New Year’s Resolution Recommitment Day is celebrated on June 1 each year. You’ll notice that this is the sixth month, placing this holiday halfway through the year. It’s a time to take a step back and study your resolutions, the progress you’ve made so far, and the actions you’ll take to keep moving forward. Because most people abandon their New Year’s resolutions shortly after making them, this holiday is an excellent way to keep track of your efforts. It’s also a refresher for those whose resolutions have fallen by the wayside.
History of New Year's Resolution Recommitment Day
The custom of New Year’s resolutions comes from Ancient Babylon, over 4,000 years ago. Babylonians celebrated their New Year’s in mid-March, coinciding with their crop planting season. The Babylonian holiday of ‘Akitu’ took place over 12 days. Part of the festivities included crowning a new king or the people reaffirming their loyalties to the ruling monarch. Babylonians also made oaths to their Gods, swearing to repay debts and return any borrowed items. They believed that failing to uphold these oaths would invite misfortune, and the wrath of the Gods while keeping their word would bring them blessings. The promises made during Akitu are the first recorded instance of New Year’s resolutions.
In Rome, ‘Januarius’ (January) was named after ‘Janus,’ a two-faced God whose dual symbolism represented looking to the past and the future. During New Year’s celebrations, Romans offered sacrifices to Janus to appease him for the past year’s mistakes, and they promised to be good citizens in the following year. Early Christians spent the first day of New Year’s meditating on their past transgressions and thinking of how they could do better moving forward. The origins of making resolutions for a new year were deeply rooted in religion.
Today, New Year’s Resolutions are secular. People promise to lose weight, save money, get a promotion, and quit smoking. Whatever resolution, the spirit remains the same, a better person moving forward into the new year.
New Year's Resolution Recommitment Day timeline
The Akitu festival takes place that involves Babylonians making promises to the gods to repay debts and return borrowed items.
In ancient Greece, the first infant born in the New Year is paraded around town in a basket celebrating Dionysus, the Greek God of wine and fertility.
Julius Caesar changes the New Year date to begin on January 1, and Romans make promises of good conduct to the gods in the coming year in exchange for blessings.
John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, introduces the Covenant Renewal Service, an alternative to raucous New Year’s Eve celebrations, where congregants spend the night praying and making resolutions for the following year.
New Year's Resolution Recommitment Day FAQs
What is Ditch New Year's Resolutions Day?
Ditch New Year’s Resolution Day on January 17 is popularly thought to be the day when a large number of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions. Ditch New Year’s Resolution Day gives you an excuse to forget your New Year’s resolutions.
What are the top 5 New Year’s resolutions?
The most common resolutions are weight loss, quitting smoking or drinking, spending more time with family and friends, saving money, and learning a new skill or hobby.
How do you keep your New Year’s resolutions?
Choose a specific goal, set aside time for planning, and start with small changes that you can stick to today.
New Year's Resolution Recommitment Day Activities
Reevaluate your plans
Look through your resolution plans. Were they realistic? Is everything on track, or is there room for improvement? A little tweaking could help you achieve your goals in a better way.
Build a support base
Even when you’re passionate about something, it's not easy to stick to New Year’s resolutions without the right environment. Enlisting family, friends, and co-workers can act as a support network. On days when you feel like giving up, they’ll help you stay on track.
Remind yourself that it's a journey
It takes time to grow from bad habits and form new healthy ones. Spend the day internalizing this mindset. Trust the process and remember that it’s a journey, not a destination.
5 Surprising Facts About New Year’s That You Didn’t Know
Kissing on New Year’s Eve
The tradition of kissing at midnight on New Year’s Eve comes from the Ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia, the God of time; the Romans believed kissing someone would prevent loneliness in the following year.
The first country to celebrate New Year’s
Kiribati, an island nation in the central Pacific, is the first nation to ring in the New Year every year.
Champagne and cruise ships
The practice of christening ships on New Year’s Eve became so popular that global production of champagne between 1800 and 1850 increased from 300,000 to 20 million bottles annually.
The Times Square ball drop
Event organizers introduced the iconic ball drop in Times Square after New York City officials banned the use of fireworks during celebrations.
Don’t eat lobster or chicken
A common superstition is that eating lobster or chicken is bad luck on New Year’s Eve because a lobster can move backward, and a chicken scratches backward, implying you may cause setbacks in the following year.
Why We Love New Year's Resolution Recommitment Day
Taking stock of the journey so far
We can look back at how far we’ve come and pat ourselves on the back during this time. Or, if we didn’t do as well as we had hoped, we can use this opportunity to reevaluate our progress and address the mistakes we made that caused us to fall short of our resolutions.
Picturing the future
Along with taking stock of our achievements, New Year’s Resolution Recommitment Day is also a glimpse into the future. You’ve come this far in six months. You’ve learned a thing or two. Where would you like to be in another six months?
Renewing your motivation
Sometimes, you might have stuck to your resolutions, but you run out of steam midway through the year. Burnout affects everyone, no matter how dedicated one may be to their cause. Taking the time to renew your motivation by reminding yourself why you’re doing it is an excellent way to recommit to your resolutions.
New Year's Resolution Recommitment Day dates