People have been celebrating the New Year and making resolutions since ancient Babylonia. The Babylonians did things a little differently of course, they celebrated the new year in March, and unlike our tradition of changing the coming year, their resolutions were more along the lines of making up debts that are owed and returning goods borrowed from the past year. The Romans recognized January as the beginning of the year around 46 B.C., and they were the first to promise better behavior as the year started up. During the mid 18th century, watch services became popular where Christian hymns would be sung and scriptures read. During these nights people would reflect on the past year and make resolutions for a better upcoming one.
Today, nearly 60% of us carry on with traditions like these, albeit with a modern twist. The most popular resolutions are to better ones self and are very secular based; lose weight, exercise, read more, spend time with loved ones, etc. The truth is though, not even 10% of those who pledge to turn it around in 2019 will end up following through. So, how does someone stick to a “New Year, New Me” mentality? Well, we’ve got a few tips for you! Pick the right resolution for you, and make it personal, specific, and achievable. Instead of saying “I want to be more eco friendly this year”, give yourself a specific goal. Let’s say in reality you want to be a waste free household by 2020. This is a specific goal, and it’s achievable too. By saying you want to get there by 2020, and not “I’m going to be waste free January 1” you are setting yourself up to succeed instead of getting overwhelmed and discouraged. Now drill down some more, plan out how you intend to follow through. Maybe you will use your food scraps as compost, buy in bulk, use containers that can be refilled; all of these are individual small steps that can lead to you really owning that resolution in the long run. Set monthly goals if that helps; maybe by March, you want to be throwing away one small trash bag a week. The most important thing you can remember is to not be discouraged, you may slip up over this new year, you will have bad days, things will get in your way. Stay positive, bust through those obstacles, and push through to a better you.