When January rolls around, it seems like everyone brags about how they’re going to be a better person this year: “I want to run every day!” “I want to stop eating junk food!” “I want to read a book every week!”
According to the History Channel, the Babylonians were the first society to record New Year’s festivities. During this era, a new king was installed or the current king renewed his divine mandate. And to win their gods’ favor, the people would make promises, such as swearing to pay off debts or returning borrowed tools.
Now, renewing one’s self for the New Year has become a mostly secular tradition. Data from Statistic Brain reveals that about 45% of Americans usually make resolutions; of those, only 8% are successful in achieving a resolution. I don’t know about you, but I think those odds are ridiculously low.
The Babylonians are long gone, and so should the tradition of a New Year’s resolution. Why wait for one day to arrive in order to make a change? And what makes people think they will start making major transformations after one day?
I’m all for being the best you possible. With that said, most resolutions are unachievable. After making poor dietary choices all year, you’re all of a sudden going to never touch In-N-Out again? If people actually want to be better people, they need to pick goals that are attainable and actually spend the time to adjust to their ideal.
There is nothing magical about a New Year passing—time is a human construction. And a New Year does not mean a fresh start; on Jan. 1 you are the same person you were on Dec. 31.
There are 364 other days that are opportunities to improve one’s self. No single date has the authority over which goals should be executed. Commit each and every day to making yourself a brighter, better you.
P.S.—Stop crowding gyms the first week of January. It bothers all the regulars.