Some History on New Year Resolutions.
The tradition of making a resolution on New Year's Day and trying to stick with it for a whole year has been done for centuries. Here's how modern promises to lose weight, quit smoking and work harder have evolved from humble beginnings.
2,000 BCE: Babylonians return borrowed items
The ancient Babylonians celebrated New Year's March 23 and marked the day by returning something borrowed from neighbors the previous year. It was the first time in history a New Year's resolution was made as far as historians have discovered.
154 BCE: Roman Senate and the god Janus
The Roman Senate decided to be different in 154 BCE and declared Jan. 1 the first day of the new year instead of March as before. The god Janus is often seen with two heads, one looking forward and one looking behind, which is symbolic of the ending of the old year and bringing in the new. Because the Senate resolved to change the date of the new year, making a resolution became even more prominent.
1722: Jonathan Edwards' "Resolutions"
Although not written for the New Year, Puritan theologian Jonathan Edwards wrote a set of 70 resolutions starting in 1722 that he prescribed reading at least once a week. Many of Edwards' resolutions became the basis for modern sayings such as "never lose one moment of time" or "live with all my might."
1738: "Poor Richard's Almanac"
The modern form of actual New Year's resolutions can probably be found with Benjamin Franklin's "Poor Richard's Almanac" of 1738. In it, Franklin writes why it is important to get rid of old habits and make better ones around the New Year. Franklin wrote, "Each year one vicious habit rooted out, in time might make the worst man good throughout." Franklin's almanac published the first set of true New Year's resolutions in history.
1821: Charles Lamb's essay
Published in the London Times of January 1821, Charles Lamb wrote an essay vowing to look forward to the New Year when he would enjoy the spring. Lamb's article was about leaving behind the old year, symbolized by cold winter and death, and remembering with fondness the warmth of the summer frolics with his friends.
Jan. 2, 1948: Errol Flynn makes a famous resolution, Ronald Reagan chimes in
Actor Errol Flynn makes a famous New Year's resolution still popular today. The Pittsburgh Gazette reported Flynn promised to "not make resolutions, as I once did." In the same year, Ronald Reagan also uttered the famous resolution "to believe nothing that I hear and only half of what I see."
So what's your New Year Resolution if any
Happy New Year 2011.