The History of New Year's Resolutions
Making resolutions to welcome the new year originated over 4,000 years ago, when the Babylonians made promises to the gods at the beginning of the planting season. The fulfilling of these promises was believed to determine whether an individual fell in or out of favor with the gods. There have been many other cultures recorded to have had similar practices — using the beginning of the year as a time to reflect on the past year, and make promises to fulfill in the coming year.
The biggest difference in the resolutions we make today is that they tend to be focused on self-improvement, and promises to better oneself. According to a Forbes study, over one-third of Americans report taking part in making New Year’s Resolutions. However, Fisher College of Business found that only 9% of people who make resolutions follow through on them.
Resolutions at HPNE
For our resolution wall, we encouraged employees to record all of their goals for the coming year, both personally and professionally. At all of our facilities, we designated a space around our company logo where individuals could use a colorful sticky note to record what they are hoping to accomplish in the coming year.
Participants were welcome to write their name, or leave the resolution anonymous, in the hope that all employees would be comfortable contributing. There was a wide range of responses, focusing around topics like health and wellness, showing more kindness to yourself and others, and professional milestone goals.
Interestingly, many employees shared the same goals. It has been found that sharing common goals increases accountability and creates a sense of social responsibility. If employees see they share a goal with someone else, they could make a commitment to work on it together, increasing the likelihood to meet that goal by around 65%.
Why a Resolution Wall?
Implementing resolution walls throughout our facilities served multiple purposes. Firstly, writing down your goals can make you anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully achieve them. Also, many people experience dips in mood during the darker, colder months in the beginning of the year. By creating colorful, inspirational places in highly visible areas, we are hoping to improve the moods of our employees, and inspire communal commitment to the bettering of ourselves in 2024.