The tradition of making resolutions for the new year has been around for a very long time, and until this day, it has been a common way to set goals for oneself. But is this tradition good for your mental health and is it worth keeping?
People started this tradition way back in history. Babylonians, around 4,000 years ago, are believed to be the first ones to set goals, although back then they were more like promises and prayers to god.
Now, the goal of resolutions is mostly related to improving one’s lifestyle. According to Psychology Today, in 2017 research about this tradition has shown that 55.2% of set goals were health-related. We have all heard of “going to the gym a few times a week”, “losing weight”, “quitting a harmful habit”, etc.
Making goals for the new year may be seen as turning a blank page and setting some sort of structure in our lives. But often, the resolutions are forgotten, or they are simply unrealistic, and the failure of completing them may set a person’s mental health back.
Ask yourself: is it worth it? Instead of making a yearly promise to yourself, take care of your physical and mental health every day. If you choose to make a resolution, start small and don’t pressure yourself if you fail.
Last year I promised to improve my reading and set to read at least five books in 2020. There is just a week left until New Year’s Eve, and I finished only four books. Am I upset? A bit. Will I blame myself for not completing the resolution? Absolutely not. Instead, I will congratulate myself for trying.
Here are some realistic ideas if you feel like setting a resolution:
• Cook something new every week
• Learn to love yourself
• Get a plant and not kill it
• Go on walks every other day
• Read more books (still going to work on this one)
• Try out new hobbies
• Be kind to others