As we bring in the new year and think about what we would like to accomplish in 2015, some of us participate in the tradition of making New Year's resolutions. The THERAPY-IV would like to look at where the tradition of making New Year's resolutions comes from.
We know that all through history, all over the world, there have always been traditions that celebrate the beginning of a new year or season with a specific focus on renewal and rebirth. Though, the idea of having new year's resolutions to make improvements in your life, may be a mostly American tradition.
According to sociologist, Isidor Thorner, in Oxford Journal in 1951, the tradition of making new year's resolutions started with Protestantism and the British background of the country. According to Thorner's today's New Year's resolutions are a more relaxed version of what they originated with the Protestants.
Thorne also found that countries that are English Speaking with a Protestant background like
England, Wales, Scotland,
Northern Ireland and
had traditions of making New Year's Resolutions. South Africa
When the tradition of New Year's resolutions began, people's resolutions were more spiritual and new year's eve most likely consisted of a service to welcome in the new year. Nowadays, instead of spiritual type resolutions, we are more likely to make resolutions have to do with getting healthier. It seems that even in our recent past, in the 1940s in this country, resolutions were a bit more spiritual, with a top resolution being to "improve my disposition, be more understanding, control my temper," while those polled last year said that their top resolutions were about losing weight.