Why Do we need New Year Resolutions?

Have you ever wondered how the idea of a New Year Resolution came about? Why does the 1st January mean people look to resolve to make changes and why do we put ourselves under this extra pressure?

Originally it was the Babylonians 4,000 years ago who made promises to their Gods to return things they had been lent and to pay back debts. If they didn’t, they would fall out of favour with their Gods.

There were similar beliefs for the Romans and during the medieval times.

For Christians the first day of the new year was the time to think about past mistakes and resolve to do better.

Today our resolutions are more likely to do with self-development and are less likely to be based upon religious drivers and beliefs.

Given 88% of resolutions fail, with 52% of people believing as they embark on their resolution that it will, indeed fail, why do we bother?

Our resolutions come with pressure and some people almost feel a ‘need’ to do it. If they don’t have a resolution are they doing what they should, are they missing out?

I would like to challenge why we have them.  Here are my thoughts;

  1. If we want to make a change in our lives, why wait until the 1st January?
  2. Making a change is more about the right mind set than about the date. If we are not ready on the 1st January, it just won’t happen.
  3. Do we want to be making these changes at a time when there is this self-imposed pressure and overwhelming expectation?
  4. We have all gone through Christmas and a period which can be draining, is the 1st the right time to make changes?
  5. How about using the period around the 1st January to reflect, take a breath, pause and then get cracking?

Having the right mind set is the most important thing if you are going to make successful changes in your life. It isn’t about doing it on the 1st January because it’s the 1st January. If you need a line in the sand, set the date which feels right for you. Make the changes which are important to you and make them when you are ready.

Give yourself the space to define what is important to you, what that change looks like, how you will make the change and how you will reward yourself for your successes as you create that change.

Once you make the decision to embrace these changes because you are in the right place to do it, you give yourself a much better chance of success.

We wish you the best of luck with your resolution and change, whether it be the 1st January or the 1st June!

Let us know when you set your resolutions by commenting below, we would love to hear from you.

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