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New Year’s Resolutions Meaning: A Complete Overview

April 26, 2024
Written and researched by experts at AvadaLearn more about our methodology

By Sam Nguyen

CEO Avada Commerce

Countless individuals embark on New Year’s resolutions every year, aspiring for positive transformation. 

As we step into a new beginning, diving into the tradition of New Year’s resolutions is fascinating. This post will unwrap the intriguing history and definition of this age-old practice, exploring how it has evolved from ancient customs to the personal goals we set today.

What Is A New Year’s Resolution?

A New Year’s resolution is a promise to yourself made at the beginning of the year. It usually involves starting a good habit or quitting a bad one to improve your life. This decision can relate to different parts of your life, like health, relationships, career, or self-growth

What Is A New Year's Resolution?

The History Of New Year’s Resolutions

The tradition of New Year’s resolutions dates back thousands of years:

Ancient Babylonians (approximately 2000 BC):

  • Celebrated the new year during the Akitu festival in mid-March.
  • Made promises to gods to pay off debts and return borrowed items.
  • Believed fulfilling these promises would bring the gods’ favor.
The History Of New Year's Resolutions

Ancient Romans (circa 153 BC):

  • Adopted New Year’s resolutions during celebrations of Janus, the god of beginnings.
  • January, named after Janus, symbolizes looking back into the past and planning for the future.

Middle Ages

  • Knights reaffirmed their commitment to chivalry with the “peacock vow” at the end of Christmas, focused on self-improvement and ethical behavior, similar to modern resolutions.

18th Century:

  • New Year’s resolutions became widespread and popular.
  • People made yearly promises for self-improvement and positive change.

Modern Era:

  • The tradition continues with people worldwide making resolutions at the start of the new year.
  • Emphasis on personal improvement, goal setting, and meaningful life changes.

10 Achievable New Year’s Resolutions For 2024

Embarking on a new year offers a canvas of possibilities, a chance to weave resolutions that inspire change and promise personal growth and fulfillment.

Here are ten resolutions tailored to make your 2024 journey richer, more purposeful, and, most importantly, achievable.

#1 Cultivate Meditation:

1 Cultivate Meditation
  • Dedicate yourself to improving your mental health with daily mindfulness activities.
  • Spend a few minutes each day meditating, concentrating on your breathing, or doing tasks that keep you focused on the present.

For instance, you can start your day with a short mindfulness meditation session, practice deep breathing exercises during moments of stress, or take walks outdoors to feel connected with your environment.

#2 Establish a Daily Hydration Habit

2 Establish a Daily Hydration Habit

Improve your health by drinking more water every day. You can start by adding just one extra cup to your daily routine. This small change can boost your overall fitness and lead to clearer skin, better digestion, and more energy. It’s a simple step that can positively impact your whole day.

Begin your day with a glass of water in the morning. This helps boost your metabolism and replaces fluids lost while sleeping. To stay on track, use smartphone apps that remind you to drink water throughout the day.

#3 Add Additional Fruits and veggies to your daily meal

3 Add Additional Fruits and veggies to your daily meal

Starting a healthier lifestyle begins with what you buy at the grocery store. You can focus on choosing lots of your favorite fruits and vegetables.

Here are some suggestions for your shopping list:

  • Green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, cucumber, and salad greens.
  • Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.
  • Seasonal fruits include grapefruit, citrus, apples, persimmons, and grapes.

#4 Reduce Screen Time

4 Reduce Screen Time

A 2024 New Year’s goal worth adopting is a monthly phone detox. The constant scrolling can lead to brain fatigue, anxiety, and feelings of inadequacy. Set a goal to fight the urge to compare yourself on social media by turning off your phone for a day, perhaps even once a week.

#5 Embrace Reading Time

5 Embrace Reading Time

Rediscover the joy of reading by committing to finishing one new book each month. Here is what you should do:

  • Immerse yourself in diverse genres, allowing literature to be a source of inspiration, relaxation, and intellectual stimulation.
  • Join a book club to discuss and gain new viewpoints. This adds a social aspect to your reading.
  • Make your reading more enjoyable by creating a cozy area with soft pillows, a warm blanket, and good lighting.

#6 Learn A New Language

Setting a resolution to learn a new language opens doors to understanding different cultures and sharpens your cognitive skills. It can be as simple as dedicating 15-20 minutes daily to an app-based language course, joining a local language club, or practicing with a language exchange partner. The key is consistency and enjoying the process of learning, bit by bit, day by day.

#7 Connect with Loved Ones

7 Connect with Loved Ones

A key focus could be connecting with loved ones, a meaningful goal that enriches your emotional well-being. You should:

  • Focus on improving your relationships by spending quality time with loved ones.
  • Stay in touch with family and friends through regular calls, visits, or activities.
  • Organize frequent family dinners or get-togethers to enjoy meals and have open talks. This helps strengthen relationships and create lasting memories.

#8 Save More Money

Saving more money doesn’t mean drastically changing your lifestyle overnight. You can begin by setting small, achievable savings goals. It could be as simple as setting aside a bit from each paycheck or cutting back on a few non-essential weekly purchases. You might be surprised how these small amounts add up over time! 

If you don’t have one, consider opening a savings account and regularly transferring a set amount. To understand your spending better, track your daily expenses for a month using an app or a notebook.

#9 Create a Bedtime Routine

9 Create a Bedtime Routine

For 2024, one achievable New Year’s resolution could be creating a bedtime routine. Committing to a consistent nightly schedule helps signal your body that it’s time to wind down, leading to better sleep quality. This routine might include reading, light stretching, or meditation to relax your mind and prepare for rest.

Here are some tips to help you fall asleep easier:

  • Stop using screens 30 minutes before bed.
  • Drink calming herbal tea like chamomile or peppermint.
  • Dim the lights as bedtime gets closer.
  • Listen to soft music or white noise for a peaceful environment.

#10 Revitalize Your Fitness Journey

10 Revitalize Your Fitness Journey

First off, how about setting a goal to integrate more physical activity into our daily routine? This doesn’t have to be overwhelming; you can start with a 30-minute walk each day or a fun dance class a few times a week. 

It’s all about finding joy in movement and celebrating the small victories. Remember, every step counts towards a healthier you, so let’s lace up those sneakers and find activities that challenge us and bring us joy!

Keeping Your New Year’s Resolution

The path to success often requires more than just intention; it demands commitment, strategy, and resilience.

New Year’s resolutions success rates

A recent Forbes Health/OnePoll survey shows that 62% of people feel pressured to make New Year’s resolutions. This pressure is slightly higher among women (64%) than men (60%).

The confidence in achieving New Year’s resolutions remains high, with 80% of people believing in their success. However, only 20% plan to hold themselves responsible.

New Year’s resolutions success rates

Most respondents (86%) think their resolutions will impact beyond 2024, with 57% expecting changes to last three years or more. Resolutions typically last about 3.74 months on average, with only 8% lasting one month and 13% making it to four months. 

Demographically, younger adults (59%), parents (54%), and those who set resolutions the previous year (86%) are more likely to embrace the tradition of setting goals for the upcoming year.

The top resolutions for 2024 are fitness improvement (48%), better finances (38%), mental health improvement (36%), weight loss (34%), and diet improvement (32%). Less common goals include more travel (6%), regular meditation (5%), drinking less alcohol (3%), and better work performance (3%).

(Source: Forbes Health)

How to keep your New Year’s resolution

Choose a Specific and Realistic Goal: 

Rather than setting broad goals like “lose weight” or “be more productive,” opt for specific, achievable objectives. For instance, commit to losing 10 pounds, creating daily to-do lists, or running a half-marathon. 

Limit Your Resolutions:

Focus your energy on one resolution instead of spreading yourself thin across multiple objectives. This concentrated effort enhances your chances of success. Break larger goals into manageable chunks to work on them one at a time.

Put Time Into Planning: 

Plan your resolution wisely and invest time in comprehensive planning. Consider the steps you’ll take, the reasons behind your goal, and strategies to stay on track. Develop a detailed written plan to navigate challenges effectively and stay committed when faced with obstacles.

Start With Small Steps: 

Avoid the common pitfall of taking on too much too quickly. Begin with small, sustainable steps that contribute to your larger goal. For instance,

  • If your goal is to run a marathon, start with jogging a few times a week and gradually increase intensity.
  • If you aim to eat healthier, replace a few unhealthy food items with nutritious alternatives.

Avoid Repeating Past Failures:

Evaluate previous resolutions to identify effective and ineffective strategies. Alter your approach to make your resolution more feasible. Adjustments enhance self-belief and increase the likelihood of achieving real results.

Get Support:

Engage the buddy system, as having a support system significantly boosts motivation and accountability. Share your goals with friends or family, and consider joining a group that aligns with your resolution. A supportive environment adds fun to the journey.

Learn and Adapt:

Treat setbacks as learning opportunities. Maintain a resolution journal to document successes, struggles, and insights. Understand your challenges, learn from them, and adapt your approach for future success.

Wrapping Up

Whether traced back to ancient civilizations or viewed through the lens of contemporary society, New Year’s resolutions embody a shared human yearning for positive change. As we transition into a new year, this tradition offers a moment for introspection and purposeful goal-setting. We hope our suggestions can be a great inspiration for you to embark on a new journey. 

Sam Nguyen is the CEO and founder of Avada Commerce, an e-commerce solution provider headquartered in Singapore. He is an expert on the Shopify e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. Sam loves talking about e-commerce and he aims to help over a million online businesses grow and thrive.