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Why do people make New Year’s resolutions?

The history of New Year's resolutions is said to date back thousands of years, according to History.

With the start of the New Year many people continue to set personal goals for themselves to improve some aspects of their life – this is referred to as a New Year’s resolution.

The history of New Year’s resolutions is said to date back thousands of years, according to History.

Ancient Babylonians were the first to hold recorded celebrations in honour of the New Year, which actually began in mid-March for them as this was when the crops were planted.

During the massive 12-day celebration, the Babylonians would crown a new king, or affirm their loyalty to the reigning king, and make promises to the gods to pay their debts and return any objects they had borrowed.

It was said that if the people kept their word, their gods would reward them with a favour in the coming year, if not, they would fall out of the gods’ favour.

But despite its traditional and religious roots, New Year’s resolutions today have merely become social practice.

People make promises to themselves with a common focus on self-improvement.

And although research by the University of Scranton suggests that 80 per cent of resolutions fail, the ‘new year, new me’ mantra continues to live on.

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