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Main Content Origins of New Year’s Resolutions

Family campingEvery year, most Americans set goals that we intend to keep throughout the year. These goals, which we refer to as New Year’s resolutions are an attempt to better ourselves from the year before. These goals can range from losing weight or quitting smoking, to getting a raise or buying a house.

History of Resolutions

Like most other traditions, the celebration of the New Year has a long, interesting history. Below are a few facts about the New Year’s celebration and why we set resolutions:

  • People began celebrating New Years for the first time around 4,000 years ago. These celebrations first took place in ancient Babylon.
  • The ancient Babylonians didn’t have a physical calendar, but historians have since discovered that their New Year began in the spring, around the end of March.
  • The word “January” comes from the name of the Roman god, Janus. Janus had two faces – one facing backward and one facing forward. This was to show that we should always remember the past while looking toward the future.
  • When Julius Caesar began his reign in 49 BC, he made a few changes to the Roman calendar. For example, this is the time that the New Year started on the first of January.
  • This was also around the same time that people began the tradition of setting New Year’s resolutions. In those days, people set mostly moral resolutions, such as showing more kindness to neighbors and friends.

For the new year, try making it a goal to improve yourself in a variety of ways. Volunteer at a church, homeless shelter, or animal rescue. Try to do a few acts of service every week. Improve your health, either by exercising more, cooking healthier meals, or drinking more water. From all of us here at Firestone Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, we want to wish you a Happy New Year!

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