Start the New Year Right

Over the space of 4,000 years, traditions become very distorted.

Now, less than half of Americans today claim to participate in the tradition of making resolutions in the new year.

“I’ve never had a new year’s resolution before,” Junior Shane Trail said.

Life would have started-up drastically different each year when “new year’s resolutions” were first becoming festivities.

Before the new year was celebrated in January, it was celebrated in Nisannu.

Mid-March was the first calendar month of the year, known as Nisannu, for the Babylonians because this is when they would begin to sow their crops.

With the same hopes for their harvest, they looked ahead at the coming year with resolutions, which at the time were promises made to their gods.

Throughout Babylon, Baal, Emessa, and Rome, the Akitu ceremonies carried on for centuries with an influence that has shaped the way we live.

Out of the 45 percent who embark on new year’s resolutions, only eight percent claim to follow through on their goals according to Sarah Pruitt’s “The History of New Year’s Resolutions” on History.com.

“I’ve always thought it’s like a continual thing that you should work on throughout the year, not when January rolls around,” Trail said.

Entering the new year can be an indifferent passing for some, but to others it is still regarded as a momentous opportunity.

“It’s the turning over of a new year, and people want to become better versions of themselves,” Film Studies major Matt Daly said.

Like all things we do in life, making resolutions for the new year teaches us something about who we are.

“You learn your personal limitations and your desire to change,” Daly said. “You have to make realistic resolutions. Daily ones are hard to do, but they might not be if you can actually stick with it.”

Accomplishing new years resolutions, whatever they may be, takes ambition and time.

It may seem overwhelming to start something new, or maybe even uncomfortable, but find ways to reassure yourself if it is indeed something you truly want.

“The more people that you tell about it, the more people are going to ask you about it, and the more motivated you are to do it,” Chaplain Mark Holcomb states.

Communication is a simple, effective way to hold yourself accountable to the people around you in your attempts at new year’s resolutions.

“Set an attainable goal,” Holcomb said. “If you’re going to exercise, exercise with somebody. Be patient with yourself any time you try something new. Sometimes we’re the hardest person on ourselves.”

“Part of the reason why we do it at the beginning of the year is because it gives us a new start, and resolutions are about creating good habits,” Holcomb states. “That’s probably why I don’t think about them at the beginning of the year because you can create good habits any time.”

The concept of New Years has deep, religious roots and has been celebrated for centuries upon centuries.

All around the world, that hope filled first day of the calendar year inspires people to make positive changes and that is something that calls for celebration.

Feature Photo from wikimedia.org

 

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