As we head into the new year, many people start to reflect on the year just passed and also look towards the future. Resolutions can be lifestyle based, such as giving up chocolate or doing more exercise, or something skills based like learning to play a musical instrument. Many people around the world will set themselves resolutions at this time of year, but where did this tradition all start?
It is believed that the ancient Babylonians were the first to make resolutions around 4000 years ago, such as promising to return objects they have had borrowed or pay any outstanding debts, although at this time the new year fell in March when they planted crops. It was said that if the Babylonians kept their word, the pagan gods would bestow favour on them for the coming year. If not, they would displease the gods and suffer consequently.
The Romans also adopted a similar tradition after Julius Caesar changed the calendar to start from January 1st. This is also linked to how the Romans worshipped the God ‘Janus’, a god depicted with two heads to symbolically look back to the previous year and forward into the future. Romans would worship the deity and make promises of good conduct for the following year.
Now that 2018 is here, you might be thinking about your own New Year’s resolutions. If you’ve already made them, try and think of ways that you will be more likely to stick to them, particularly if you’ve set yourself a tough goal! If not, there’s still time if you plan on setting some!
A good way to decide on your resolutions is to think of ways that would improve your life and make you happier for the next year and then set goals, some that are easily achievable and some that are more difficult to achieve. For example, if you decided that getting fitter would help improve your life, an easily attainable goal would be to go to the gym once a week and your longer-term, more difficult, goal being to run a 5k. Your smaller goals will help you achieve your new year’s resolutions and make your 2018 a fantastic year!
If your goals include trying something new, joining a society, taking up a sport or just getting involved, take a look at our Opportunities pages.