Why Do We Make New Year Resolutions?


Every time a new year rolls around, people set out to better themselves. They promise they will lose weight, find a new job, or maybe even take that vacation they’ve always talked about. But why do we make these promises to ourselves, and where did this tradition come from? Why does this tradition live on when so many people fail to keep the resolutions they make? Well, we can start by blaming the ancient Babylonians.

It was in Babylon around 4000 years ago that we find the earliest recorded celebration honouring the coming of a new year. The Babylonians started this ceremony in late March during the first new moon after the Spring Equinox, around March 21st. The collective ceremonial events lasted 11 days and were known as the Akitu festival. The festivities were dedicated to the rebirth of the sun god Marduk, and the Babylonians would make promises to the god Marduk as they believed that this would please the him and he would look on them with benevolence during the coming year.

The tradition of New Year Resolutions continued with the Romans. When the early Roman calendar was changed to the Julian calendar by Julius Caesar, after consulting with the best astronomers and mathematicians of the time, which more closely represents the modern calendar we use today. It was declared that January 1 would be the first day of the year to honour the god Janus who could see the past as well as the future at the same time. A sacrifice would be made by the Romans at the celebration the New Year to  the god Janus.

We thankfully no longer make sacrifices in the same way, but we do make sacrifices, by eating less or at least more healthily, stopping smoking, giving up chocolate or alcohol or maybe joining a gym. We do this now not for a god but for ourselves so we can become the best we can be.

We would love to hear what resolutions you have made, and also how Purple Conversations could help you. What would encourage you to stay on track during the coming months to reach your goal?  Would you like to read Nutritional information or perhaps help with stopping cravings?

Do you think information on simple excercises would help you? We would be happy to find someone who has the expertise to help you and to publish a blog or an article by them for your information.

Would you like to be able to chat to other people in similar situation in a closed Facebook Group?  We are happy to help and support you reaching your resolution. Leave us a comment on the website or on our Facebook page and we will do the rest. We look forward to hearing your comments and also your updates on how you are doing with your resolutions.

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