Although ‘New Year Resolutions’ had existed long before, it was in early 20th-century that this trend really start hitting the big time.
The custom began about 4,000 years ago during the period of Babylonians. During that period new year was made in the month of March and they made promises to their God that they would repay their debts and borrowed objects.
Later in 46 B.C., during the rule of Roman emperor Julius Caesar, the new year month was shifted to 1-Jan in honor of Roman God of beginning, Janus. Resolutions or promises were made back then to their Gods with more of a moral flavor, mostly to be nice to each other.
However, in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII brought the Jan. 1 as a New Year’s Day back in vogue with the Gregorian calendar, and this concept still persists today.
During the years 1722 and 1723, an American theologian (later adopted Puritan) Jonathan Edwards started writing the resolution in form of an art. Instead of writing resolutions on a single say (like we do only on New Year eve), he complied 70 resolutions on different aspects of life, promising to be reviewed everyday. He started it during the tenure of two years after graduating from Yale at the age of 20.
- Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.
- Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump.
- Resolved, never to say anything at all against anybody, but when it is perfectly agreeable to the highest degree of Christian honor, and of love to mankind, agreeable to the lowest humility, and sense of my own faults and failings, and agreeable to the golden rule; often, when I have said anything against anyone, to bring it to, and try it strictly by the test of this Resolution.
- Resolved, never willfully to omit anything, except the omission be for the glory of God; and frequently to examine my omissions.
- Resolved, whenever my feelings begin to appear in the least out of order, when I am conscious of the least uneasiness within, or the least irregularity without, I will then subject myself to the strictest examination.
So, make some good resolutions for 2016 to yourself, and try to stick to them. 🙂