What is a New Years Resolution? Meaning, origin and 4 ideas for 2022

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New Years Eve is the highlight of the holiday season and a time to savor when surrounded by friends, family and festivities.

But when the party ends and the dust settles, the days after January 1 can be an overwhelming experience, with gaping possibilities of an entire year causing some people to re-evaluate their lives.

But while New Years Resolutions can be notoriously fickle and prone to failure, it is believed that there are certain steps to successfully sticking to goals.

News week presents a guide to everything you need to know about New Year’s resolutions, from their origins to how best to reach your goals in 2022.

Origins of New Year’s resolutions

While New Years Resolutions can be notoriously fickle and prone to failure, it is believed that there are certain steps to successfully sticking to the goal.
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It is widely believed that the New Year’s resolution began in ancient Babylon over 4,000 years ago in an attempt to appease their gods.

Barbara Santini, psychologist, sex and relationship counselor, believes the Babylonians went before their gods with promises while awaiting favors for the New Year.

She said News week: “A new year for the Babylonians began in mid-March, after planting their crops. During this time, they held Akitu, a 12-day religious holiday to reaffirm their loyalty to the existing king or create a new one.

“They also went before their gods with promises to pay off debts and return borrowed items.

“The Babylonians believed that If they kept their promises, the gods would bestow favors on them on the New Year. Likewise, they believed that they would not obtain favors from the pagan gods if their promises were empty.”

New Years Resolutions
Many people around the world make New Year’s resolutions, like pledging to lose weight, but they are notoriously difficult to keep.
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Laura Steele of educational resource experts PlanBee described the many quirky ways to celebrate the New Year in other countries.

She said, “Many people around the world are making New Year’s resolutions or promising themselves to achieve certain goals in the coming year.”

In Spain, at each of the twelve strokes of the clock at midnight, a grape is eaten. It is believed that this will bring good luck for the months to come.

Just before midnight, the Danes stand in chairs, ready to jump off at midnight and ‘jump’ in January.

In Switzerland, it is a tradition to drop a spoonful of cream on the ground to bring in a prosperous New Year.

On New Years Eve in Greece, an onion is hung on the front door as a symbol of rebirth. On New Year’s Day, parents wake their children up by slapping them on the head with the onion.

In Brazil, people dress in white clothes to symbolize their hopes for luck and peace in the New Year. If you live near a beach, it is traditional to jump over seven waves – for each wave you receive a wish.

Donuts are eaten in Germany. These Pfannkuchensare are filled with jam or alcohol. As a joke, some may contain mustard or other not very tasty toppings – if you’re unlucky enough to pick one, it’s considered bad luck.

On the last day of the year, Colombians carry an empty suitcase with them hoping to travel 12 months ahead.

In Estonia on New Years Day people try to eat seven, nine or 12 times a day. These are all lucky numbers, and it is believed that the more they eat, the more food will be plentiful in the coming year.

How to Make a New Years Resolution

New Year's Resolution
It’s important to be aware of the psychology behind the urge to make New Year’s resolutions in the modern age.
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Hilda Burke, psychotherapist, couple counselor, and author, suggests that it’s important to be aware of the psychology behind the urge to make New Year’s resolutions in the modern age.

She said: “From my experience working with clients, most of us make action-based resolutions, which is to say: I want to learn a new language, meet a partner, lose 10 pounds, find a new job.

“While it can be gratifying (in particular) for our egos to make our intentions come true, they often fail to make us feel truly fulfilled.

“We imagine that the new ‘purposeful’ version 2.0 of ourselves will be someone we really love and others will find more attractive / intelligent / interesting.

“When I work with a client and explore what’s behind a resolution it’s often a desire to feel a certain way – to feel more accepted, to feel loved / admired by others.

“While it is certainly not a bad thing to have the intention of getting stronger / fitter / healthier or to exercise our brain and creativity, what invariably lurks under resolutions is belief. that in our current state, we are not well. “

Look back to look ahead

Career coach Liz Sebag-Montefiore suggests that reviewing the past 12 months can help you decide what you enjoyed doing the most so you can organize yourself to do more.

She said, “Look at what has caused you the frustration and irritation to see if you can downplay those aspects of your job.

“Revise your career plan and if you don’t have one, write a plan for the next 12-18 months.”

“If you have a plan, take a close look at how close you are to achieving your goals and set goals for the year. “

Leverage social media

Sebag ‑ Montefiore believes that segmenting your LinkedIn network can help target networking activities more effectively.

She said: “Then make sure your 50 key contacts are up to date on your plans, send them all a New Years email with best wishes, and schedule a meeting with each of them during the first one. quarter of 2022.

“Identify someone who looks like you on LinkedIn, someone who is in a similar position to yours, in the same industry or in a different industry, and contact them; see if you can organize peer-to-peer mentoring.

“Take a look at your LinkedIn profile, review your skills recommendations, make sure they’re appropriate, and align with what you’re telling your network about your plans and aspirations. Ask for recommendations. “

Decide to be “nice” in 2022

She added that helping others whenever possible, tracing your contacts and passing on news or information that will be helpful to them can be mutually beneficial.

She said, “Say thank you to people and let them know you appreciate them.”

Invest time on yourself

Sebag-Montefiore suggests that dedicating two hours a week is a productive path to personal development.

She said, “It can be personal or business time, but it should be downtime, when you just relax and do something you love.”

How to keep a New Years resolution

New Year's Resolution
You can increase your chances of successfully sticking to a resolution by practicing “processes and behaviors” to help you make those lasting changes in the New Year.
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Madeleine Gauffin, psychologist at Livi, said News week you can increase your chances of sticking to a resolution by practicing “processes and behaviors” to help you make those lasting changes.

“Stack” your habits

Gauffin said: “Stacking means linking your new habit to an existing one. Researchers have found that it can take an average of 66 days for the habits to become automatic, so start a new habit by adding it to something. something you already do every day.

“For example, after brushing your teeth, add a 3 minute meditation. It is crucial to create space for your new healthy habits and allow them to be part of your daily life.”

Choose behaviors that make you feel good

Uncovering the basic motivations can involve some serious soul-searching and wondering what you want out of life and if you are living the way you want it to be.

Gauffin said: “The motivation for personal and deeper change can be found by asking these kinds of questions.

“Are you creating new habits because you want to, or are you trying to make someone happy by making a difference in your life?” The motivation has to come from you, otherwise it is not sustainable.

“Choosing to do something because we enjoy it is called intrinsic motivation, as opposed to extrinsic motivation, where we are motivated to engage in behavior to gain reward or avoid punishment.

“Schedule an exercise date with a friend because it makes you feel good, or choose healthy meals because you enjoy the process of finding new recipes. “

Be flexible with yourself

Introducing new habits shouldn’t be a struggle, with Gauffin suggesting it’s okay if things in life can get in the way of achieving your goals immediately.

She said, “If your new habit isn’t realistic, set a new one. Nothing good comes from pushing or punishing. Give yourself rewards and encourage yourself instead.”

Adopt little habits

The psychologist added that starting with small, specific, concrete habits can be the key to keeping a New Year’s resolution.

She said, “Prepare to be successful with realistic goals. That way you are more likely to keep them.”


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