Did you know that the concept of New Year’s resolutions started with the ancient Babylonians about 4,000 years ago!?!? I read on History.com that Babylonians made promises to their gods regarding things like paying back money owed and/or returning items borrowed during the previous year. If the Babylonians followed through on their promises, their gods would bestow favor on them for the upcoming year. If not, they would fall out of their gods’ favor – something all Babylonians wanted to avoid. Similar practices started not long after that as well in other cultures, most or all of them also had ties to religion and gods.
Things are totally different today, of course. Most of today’s resolutions are made to oneself and focus on self-improvement. According to recent research found on the Statistic Brain Research Institute website, while as many as 45% of Americans say they usually make New Year’s resolutions, only 8% are successful in achieving their goals.
This low number does not surprise me at all since I am totally guilty of not following through on some of my past resolutions. Ok, well most of them. Thinking back, I can remember making resolutions to stay on a diet and eat healthier, exercise more, start reading more books, watch less TV, grow and maintain a vegetable garden, take more time to relax and meditate. Oh I can go on and on. I do always believe in myself and really think I will fulfill my resolution goals each year. I typically do stick to most resolutions for at least a few months, but as each year goes on the “good” behavior always seemed to dwindle. I will try not to feel too guilty about this since The Statistic Brain Research Institute confirms that I am certainly not alone.
What I do ask myself though, is why? Is it laziness? Lack of motivation? Not caring? Or do we all have the best intentions at heart yet life just gets in the way? I am going with the last reason…or should I say, “excuse”.
Now that I know however, that the world has continued to make New Year’s resolutions for the past 4,000 or so years, I am not going to give up. The concept has to have lasted for good reason. And since today is New Year’s Day, I am not too late. I think beginning today I will make a promise to myself and will commit to following through till the end of 2019. I will promise myself to exercise 30 minutes a day for a minimum of 3 days a week.
I really think I can do this. I really do. Since time will tell, I guess you will have to check in and read our January 2020 blog to see if I actually succeed! I will at the very least, promise to be honest about it. Happy New Year and good luck keeping your own promises!