A 2021 guide to New Year’s resolutions

Talia Sinclair, Contributing Writer

The new year means new beginnings, right?  New Year’s resolutions are the biggest tradition commonly associated with any coming new year, which is an opportunity for setting new goals and changing aspects of one’s life with which one might not be too thrilled.  While New Year’s resolutions are quite popular, they also can be hard to maintain as societal pressure might cause a person to set goals that are out of their reach.  Even though sometimes people make unrealistic goals, they can also be particularly helpful in maintaining motivation.  

“I like New Year’s resolutions because they are a great way to stay on track with something you have been wanting to do for a while,” said sophomore Montana Moon. 

While New Year’s resolutions are wildly popular, few know the actual origin and story behind them.  The source is said to have been from  ancient Babylon circa 4,000 years ago.  These intentions were set in celebration and honor of the beginning of the new year.  However, unlike us, their new year celebration would typically occur in mid-March rather than in January.  

Around 46 BC, Julius Caesar changed the calendar, making Jan. 1 

the beginning of the new year in honor of the pagan god, Janus.  Janus is a god with two faces and was figuratively chosen for the month of the new year as the two faces were symbolic of looking back into the past year and looking into the upcoming year.   

New Year’s resolutions are made at the beginning of the year as a way to hold oneself accountable and to set goals to succeed in the year, but businesses also make a profit on people’s insecurities and desire to fix them once the new year rolls around.  These resolutions usually consist of health, fitness, and personal betterment.  

While setting goals is necessary if one wants to improve an area in their life, sometimes people go too far when making their goals for the New Year and make ones that are unattainable.

“I think some things to consider when we make a New Year’s resolution are the size and scope of the changes we want to make.  The idea of a new year and a clean slate can feel very motivating.  We must dig deep into what our real motivations are.  Are they intrinsic – Something that we want for ourselves? Or Extrinsic? Extrinsic motivations are driven by outside factors like popularity, money, or influence.  Those are the resolutions that tend to “fall off the wagon” because we can’t perfectly live up to society’s expectations.  , said psychology teacher Ms. Kristin Stelfox.

The ultimate thing to take away from the pursuit of making a New Year’s resolution is that one must maintain attainable goals that they have the means to achieve.  When this is not done, it can be highly likely for the motivation to keep New Year’s resolutions to fall off.  If you make a resolution, do your best to fulfill it, but it is important to remember that one day astray does not mean you have to give up on a year’s worth of possibility.