New Years Facts and the Most Popular Resolutions

We’re half way through the month and some of us are staying true to our New Year’s Resolutions.  Some of us – not so much.  Why do we make New Year’s resolutions?  We did some research and we found two conflicting accounts of the history of their observance.  Both accounts date back to ancient times.

Some believe it began with the Babylonians 4,000 years ago, stemming from their religious practices.  At the beginning of every year, they made vows to their gods promising they would return all borrowed items and repay every debt.

Some believe it came from the Romans around 153 B.C.; also religious in nature.  The Romans based their resolutions on their god, Janus, who was always depicted with two faces.  That made him the perfect symbol to start a new year.  This placement put him in a strategic position to look back and see the old year while, at the same time, to peer forward to view the new one ahead.  That’s why they named their first month after him, January.

Today, it’s estimated that 45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions.  Year after year, the most popular resolutions have been to lose weight, volunteer to help others, quit smoking, get an improved education, acquire a better job, get organized, spend less and save more, enjoy life to the fullest, and stay fit and healthy.

For more New Year’s facts check out this fun infographic of New Year’s facts like how many people watch the ball drop on TV, popular New Year’s foods around the world and how many admit to falling asleep before midnight.

Are you staying on track and keeping your resolutions?  What New Year’s resolutions have you made for 2014?

– S.O.

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