The tradition of NewYear's resolutions dates all the way back to 153 B.C. January is named after Janus, a mythical god of early Rome.
Janus had two faces — one looking forward, one looking backward. This allowed him to look back on the past and forward toward the future.
On December 31, the Romans imagined Janus looking backward into the old year and forward into the newyear. This became a symbolic time for Romans to make resolutions for the newyear and forgive enemies for troubles in the past.
The Romans also believed Janus could forgive them for their wrongdoings in the previous year. The Romans would give gifts and make promises, believing Janus would see this and bless them in the year ahead.
We would all look really funny without tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day!
Try It Out
Are you ready to make some New Year's resolutions? Be sure to check out the following activities with a friend or family member:
Resolutions can be goals you want to accomplish over a short period of time (short-term goals) or goals you want to accomplish over a year or many years (long-term goals). Whether you want to send more letters to your grandparents, set up a lemonade stand, spend more time outdoors, or learn something new by visiting Wonderopolis every day, it's great for you and your friends and family members to set goals! Make a list of long- and short-term resolutions and keep track of your progress.
Ask friends and family members about the New Year's resolutions they've made in the past. Which ones have they kept successfully? Which ones have they failed to keep? Ask them for advice about what types of resolutions to make and how to succeed in keeping the resolutions you make.
How do you and your friends and family members celebrate New Year's Eve and New Year's Day? Whatever you happen to do this year, take some time to talk to others about their hopes and dreams for the new year. What resolutions are they making? Make a list of others' resolutions and revisit them every month or so throughout the course of the next year. Be encouraging when you notice others struggling to maintain their resolutions, and celebrate when you notice others succeeding!