Happy New Year! Now that we’re officially in January, many of us are making our New Years Resolutions. Have you ever wondered why we do this every year? It goes all the way back to the ancient Babylonians! 4000 years ago, Babylon had a celebration every March called Akita. This was when they celebrated the new year. The festival lasted 11 days, and during this time the Babylonians would make promises to their gods to pay their debts and return any objects they had borrowed. If they kept their promise, the gods would bestow favor on them in the coming year. The tradition continued in Ancient Rome. Julius Ceasar introduced the Julian Calendar around 46 B.C., setting the first day of the year as January 1. This was chosen to honor the god Janus, the god of new beginnings, transitions, time doorways and endings. The Romans would start each year by making promises and sacrifices to Janus. Today, it’s estimated that 40-50% of us make New Years resolutions – however 88% of us fail. A 2007 study found that men achieved their goal 22% more often when they set small, measurable goals.
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