The “why” of New Year’s resolutions

The world rings in 2023.

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The world rings in 2023.

In just a few days, the world will open its eyes to a new year: 2023. With the new year comes countless people attempting to create resolutions to improve their lives by working out frequently, calling their families often, spending money carefully, and everything in between. And, of course, also comes the cynics, questioning why we should make New Year’s resolutions when we could try to set goals year-round. In opposition to them, we should continue our millennia-long tradition, even if we can’t see ourselves achieving our goals for months or even years. But why should we?


To honor those before us.

According to numerous accounts, New Year’s resolutions began in ancient Babylon, where citizens celebrated Akitu, a 12-day celebration of the new year. During this festival, a new king would begin his reign over Babylon while the Babylonian citizens made promises to their gods to return borrowed objects and pay back other debts. The citizens hoped that through these promises and new cycles of kings, the gods would bless their lives, much like how we hope that our lives will improve when we make promises to ourselves each year. We should honor the memories of these ancestors, keeping tradition to acknowledge our history because no harm comes from it, only goodness. Isn’t it so cool to imagine our fellow humans from years ago practicing the same customs we do, regardless of how our interpretations of New Year’s resolutions have changed? 


To teach ourselves discipline.

With our world becoming increasingly digitized, our attention span has decreased universally, except for when it comes to staring at our phones for hours on end. Staying away from our technology and focusing on other tasks has grown increasingly challenging. But, with New Year’s resolutions, we can teach ourselves the importance of focusing on our goals and putting passivity aside. Whatever one’s New Year’s resolution may be, undoubtedly, completing it requires discipline. And teaching ourselves discipline can apply to every area in our lives: our performance in school, overall self-confidence, and problem-solving skills can all improve upon learning this skill.


To help enhance our futures.

What is the point of a New Year’s resolution if not to improve our lives? If we teach ourselves discipline and stay committed to our goals, our lives can surely improve. Not only would completing the objective itself help our lives as we intended, but it would also give us the confidence to continue making new goals, exponentially changing our lives for the better. Not many people stay committed past January 31, so completing New Year’s resolutions brings an influx of pride to anyone due to the rarity of doing so. With New Year’s resolutions, we can also help our relationships with others and the world on a larger scale. A better us means a better overall life experience.


Every new year brings new opportunities and a new outlook on life. Try a New Year’s resolution, and see how this new chapter opens life to beneficial change.