Stick to your New Year’s Resolution Day is observed on January 12. It’s almost halfway through January, and we’re already starting to break our New Year resolutions. If you, like us, could do with a renewed commitment to goals — today’s a great day to begin. Contrary to popular opinion, most people succeed at keeping New Year’s resolutions. Don’t believe us? Many polls out there showcase wills of steel and endless possibility. It’s proof that adults (68% to be precise) can make and successfully smash their goals. Let’s celebrate sticking to our resolutions today and every day.
History of Stick to Your New Year's Resolution Day
Resolutions or breaking them typically become running jokes in our lives. So much that nobody takes them seriously anymore. But you’d be surprised to know that far from a modern-day fad, year-end resolutions go back to the world’s most ancient civilizations.
Around 2000 B.C. the Babylonians kicked off New Year celebrations with a 12-day festival called ‘Akitu.’ The festival coincided with the start of the farming season. It also involved people promising to pay their debts. One resolution that everyone kept was the returning of borrowed farm equipment in time for the agricultural season. The ancient Romans adopted the Babylonian New Year and their tradition of making resolutions. Eventually, the timing shifted according to the Julian calendar, and January 1 became the start of the new year.
Early January is ideal for most cultures to pause and reflect. It marks the end of an active harvest season. It’s also when the holiday festivities die down. What better time to rest than after a busy summer, taking comfort in the warmth of family and friendship.
In the past, New Year’s resolutions in the United States were more religious, courtesy of a Protestant influence. People wished for a stronger work ethic, moral character, and restraint — in keeping with the church’s teachings.
Today’s resolutions reflect a different kind of self-improvement. We find people resolving to stay fit or do more things they love. Although seemingly self-indulgent, these resolutions aren’t all that different from historical precedent. Bettering one’s self forms the core of any resolution. All anyone wants is a clean slate — from ancient Babylonians to disillusioned Gen Zs.
On Stick to your New Year’s Resolution Day, remember that we’re in it together. So, keep at it! Isn’t it amazing how people everywhere unknowingly follow a tradition that’s as old as time?
Stick to Your New Year's Resolution Day timeline
Ancient Babylonians pledge to pay their debts and return borrowed farming tools for a new agricultural season.
Knights in the Medieval Age renew their vows to chivalry each year-end by placing their hands on a live or roasted peacock.
Scottish writer Anne Halkett writes a diary entry called ‘Resolutions’ with pledges such as “I will not offend anymore.”
New Year resolutions become commonplace — especially the idea of not keeping them.
Stick to Your New Year's Resolution Day FAQs
How do you stick to New Year's resolutions?
The best resolutions are the simplest ones. Keep them realistic, small, and measurable. Remember to chart a plan and keep up your spirits.
What is the meaning of a New Year's resolution?
A New Year’s resolution is a promise you make to yourself. It could mean a pledge to start doing things you love or dedicate time to social causes. Sometimes, they could also involve limiting bad habits or behaviors.
Why is it important to have a New Year's resolution?
The New Year symbolizes a fresh start. It’s another opportunity to get things right and assert control over your actions and decisions.
Stick to Your New Year's Resolution Day Activities
Make yourself accountable
It’s hard to stick to the promises you make to yourself. We’ve found that sharing resolutions with a close friend or family member helps. Ask them to check in with you periodically on how things are going.
Keep things simple
A long list of everything you want to achieve can end up being overwhelming. Focus on one or two goals instead. You can then break them down into weekly, monthly, or yearly milestones.
Set specific goals
Saying “I want to exercise more” is vague and doesn’t offer a concrete starting point. Spell out the details. “I will work out three times a week” might be more helpful. It’s specific and allows you to track your progress.
5 Facts You Didn't Know About New Year Traditions
Empty suitcases for restless feet
In Colombia, people carry empty suitcases to midnight parties to bring a year of more travel.
Lovingly smash some plates
To ward off evil spirits, the Danes affectionately smash dinnerware against the doors of family and friends.
First footing in Scotland
The Scots believe that the first person who crosses a person’s home in the New Year must bring a gift for luck.
Drop ice cream for luck
At midnight, the Swiss drop a dollop of ice cream on the floor for good luck and abundance.
Burn it all down
People in Ecuador burn effigies in the likeness of icons, celebrities, and politicians to purge ’año Viejo’ or the old year.
Why We Love Stick to Your New Year's Resolution Day
Staying the course is tough — we’re only human, after all. Stick to Your New Year’s Resolution Day is another opportunity to recommit to our goals.
A chance to rethink
Do you (like us) end up making sweeping statements, only to fall flat? Today, we can rethink those resolutions and make new ones if needed.
January blues are a real thing. Despite starting the year on a high note, energies tend to come crashing down midway. Remembering those New Year resolutions lights the fire we need to keep going.
Stick to Your New Year's Resolution Day dates