For thousands of years people have seen in the New Year with celebrations and resolutions to make changes in their life. The New Year can symbolise hope and promise. Why do we do this? Is this helpful? Do we need to make them? These are all questions we are going to try to answer today.

Where Does the Tradition of Resolutions Come From?

As we mentioned, this is a tradition that spans back thousands of years. It is reported that as many as 4000 years ago, the Ancient Babylonians would make New Year Resolutions. It wasn’t just those guys either, throughout history many civilisations have practiced this. Some examples are the Romans, early Christians and of course us today.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

The resolutions looked very different back when the Babylonians made them. Their New Year was in spring when they planted the crops for the coming season. They would offer promises to their gods of clearing debts, returning borrowed things and being good people. Their belief was the harvest would be good should they keep those promises.

Throughout history the making of resolutions has been both religious and secular, however now they are quite different.

Are Making Resolutions Helpful?

Making a New Year’s Resolution can be helpful, but it is dependant on the person and how they approach them. Putting undue pressure on yourself to lose weight, pay off debts or decorate your house can be detrimental. You can cause extra stress, anxiety and worry should you not be in the right frame of mind. You need to consider your mental state and if the resolutions are achievable.

Tips for Making Resolutions that are Beneficial

Having a few of these tips in mind when thinking about making a resolution this year could make all the difference. Setting goals can have great benefits to your mental health.

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Photo by Isaac Smith on Unsplash
  • Make them achievable – choosing a goal that is wilding impossible means you will never achieve it. If you want to lose weight, don’t decide you’ll lose three dress sizes by June. Give yourself a smaller goal and then add to it once you reach the initial milestone.
  • Have a set plan to use – Plan out how you can meet the goal you have set. If paying off a debt, perhaps budget each month in advance.
  • Be flexible – remember life happens whether you want it to or not. So flexibility is vital to managing any challenge. Plan for these possibilities, for example, when paying off debts budget for emergencies. Save a little each month in case the car breaks down, or something else happens. If one month you need to pay off a little less, don’t panic. Adjust your plan as you go.
  • Give yourself enough time – Don’t expect to meet your goal inside a single month, unless it’s actually doable. Be realistic and give yourself time to achieve everything you set out to.
  • Don’t pressure yourself – All of the tips here will help ease that pressure. You need to remember to be kind and understanding towards yourself. You are working towards something, trying your best and that is good enough.
  • Get professional help if you can – with anything such as losing weight, paying off debt or some other kind of resolution, seek professional help. Don’t travel this road alone. If you have help, you are more likely to achieve your goals.
  • Have a reward for when you achieve your resolution – don’t forget to reward all of your hard work. Actually completing a resolution is a massive achievement and should be celebrated. As should you!

You will be able to find lots of tips on The Wonderment for coping with many mental health challenges. Don’t forget to join the conversation over on social media too. You can find us on TikTok, Instagram, Threads, Facebook and Twitter.

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About Author

Erika is bright, bubbly and friendly. Studying to be a counsellor, she is committed to helping others in the pursuit of better mental health. Having suffered from mental health issues herself including severe anxiety and PTSD, she wants to show others that the light at the end of the tunnel is not just a cliché!
Erika enjoys spending time with her little one, friends and family, crafting, reading, writing, music gaming, cooking, creating art, cacti and llamas.

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