LOGAN – New Year’s resolutions go back a long time.
Some historians tie New Year’s resolutions back some 4,000 years to the Babylonians who where the first to record celebrations of a new calendar.
During a huge 12-day religious festival the people honored the new year by either crowning a new king or pledging their support for the reigning king. Another part of their celebration was promising to pay their debts and return borrowed items. If the people made good on their commitments, they were to be rewarded by their pagan gods.
These annual promises are said to be the forerunners of our modern-day New Year’s resolutions.
In 1740, the founder of Methodism John Westley created a Covenant Renewal Service held on Dec. 29 or Jan. 1, where parishioners read scriptures and sang hymns as contrast to the sinful celebrations that were commonplace at the time. Some call the service a Watch Night service.
Today, many Christian denominations have similar watch night services to welcome in the New Year.
Cache Valley Daily reached out to members of the community to find out what their New Year’s resolutions were.
Here are some of the responses we received:
Sheryl Goody, from The Family Place, said her New Year’s resolution was to focus on the positive things when life is good and during the challenges of life. “Recognizing the good in our life can make us more resilient when difficult experiences happen. It doesn’t always come naturally,” she said.
Matt Whitaker, the director of the Cache Community Food Pantry, said his New Year’s resolution was to get out of the office and be more present in the community.
Gary Saxton of the Downtown Alliance said his resolution for the New Year was to be optimistic about the future.
Jill Anderson, executive director of CAPSA, said rather than setting a New Year’s Resolution she really just wanted to commit herself to continually find ways that CAPSA can continue to do better and better at what they already do well.
“In the new year my hope is for CAPSA and our community to increase awareness of the pervasiveness of domestic violence and sexual abuse in our community and encourage individuals to seek help from CAPSA‘s expert staff on ending relationship abuse safely, start new lives free from violence and heal from the associate trauma,” she said. “The goal for those trapped in an abusive relationship or those suffering from trauma of abuse is to feel confident to contact CAPSA and start the path to safety. I truly believe our community is amazing and as more become aware they will rally to support those we serve.”
Laurel Maughan, a Wellsville resident and a retired University of Oregon librarian, said she doesn’t set News Year’s resolutions. She just tries to do good things and when the year is done, and she hasn’t completed her list, she works on the ones she didn’t get done.
Tracy Henderson, Pioneer Valley Lodge’s assistant general manager, said her New Year’s resolution is to find joy in every day.
James Merrill, CEO of Merrill Family Holiday Sales, said, “I’ve got one shot at this life, so I want to live it to the fullest.”
Richard Hatch, a deceptionist at Hatch Academy of Magic and Music, said, “I plan to do my part in making COVID-19 disappear by getting vaccinated at the earliest opportunity.”
WalletHub, a personal finance website, said they surveyed a cross section of the country and found that nearly 60 percent of the people they checked with said their resolution would be influenced by the world pandemic.
The world will never be the same after COVID-19, 43 million Americans said. Some 62 percent of the country thinks resolutions will be harder to keep in 2021 as opposed to 2020.
And they also found that seven out of 10 people confess they cheated on last year’s resolutions.
The company suggested three financial resolutions that can help people. First is to make a budget and stick to it. Second is to look for a better job and the third is to focus on better health.