New Year’s Resolutions 

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Welcoming the new year and starting with whether or not you participate in the tradition of making a New Year's Resolution. The history and meaning behind the tradition and thought from your schoolmates. (photo courtesy of public domain)

It has officially been a month since the new year started and with the new year comes new changes. 

A popular U.S. New Year tradition is the New Year’s Resolutions where people make a goal or something they wish to improve on for the new year. 

History 

The tradition started by ancient Babylonians 4,000 years ago when their New Year’s began in mid-March with a 12-day religious festival called Akitu, when they reaffirmed their loyalty to the new reigning king crowned that year. They returned borrowed items and paid back their debts, so they weren’t angering the gods.

A similar practice happened later with the Romans in 46 BC where Julias Cesar reformed the calendar so the new year would begin in January. Which was inspired by Janus the two-faced god. One face symbolically looking back at the year that passed and one looking ahead to show moving forward with the new year.

Resolutions were popularized in 1740 by John Wesley the founder of The United Methodist Church he created the covenant renewal service which happened on New Year’s where they would read scriptures and glyphs which is a symbol or mark that communicates a piece of valuable information. They also practiced making goals to celebrate the new year.

Now

The tradition is more common in the United States and overall  34% of U.S. adult citizens actually make New Year’s resolutions and for adults under 30, 52% of them participate in making a resolution.

Based on a poll posted to the Newspaper’s, Instagram account 61% of students said they do not participate in the tradition leaving only 31% of students who said yes. 

Janina Divino, junior, said, “I do practice the tradition. I want to get good grades and try to better myself which gives me something to work for during the year.” 

The typical goal for a New Year’s resolution is to find something you want to improve on and work on better yourself. 

It helps you accomplish a goal you want to achieve and work towards it for example getting better grades can be something you want to work toward for the 2024 school year.

Keith Royster, junior, said, “I try, but I end up giving up or forgetting by the end of the new year and something can change throughout the year that changes your plans, so you never know what could happen.” 

The year is long and many unexpected things could happen that alter your plans so focusing on one goal you want to improve may be hard and it may just be better to just work as you go.

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