New Year, New You Right?

Where did this idea come from?

Nadiya Romo



2020 was a year full of challenges and obstacles to many people. The ring for the New Year was anticipated compared to the rest of the years. Millions of people were ecstatic to leave 2020 behind and start fresh. But the story behind New Year’s Resolutions and traditions isn’t talked about as much as it should be.

Where did it start? 

Approximately 4,000 years ago the ancient Babylionians began the first New Year’s Resolutions. While the ideology of celebration of new beginnings still exists they took place in the middle of March. Now, they usually begin January 1st of the New Year. During a 12 day religious festival called “ Akitu” the people crowned a new king or signified a continuity of ruling of a king. Moreover, they made promises to repay their debt to the gods hence where the resolutions come into place. Not only do historians believe this was the origin but ancient Rome as well. After Julius Caesar altered the calendar establishing January 1st the beginning of a new year. There was a belief that the past years would play a role in the new one so they offered sacrifices to the deity and made promises similar to the modern traditions. 

Steps to modernized traditions: 

In earlier times prior to the 1800’s New Year’s Resolutions were an idea but they did not become very common until 1802. Many people took part in these newly established traditions. Also during this time the first time the phrase “ New Year’s Resolutions” was used in a Boston newspaper article. The article wrote “And yet, I believe there are multitudes of people, accustomed to receive injunctions of new year resolutions..” As time went on these ideas became modernized and are given at each beginning of each year. It is a motivator and keeps you on track of your goals that you set yourself up for. 

Why do people do it?

These ideas are built upon the goals of self-improvement. The new year is a strong motivator for people looking to achieve their goals. It also is a period of reflection on the past. By reflecting you are resetting your priorities straight for the upcoming year. Today studies have shown that 40% of Americans participate in these resolutions.


People around the world find joy in setting new goals and pushing themselves to be the best version of themselves that they can be. Why not start on a good note on the first day of a new year! While there are no set goals for everyone to follow it is entertaining to come up with your own! In this tradition there are no rules or guidelines to follow. Make your own rules and get involved with the community. It is never too late to start something new that you have always wanted to do.