in the 19th century, the habit was satirized, because people would keep making promises and failing to keep them. In 1802, Walker’s Hibernian Magazine wrote an article that state “the following personages have begun the year with a string of resolutions, which they all solemnly pledged to keep” and then enumerate a series of fictitious and sarcastic resolutions like
“Statesmen have resolved to have no other object in view than the good of their country…, the physicians have determined to follow nature in her operations, and to prescribe no more than is necessary, and to be very moderate in their fees”
The phrase New Year’s Resolution is first found in history in a Boston newspaper on January 1st of 1813, in a short article titled “The Friday Lecture”. The article state:
“And yet, I believe there are multitudes of people, accustomed to receive injunctions of new year resolutions, who will sin all the month of December, with a serious determination of beginning the new year with new resolutions and new behaviour, and with the full belief that they shall thus expiate and wipe away all their former faults.”
Maybe at this point the phrase “I will lose the extra pounds I gained this December next year” looks familiar to you.
Making and breaking them
So, making and breaking New Year’s resolutions has been a tradition since humankind existed. Of course, nowadays people tend to make promises to themselves instead of gods, but humans always had the intention to compromise on doing something the new year.
Maybe because starting a New Year gives a sentiment or freshness. New Year, New Me, right?
These promises can be health-related, of self-improvement. Researches said that almost 40% of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions, but only 8% accomplish their goals, and 80% of people break their resolutions by the first week of February.
Looks like over 4,000 years of practice are not enough to learn how to set accomplishable goals.
Did you know there is a Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day?
This holiday takes place on January 17th, the date was chosen because research concluded that 25% of people ditch their New Year resolutions after just one week and 29% after just two weeks. So, January 17th is just a few days more than two weeks since January 1st. Enough time for people to realize that the goals they set were unachievable.
Even when most people take this as a kind of game, others take it very seriously. And there’s nothing wrong with resolutions themselves. The problem starts when instead of setting these resolutions as a motivation you do it from a place of pressure or obligation. And, not being enough, set goals that are too hard or unrealistic, or even things you are not really determined to accomplish.
It’s ok to have some hopes for the next year, and establishing some goals or things you expect is goo to trace a map on what you want to drive your life. Even big goals like losing weight or quick smoking. Important thing is that you are really committed to accomplishing them, and if possible, make a step-by-step plan on how will you accomplish them.
For example, if you want to lose weight, start with asking yourself Why? Is it for a health reason? Aesthetic?; get some help, look for a nutritionist and a trainer…. And so on.
Setting these resolutions can be also fun. On New Year’s Eve, you can gather with your loved ones and write down everyone’s resolutions, and sharing with each other. Maybe you share some goals with another person, and you can be a support for each other.
After this year, if we learned something is to be grateful. So many things happened, from almost a war to fires, and a pandemic. This year happened the kind of thing that we heard in stories. Life changed for all of us, some more than others. And, if you think so, some of those changes would be for good.
We learned to appreciate even little things, like the ability to go out and have health. Sometimes, we give this kind of thing for granted.
Harvard Professor of psychology Dan Gilbert an o NPR’s TED Radio Hour said:
“When people ask about the secret of happiness and you tell them, Well, take more time in your social relationships, worry less about things and more about experiences, they kind of nod and look at you and say, But what about the secret? Because the secret of happiness is like the secret of dieting; there's no secret”
And of course, there’s no secret to happiness. But there are some habits we can adopt to kind of train ourselves to be happy.
Experts recommend to every day repeat to yourself something that you are grateful for. This helps you to realize that you have so many blessings in your life, even when things are not perfect or when you feel life is tearing apart.
And New Year’s great time to do so. This surprising year is coming to its end, and even though it’s hard to believe, there are tons of things to be grateful. For example, you have internet, and the ability to read this.
And, after this year, and especially this stressful month (buying gifts is more stressful than people think. Don't let anyone to tell you otherwise. If you still have to purchase some presents or just want to check it out, this were our Top 25 Choices for Christmas Gifts)
We brought you 4 lists to print and fill or to download and share with us on social media. We encourage you to do it with your loved ones on New Year’s Eve. It would be a great way to spend time, be grateful for things, and set goals for next year.
2020 Things To Be Grateful For: from A to Z
Exercise your mind with this...can you think of a thing to be grateful for that starts with x...? I know, that's a hard one...Print this sheet and enjoy with your closed ones...even if they are in distance, send them this template so they fill them too, or share it on social medial with us!
2021 Resolutions from A to Z
Take this as a game! Gather with family or friends and fill out this list...or try to. Then check other's lists...you can be surprised and learn something from others you didn't know. Just remember reserve G for Gems and J for Jewelry...;)
2021 Goals Template
Wish List for 2021
Keep it simple with this list. Write down 10 wishes you have for 2021...save it so you can check them at the end of the year, or make a ritual with it, like burn the paper or send it to the sky with a balloon.