Most famous and popular resolutions: What’s yours?
New Year brings with it the promise of new beginnings. It is an opportunity to embrace change, let go of past failings and start afresh. The attempt towards a better tomorrow in today’s age often comes in the form of New Year’s resolutions.
New Year's resolutions are a time-honoured tradition, tracing its roots to ancient civilisations. Over 3,500 years ago, the first New Year’s resolutions took shape in ancient Babylon during their annual celebration, Akitu, which lasted 12 days. The Babylonians incorporated agricultural, religious and coronation rituals into their New Year’s resolutions list. The belief was that if they stuck by their resolutions, the gods would favour them.
Over the centuries, New Year’s resolutions began to become less rigid, with more cultures embracing the concept. Today the tradition of making – and breaking – New Year’s resolutions is shared across the globe.
While specific resolutions vary from person to person, some popular ones make it to most people’s lists. Here we explore some such famous New Year's resolutions:
- Getting fitter: This is probably the most common New Year's resolution. Across the world, New Year serves as a great starting point to embark on a new fitness journey. Whether to lose or gain a few kilograms or get fitter, many people vow to adopt a healthy diet and an exercise routine during the New Year. Therefore, it is unsurprising that the highest percentage of all gym membership sales occurs in January.
- Financial planning: Financial planning is also another popular New Year’s resolution. From paying off one’s debt to saving for a dream vacation, many people resolve to save or make more money in the New Year. The most common ways to achieve this are by setting up a budget, creating a financial portfolio, or creating multiple sources of income.
- Reducing vices: On New Year, several people also promise to quit unhealthy habits like smoking and excessive drinking. While smoking can lead to serious health problems, excessive drinking is also known to affect mental and physical health. For those looking to quit smoking, there is a range of options, from nicotine replacement therapy to support groups. Similarly, those wanting to stop excessive drinking can also take the help of a support group or the guidance of a healthcare professional.
- Learning a new skill: Another popular New Year’s resolution is learning a new skill. Studying a new language, learning a musical instrument, or even returning to a childhood hobby are all popular resolutions that fall under this category. Learning a new skill can also be a great way to spend time with yourself and discover new facets of your personality.
- Travelling: Travelling the world is on most people’s bucket lists. For many, the New Year serves as a blank slate to plan trips that will allow them to see more of the world or even their country. From solo trips to elaborate family vacations, travelling is a popular resolution that makes it to to-do lists year after year.
- Improving work-life balance: It is easy to get swept up in the demands of your career and ignore your personal needs and relationships. New Year serves as the perfect reset button for most people, and many people want to reduce stress and improve their work-life balance in the coming months. This can be achieved by establishing strict boundaries at the workplace and ensuring you don’t bring your work issues home and vice versa.
- Getting organised: For some people, being disorganised can lead to a feeling of overwhelming chaos. It is common for the holiday season to leave one feeling disorganised as people tend to shop more, travel and have a more laid-back attitude towards the end of the year. As a result, many get organised in the New Year to feel more in control of their lives. You can create a priority list, follow a daily schedule, set quarterly, half-yearly and yearly goals, and track your progress to be better organised.
- Volunteering: Many people resolve to give back to their community in the New Year through philanthropy and active volunteering. Since there is no big or small way to extend help, this type of resolution hinges on finding causes that align with your values and resource pool.
- Self-care: Caring for and loving yourself is a concept that is resonating with people around the world. The concept of self-care revolves around taking time out for yourself and has recently become a popular New Year’s resolution. Self-care can look like a walk in the park by yourself or even an evening spent cooking your favourite meal, and the New Year serves as the perfect time to set the agenda to treat yourself kindly in the coming months.
A New Year's resolution serves as a reminder to understand that it is never too late to start afresh and motivate yourself to design the life that you want to live. While how successful you are in seeing your resolution through depends on various factors, the intent to work towards a positive change is a win in itself.
AN Dec 06/22
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