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New Year, New Skills?

New Year, New Skills?

Friday 7th January 2022

This time of year we hear lots about New Year's Resolutions. Many people look to have a few resolutions to achieve during the year, these range from fitness based goals, financial goals or professional goals. What many people don't think about is where did the concept of New Year's resolutions come from?

New Year resolutions are said to have started with the ancient Babylonians some 4000 years ago and were the first to hold recorded celebrations to mark the new year. Although this was not in January but in mid-March when they planted crops. This practice continued in one form or another until during the ancient Roman period where emperor Julius Caesar introduced the Roman calendar in circa 46 B.C which had the new year begin on the 1st of January. It is said that it was named after the god of Janus which had two-faces and represented looking into the past and the future year ahead. The Romans offered sacrifices to the deity and made commitments of good conduct in the new year (sound familiar?).

New Year's resolutions appeared to be common by the 17th century. In 1671, New Year's Scottish writer Anne Halkett wrote a diary entry that contained several pledges such as "I will not offend anymore". Anne wrote the entry on January 2nd and titled the page "Resolutions".

For Christians, the first day of the new year became the traditional occasion for reflecting about one's past mistakes and resolving to do and be better in the future. In 1740, the English clergyman John Wesley, founder of Methodism, created the Covenant Renewal Service, most commonly held on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day. Also known as watch night services, they included readings from Scriptures and hymn singing, and served as a spiritual alternative to the raucous celebrations normally held to celebrate the coming of the new year.

In the modern day, people make resolutions for themselves rather than gods or other spiritual means. The focus of the tradition is on self-improvement, with people taking time to reflect on their goals. Whilst many people make their resolutions, research shows that 80% of people break their resolutions by the first week of February and that only 8% achieve their goals at all.

What are your goals for the new year? Do you look to gain procurement qualifications or learn new skills to improve your work? If you are looking for development in your procurement career, contact us on 0113 4333 495 or speak to and join the 8% who achieve their resolutions.