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National Resolution Planning Day is on December 30 and we are getting a headstart on setting goals for next year! Did you know that one in three people fail their New Year’s resolutions in the first month? And only 10% of people are successful at keeping their resolutions throughout the year? While there are many reasons for this, it is necessary that you set- and commit to your resolutions before the new year actually begins for a better chance at success. But how did the start of a new year become the de facto ‘fresh start’?
History of National Resolution Planning Day
It is better to start thinking of your resolutions ahead of time rather than wait for January 1 to come around, as by then it is probably already too late to decide on them. If you plan your resolutions on December 30 then you’ll be good to go when the New Year arrives.
The ancient tradition of making resolutions for the new year started at the Babylonian festival of Akitu over 4,000 years ago. Spanning 12 days, the ‘rebirth of the natural world’ would be celebrated by the Babylonians. A new king would be crowned, crops would be planted, and promises would be made to the gods. They believed that if these promises or resolutions were kept and fulfilled, the gods would be happy instead of vengeful.
In 153 B.C., to honor the god Janus, January 1 was declared as the start of the new year by the Roman Senate. Janus was an entity with two faces who had the ability to look backward and forward in time — this symbolized the end of one year and the beginning of another. But it wasn’t until 100 years later, in 46 B.C., that the concept of the new year being on January 1 was made official and effective by Julius Caesar. Just like the Babylonians, the Romans would pledge promises to their god Janus about their behavior for the coming year.
During the Middle Ages, the ‘Peacock Vow’ would be renewed at the end of each year. Essentially, these were resolutions that knights committed to in order to uphold the code of knighthood. Knights would place their hands on a cooked peacock and renew their oaths to protecting honor and chivalry.
The phrase ‘new year resolution’ appeared for the first time in a Boston newspaper in 1813, and from there onwards, modern resolutions became a thing.
National Resolution Planning Day timeline
Ancient Egyptians celebrate ‘Wepet Renpet’, which means ‘Opening of the Year’.
Julius Caesar invents a new calendar and declares January 1 as the first day of the new year.
Scottish writer Anne Halkett writes down pledges in her diary and titles them ‘Resolutions’.
The first-ever recorded use of the term ‘new year resolution’ is published in a Boston newspaper.
National Resolution Planning Day FAQs
What are the top five New Year's resolutions?
In a survey of 2,000 people, the top five resolutions each New Year are:
- Save Money or Spend Less
- Learn Something New
- Quit Smoking
- Read More
- Change Jobs
How do you start the new year on a positive note?
Resolutions are the best way to start a new year positively, but you can even start small by just using a new planner or journal and decluttering your closet.
Where did New Year's come from?
New Year’s celebrations started sometime 4,000 years ago in ancient Babylon. Following the vernal equinox, the first sighting of the new moon would mark the beginning of a new year.
National Resolution Planning Day Activities
Reflect on the past year
Before you start making your resolutions for the New Year, it is essential that you reflect on the past year and take inventory of what you need to do more of to accomplish your goals in the next year and what you need to leave behind that won’t support this.
Decide your New Year’s resolutions
‘Save money.’ ‘Eat healthier.’ ‘Enjoy life to the fullest.’ Set whatever resolutions you like. They can be anything you want, these are YOUR goals. We recommend asking yourself what change you can make in your life next year that will bring you significant happiness.
Pick your resolution team
Some resolutions require you to have a support team that will have your back! National Today’s CEO Ben Kaplan suggests in his webinar that you find three people for your resolution team — an inspiration buddy, an accountability buddy, and a celebration buddy.
Top 5 Reasons Why People Fail At Keeping Resolutions
Not enough commitment
People fail at keeping a resolution that is not really a commitment but more of a contemplation.
Not enough time
Being unable to prioritize a resolution enough to make time for it is another prime reason for failing.
Experiencing a setback
A minor setback often completely derails a person from keeping their resolution.
Slower progress than expected
People get discouraged from pursuing or staying consistent with their resolutions when they don’t see instant results.
Not enough support
Because resolutions are so personal, people often fail because of the lack of a support system to keep them motivated to stay committed.
Why We Love National Resolution Planning Day
All we have is now
There’s no better time than now to make all those lifestyle changes that have been pending or that we’ve kept delaying! Let’s get to it!
It feels exhilarating
The end of the year brings with it anticipation and excitement for the year ahead. We feel all pumped up by this pre-new-year motivational wave and are ready to tackle some goals!
You’re already in reflection mode and can pick the right resolutions
We are also in reflection mode about the past year, so it is easier to filter what we want and don’t want, and can set better resolutions that are attainable.
National Resolution Planning Day dates