88% of people did not keep their resolutions through the year, while 52% were confident they would at the time of making them.

The clock ticks down to midnight, and we’re all holding hands and chanting out the numbers as we pass by them.  We all scream ‘Happy New Year!’ and grab each other for a kiss and a hug before belting out ‘Auld Lang Syne’ in front of the house, fireworks and choruses of other gatherings singing ringing out all around the neighbourhood.

Those were my memories of New Year as I was growing up, although I know of other traditions that my friends took part in.  A friend’s grandmother would always leave the house before New Year via the back door, and return after midnight through the front, to celebrate new beginnings.  In Spain, it is customary to gather in the town square and eat twelve grapes, one for each month of the coming year, and in Scotland the tradition of ‘first-footing’ takes place, where the first person to enter a house in the New Year carries good luck.

New Year has been a universal symbol of new beginnings, fresh starts and, above all, hope.  It is a chance to celebrate another 365 days on the planet, and all that has happened, and all that will happen.  In Finland, for example, a container of molten tin is thrown into water, and the shape of the tin is interpreted to mean various things that will happen in the coming year.  New Year allows us to reflect on what has happened and how it has shaped us and ponder on where that experience will take us in the future and let’s face it after 2020, I’m hoping for so much more in 2021!

Perhaps the most famous tradition surrounding New Year is the making of New Year’s Resolutions.  Quit smoking, or lose weight, the resolutions have been ever popular, and we all laugh when a few weeks later we’re tucking into the last slice of carrot cake at the work bake sale!  We shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves for breaking our resolutions, however.  A study done in 2007 by Richard Wiseman found that around 88% of people did not keep their resolutions through the year, while 52% were confident they would at the time of making them!

The trick is to keep it small and keep it real and be in the right head space when you make them. Making resolutions isn’t a bad thing if the goal is achievable; the reason we can’t always keep them is because the resolutions themselves are hard to keep.  Most resolutions are made in order to improve your life in some way, and this is why I think New Year is such an important milestone on the road to self-care.  With the rise in popularity of mindfulness over the last few years, reflection at New Year is a lovely opportunity to practice mindfulness, and take stock of where you are, and who you are. Why not check out our range of pamper box gifts and relaxation gift sets.

Making small steps to improving your health and well-being at the start of the year, whether it’s joining the gym, saving some money up for a regular spa day or massage, or making the commitment to carve time out once a week for some me-time, are small, but potentially achievable New Year’s Resolutions that you can make this year.  What is yours going to be?

January 01, 2021 — Julie Selby