WEST ORANGE, NJ - New Year's celebrations have been going on for more than 4,000 years. The earliest date back to ancient Babylon. Babylonians rang in the New Year in March with an 11-day party. However, it was Julius Caesar that designated January 1 as the official start of the new year. January is named for the Roman god, Janus.
Janus is the god of beginnings. He has two faces. One looks toward the past and the other has his eyes on the future. While Caesar made New Year's Day a January 1 mainstay, another Babylonian tradition has persisted throughout the ages; making New Year's resolutions.
At the start of each new year, Babylonians would make promises to the gods for the upcoming year. A popular one was getting out of debt. This one is not as ancient as some may think. An often-made resolution today is improving one's financial situation.
Through the ages, the concept of making resolutions at the start of a new year has persisted. It's not just an after break writing assignment for students. An upcoming year is like a brand new page. What to write?
Well, the top five New Year's resolutions typically include:
- Losing weight
- Living a healthier lifestyle
- Spending more quality time with family and friends
- Improving spending habits
- To quit smoking
However, most New Year's resolutions fall by the wayside in weeks and in some cases, days. So, what's the secret in making your resolution stick?
Many experts suggest:
- Putting a positive spin on your resolution. For example, instead of losing weight, aim for adding exercise to your day or making healthier food choices.
- Start small. If your goal is to get healthier, aim for putting in 15 minutes a day of exercise like a daily walk after dinner. When trying to eat healthy, replace soda with water.
- Get a buddy. You are much more likely show up for exercise class or go for a daily walk if there's a friend waiting for you.
- Pick one aspect that you want to change. Don't overwhelm yourself with multiple resolutions.
- If you slip, don't chuck it. Persevere.
One thing most experts agree upon though is that a person is more likely to stick with a resolution if it's shared.
So, now that the New Year's party is over and the page is turned on 2015, what do you want to write on your page for 2016?