Self Care: Is Loving Yourself Enough to Not Have a New Year’s Resolution?

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Self Care: Is Loving Yourself Enough to Not Have a New Year’s Resolution?

Leila Harper, Beyond the Gates Editor

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Celebrating with the intent to better oneself has been something people have been doing for about 4,000 years. The ancient Babylonians would make promises to the gods to do something: pay their debts, for example. If they kept good on their promises, the gods would think highly of them. If they didn’t, they would “fall out of the gods favor”
(Pruitt, 2015).

However, the Babylonians would do this practice mid-March during a 12-day religious ceremony, in which they crowned a new king. By 46 B.C., the practice moved up to January first when Julius Caesar adjusted the calendar to create that date as the beginning of new year.

The idea of making promises to improve upon oneself has developed and evolved into what we know today as New Year’s Resolutions. New Year’s Resolutions have become a worldwide tradition, promising yourself to use the new year to make improvements to your life. Whether it be to break a bad habit, to form a good habit, to make efforts to be healthier, to work harder, to reach outside of your comfort zone, people use their Resolutions to help themselves live the life they want to live.

However, sometimes Resolutions don’t go as planned. Statistically, only 8% of Americans follow through with their resolutions, and only 45% said they make Resolutions. Resolutions are made to uplift people about the New Year, to encourage people to start if off with a clean slate, but they can be daunting. Often, people put too much pressure on themselves and then spiral out of control. It’s okay to not have a New Year’s Resolution.

It’s not a crime to not make a Resolution. Resolutions are made for people to make adjustments to their life as they please, but not everyone has to do that. You are allowed to step back and appreciate your life as is. Trying to live up to high expectations can be toxic. It’s always good to want to better yourself, but not if it will damage your mental health. Sometimes it’s better to simply take things one step at a time. Your year doesn’t have to revolve around meeting your impossibly high expectations for yourself. Sometimes it’s just as good to step back and love yourself.

● Pruitt, S. (2015, December 30). The History of New Year’s Resolutions.
Retrieved December 18, 2018, from
● Glenn Miller, M.D. (2013). Why We Make New Year’s Resolutions, and Why We
Should | Glenn Miller. Retrieved December 18, 2018, from

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