Why Do We Have New Year’s Resolutions? 

todayJanuary 6, 2022 152 2

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By Mikayla Anding
Web Content Contributor

“New Year, new me,” right? It is now that time of year when we get to hear and see variations of this phrase everywhere. As I considered making my own list of resolutions for 2022, I wondered why we make New Year’s resolutions? And what should mine be this year? After looking into the cause of this widespread tradition, I gained a better understanding of the reasoning. I also concluded that New Year’s resolutions can be much more unique than the ones we constantly hear about and tend to make every year.

Turns out New Year’s resolutions did not come from America or a recent past. We have the Babylonians to thank for this, beginning around 4,000 years ago. While the New Year at the time was celebrated in March, the Babylonians rang in the year with an 11-day festival. During this time, the Babylonians “reportedly made promises to the gods in hopes they’d earn good favor in the coming year.” While resolutions may not look the exact same as they did back then, this tradition carried on into other cultures and have continued to be an important part in New Year’s celebrations.

Today, we clearly do not make resolutions to gods, but to ourselves. We promise ourselves we will add or take away something to improve in some way. Making resolutions for ourselves, no matter how big or small, indicates self-awareness and the desire to want to grow as individuals in some aspect of our lives. Even though every day is another chance to make a change, the New Year is a much grander indicator of new beginnings which causes us to reflect on the past and contemplate the future. Even if you make a small resolution, it’s still a step in self-growth that is something worth working toward. 

Many of us think of crowded gyms and diets when we hear “New Year’s resolutions.” Of course, the most popular resolutions for 2021 were “exercising more and improving fitness (50% of participants), losing weight (48%), saving money (44%), and improving diet (39%).” But your resolutions do not have to be fitness or money-oriented. Nobody needs to feel pressured to become a gym rat as soon as we hit a new year! Here are a few resolution ideas that don’t involve getting a gym membership:

Pick up a new hobby

Instead of spending hours sitting on the couch watching Netflix during your free time (we’ve all done this more than we want to admit), you can spend that time learning how to do that one thing you’ve always wanted to do, but didn’t. There’s cooking, crafting, playing an instrument; the possibilities are endless! Do something you enjoy that gets you working creatively, mentally or physically. 

Get more sleep

As college students, I think we can all agree that getting more sleep is something we all need. There are so many reasons we need sleep, so why not make it a goal to get more of it in 2022? Your body will thank you later.

Spend more intentional time with friends

I know this one sounds a little cheesy, but as students, we are constantly being pulled in different directions because of classes, jobs, and organizations. We won’t be in college forever, so we won’t be surrounded by our college friends forever. Make it a goal to take a friend out to coffee or a meal every once in a while, when it’s time to catch up! Or you could even get them to start a new hobby with you, and knock out two resolutions in one.

These are just a few ideas that may help you spark up ideas of your own. The point is, your resolutions can be health and fitness related, but it is OK if they are not. I would encourage anyone to create their own resolutions, big or small. But more specifically, ones that correspond to their life and things they want to change or improve. As for me, my resolutions include being present by staying off my phone and spending more time doing things that bring me joy. Good luck to all of you who are working towards a goal in 2022 and happy New Year! 

Featured Image by Mikayla Anding

Written by: ktsw899

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