Viva La Resolution! Facts about New Year’s resolutions and how to keep them

So, the Christmas Tree has dropped its last few pines on the pavement outside the house, awaiting its recycling collection. The remnants of the least favorite chocolates, rumble disconsolately around the sweetie tin, and the decorations are parcelled taped up and posted back into the loft for another year.

Forlornly we all have started back to work after the lazy food and drink-infused lay-ins and disconnected alarm clocks. Hello, 2023!

Another year has been born, another diet has been promised, and new regime beckons in the gym, “Viva La Resolution!”

No doubt like me, you have all started the new year with the best intentions. Whether this is by cutting down on smoking, swearing, being a better version of yourself, fitter, healthier, stronger, being kinder to people, kinder to the environment, being richer in many ways, or something along those lines.

Where did this tradition come from though, and why wait till the start of a new year to effect change in yourself or the change around you? Surely you should make changes with more immediacy in your life, why dwell, debilitate, or center a reset around the turn of a new year?

The tradition of making new year’s resolutions stems from 4000 years ago with a tradition called Akitu, by the Babylonians. This was part of a 12-day new year celebration, (can you imagine getting this one past HR for an additional holiday nowadays). The celebration also encompassed pledging loyalty to the then king, or appointment of a new one. It also was to worship their gods, and also plant new crops, and pray for a good harvest time. Part of the celebrations was also to promise to return any borrowed items, or pay off any debts, (perhaps the current government has been studying this, a bit too intently). The Babylonians took these seriously and stuck to them, so as not to anger their gods.

The ancient Romans then followed on from the Babylonians, (#copycats), after the introduction in Rome in 46AD, by Julius Caesar, of a new calendar for the year. Which obviously started on the 01st of January. This was done also in honor of the two-faced roman god, Janus, who looked both backward at the past year, and forwards to the incoming one. The Romans made promises of “good behavior” for the year ahead, which history showed worked out well for them over time (sic).

In the Middle Ages, Knights of auld would renew their “vows of chivalry “on the last day of the calendar year. This would entail them laying their hands on a live, or roasted Peacock, and it became known as the “Peacock Vow”, try doing that now at your local petting zoo, hello constable!

In more modern times, (ahem – 1671 to be precise), a Scottish writer called Anne Helkett, wrote some of the first resolutions in her diary on the 02nd of January, and actually titled the page “Resolutions”. Anne promised in her resolutions to stop watching Jeremy Clarkson’s ancestor’s road test the latest off-road cart, (only joking), no she actually stated not “want to offend anyone” that year, (take note, Jeremy).

In 1802, it was much widespread practice to make New Year resolutions, and also to be ridiculed for breaking them. In Boston, in 1813 a newspaper published the first use of “New Year Resolutions”.

I quote below their words:

And yet, I believe there are multitudes of people, accustomed to receiving injunctions of new year resolutions, who will sin all the month of December, with a serious determination of beginning the new year with new resolutions and new behavior, and with the full belief that they shall thus expiate and wipe away all their former faults.”

To this day the practice has remained and has been handed down from generation to generation globally.

Links: To find out more on the origins of New Year’s Resolutions, click HERE and HERE

In the USA 40% of the populace, and in the UK 22% make New Year resolutions, and the majority are for self-improvement, or to increase their well-being. From this 80% of people break their resolutions by the first week of February of the new year, and only 8% go on to stick to their set resolutions.

The rate is not going to get better folks, unless, for those of us that make them, we make the resolutions more manageable, and achievable, and manage our own expectations. So instead of saying “I want to get fit”, break this down, and join a gym class as a first step. Then take incremental ones from thereon in. This will increase the chances of sticking to a goal, by making it more bite-sized and measurable. Apply this mindset philosophy to any resolution you may make.

Links: To find out about New Year Resolutions Facts click HERE

Popular new years resolutions examples are below:

  • Eat healthier foods.
  • Take more exercise.
  • Try to lose weight.
  • Pay off debts or be better at saving money.
  • Develop, or learn a new skill or hobby.
  • Travel the world more.
  • Consume, or less binge-watching of TV.
  • Expand the mind more – read more books.
  • Do some charitable work.
  • Quit smoking, vaping, or drinking alcohol.
  • Spend more time with people that really matter in your life.
  • Give up on men/women/anyone on the gender spectrum.
  • Find a new job.

At Global Talent 2020, we can advise with some of the above, but we are experts at the last example: find a new job.

So, what is the first step? Remember what I wrote earlier? Break it down into bite-sized steps to reach that headline objective of finding a new role/job.

Somethings to consider when breaking this down:

1. Make a list.

  • Why am I unhappy in my current role – so you identify the issues you don’t wish to reoccur, and help you focus on what is important about the next opportunity.
  • Do I want more? Examples: More responsibility, more people to manage/work with, more recognition, more traveling, more hours, more money?
  • Do I want less? Examples: Less responsibility, fewer people to work with, fewer hours, less traveling.
  • Where do I want to work? Examples: more locally, want to commute to a city/countryside.
  • Do I want to learn more in my next role? Be developed.
  • The progressional prospects – longevity and stability in a move.
  • Package expectations – know your actual market worth.
  • Set a timescale for this to happen.

2. The CV.

  • Do not delay – get your CV fit and healthy, up to date, and relevant for the jobs you are hoping to apply for.
  • If you are unsure about the CV’s contents, contact a reputable Recruiter, (like Global Talent 2020), see if they can advise you on your CV potency, and be ready for the job hunt.
  • Apply and follow up on any applications – don’t just sit and wait.

3. The Recruitment Consultant.

  • Increase your chances of finding the right job for your talents, and work with a good recruitment consultancy – it’s free!
  • Get good advice, support, encouragement, coaching on interview processes, and doors being opened for you to the right opportunity.

There you go, bite-sized steps to making the right step with your career in the new year.

“Viva La Resolution!”

New Year, new job – 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit, so “hop to it”, and make that change. After all, it is only you that can but Global Talent 2020 will help you stick to your resolution.

Blog by Matthew Reeves

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