The beginning of a new year is a good time to get a fresh start, and that is what New Year’s resolutions are all about. Each year, millions of people around the world make promises to do better than they have before. People have done this in many cultures throughout history, going back to ancient Babylon.
The Babylonian new year began in mid-March, not January. The people used this occasion to make promises to their gods that they would try to keep during the year. This was the beginning of what we know today as resolutions.
In ancient Rome, Emperor Julius Caesar made January 1 the beginning of the new year in 46 B.C. The month got its name from Janus, a god the Romans believed had two faces. He was believed to look both backwards into the last year and ahead into the future. People offered sacrifices to Janus and made promises of good behavior for the coming year.
Making resolutions is the easy part. Nearly half of Americans say they make resolutions, but only a few succeed. Just because some resolutions fail doesn’t mean we should give up on them. After all, practice makes perfect, and this may just be the year that the promise actually sticks.