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The invention of a good intention

At the end of every year, millions of people worldwide reflect on the 12 months they're leaving behind, and dream of the 12 ones that lay ahead. Most of us see the new year as a clean slate and are suddenly filled with hope and motivation to reach all our goals - like that we dedicate this time to think about the famous New Year's resolutions to make the next year even better than the last.

Check out the top 10 resolutions around the world. Does any sound familiar?

  1. Exercise more

  2. Lose weight

  3. Get organised

  4. Learn a new skill or hobby

  5. Meet new people

  6. Save more money/spend less

  7. Quit smoking

  8. Travel more

  9. Read more

  10. Live life to the fullest

Despite the best of intentions, once the fresh new year's magic wears off - whether it's 2 days or 2 months after - most people struggle to fulfil their plans. Many studies have actually proven year after year that approximately 80% of the global New Year's resolutions fail.

As content experts, we're particularly fond of this tradition, and we've challenged ourselves to find a way to change that rate and make sure we all succeed with our new year plans. For this reason, we've decided to share with you a special article to make the most of this New Year, and those to come.

Let's start with the basics: When and where does this tradition come from?

The first record of New Year's resolutions comes from the Babylonians, over 4,000 years ago.

As they based their years on the agricultural seasons, their New Year started in mid-March. And at this time, they held a 12-day festival to celebrate the renewal of life, called Akitu. During the Akitu festival, they would make promises to their Gods to pay back any debts or return any borrowed objects from them. If they stuck to their word, it was believed that the Gods would favour them for the upcoming year.

History proves it to be a natural habit in human psychology since the beginning of time as there have been many different ways resolutions have been celebrated around the world - however different, the principle remains very much the same: making promises that will lead to a successful year.

How can we make the most of this?

A simple list on a piece of paper or your phone that will eventually get lost or forgotten is not enough. For your resolutions to be successful, you need a strategy. Here are some tips that will help you:

  • Be specific - avoid vague objectives that can be easily cheated out of.

  • Make it viable. The higher the goals, the harder to reach them - be realistic!

  • Set deadlines - like mini milestones along the year. Create a sense of urgency to get them done.

  • A detailed plan - consider what tactics you will use when you're faced with challenges.

  • Be SMART - make your resolutions specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.

Our special gift to you

To guarantee success, we have created a template to help inspire you to make your dreams a reality. You can print it out and put it somewhere visible so it can remind you daily of what you want to accomplish.

BYU New Years Resolutions Template
Download PDF • 3.60MB

At BYU, we think making New Year's resolutions for your business is just as important as in your personal life - not only are you making these promises to yourself but also to your users.

We wish you a happy new year and best of luck in your resolutions!

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