Is this the year you finally put your long-neglected gym membership to good use? Or maybe you’re determined to master a musical instrument or take up a new hobby? Some of you may already know what New Year resolutions you’ll begin once the clock strikes midnight. Others may still be looking for New Year resolution ideas. Whichever New Year nook you’re nestled in, our New Year resolution insights could prove very useful indeed!
Discover the New Year resolutions of Bensons’ customers and colleagues and find out how the idea of making New Year resolutions all came about.
What is a New Year resolution?
If you aren’t familiar with the concept of New Year’s resolutions, it’s all very simple really. The idea is to promise yourself to begin something new each year. This could be a hobby, a frame of mind, or something that improves your knowledge or intellect. Whatever it is you choose, the New Year resolution is usually something that will benefit either you or others. This tradition of a new start, and promise of a “new year, new you” is, for many, a hopeful and positive way to bring in the new year.
Who invented New Year resolutions?
Ancient Babylonians’ promises to the gods
There’s actually nothing new about New Year’s resolutions at all. In fact, people have been making (and breaking…) New Year resolutions for around 4000 years. It’s believed that the ancient Babylonians would make promises to the gods to pay any of their outstanding debts or to return things they had borrowed from friends and neighbours (some things never change!) If they kept these promises, they thought the gods would reward them in the following year. (1)
Julius Caesar and the new year calendar
In around 46BC, the Julian calendar was created. Similar to the calendar we use today, Julius Caesar and the astronomer, Sosigenes created the 365 day calendar, split into 12 months.(2) It was in this calendar that Caesar stated that the new year began on January 1 st. The first month of the year was named after the god, Janus, who was believed to have two faces – one that looked back at the past and another that faced to the future. (3) This made Janus the perfect representation of the transitional month of January which ends the previous year and begins the next. This symbolism of looking forward in the month of January is also thought to have inspired the concept of New Year resolutions as people looked forward to the future and away from the past.
What are the most popular New Year resolutions?
If you need some New Year goals inspiration, consider what others have said they will be trying to achieve in 2023. According to Go Compare(4), 35% of you are determined to make healthier changes to your lifestyle. 25% of those surveyed wanted to take better care of your mental health. 18% are looking for new jobs in the New Year, and the same amount want to have more of a work/life balance.
Surprisingly, this same poll shows that Environmental concerns have dropped out of the top ten New Year resolutions. However, if the planet is still top of your list of change for 2023, you’re in good company as we too have announced our sustainability plan , just in time for the New Year.
New Year resolutions for the environment
- Could you go vegan? According to the BBC, going vegan, or even cutting down on the amount of dairy and meat you eat, can have a significant positive impact on the environment(5). Veganuary is a great place to start if you are new to the world of veganism and want to dip your toe into the waters of plant-based living. As with any type of diet, it’s important that you get the right nutrition, including sufficient vitamins and minerals. The Vegan Society has some great resources which can help you this Veganuary and beyond. If you want to extend your vegan lifestyle to other areas of your life, take a look at our Slumberland Natural Solutions Mattresses which have vegan certified fillings.
- Join a local litter-picking group. Around 2 million pieces of litter are dropped in the UK every single day (6), so you’ll have plenty to tackle if you take up this hobby! Litter-picking gives you the chance to get fit and help the environment at the same time. You could even get the kids involved by getting out there with like-minded people and cleaning up your local area. Many items of litter can be recycled, such as plastic bottles, and we even use recycled plastics in many of our own products . Use a site such as CleanupUK to help find a litter-picking group near you.
- Zero waste shopping. The latest Government data reveals that less than half of UK household waste is recycled. This is a dip from previous years, so it’s time we Brits pulled our socks up and aimed for less waste! One way to do this is to shop at zero waste stores. Zero waste shops usually allow shoppers to bring their own containers in which to store and carry groceries. Many also provide pre-loved containers for shoppers to use such as glass jars or provide recyclable paper bags. Another way to cut down on packaging waste is to buy in bulk. For example, multipacks will often use less packaging than smaller options. You may want to give plastic bags a miss too and use cloth bags or rucksacks when shopping.
We're also taking steps towards a more environmentally-friendly future. Our plans can be seen in our Bensons Together Sustainability strategy.
Does a new year mean a new you?
Our recent Insta Poll revealed that over half of you sometimes set New Year goals. A massive 67% said your New Year resolutions focus on living a healthier lifestyle and many of you wanted to learn new things in 2023. When asked specifically what New Year goals you had, poll participants answered:
- Try 101 things in 101 days
- To eat regularly
- To try lots of new things
- No alcohol, back to fitness
Our New Year's Resolutions
We’re very much into New Year resolutions here at Bensons, and if you’re still looking for inspiration, take a look at what some of our colleagues are resolving to do in the coming year:
Leanne Walstow - Social Media Manager
"Instead of a New Year's resolution I'm having a word for 2023: slow. I want to slow down and enjoy the present moment more - I'm definitely guilty of constantly planning ahead and thinking about what's next, so I'm aiming for 2023 to be a year of slow living."
Jenny Hardy - Product Copywriter
"My New Year's resolution is to explore more of the world, meeting people from as many different countries and cultures as possible."
Ed Preston - Chief Commercial and Digital Officer
"I’ve just taken delivery of a fantastic new Sealy Posturepedic Orwell mattress , so my resolution is to sleep better!"
Lauren Jaques - Senior Buyer
"As for my New Year’s resolution - it's to get fit and healthy. I’ve signed back up to the gym ahead of the New Year, ready to start my fitness journey back into good health. This isn’t only to get myself ready for my wedding, but also to help clear my mind and to stop feeling sluggish and lethargic. I’m also hoping to get that feeling of motivation back and to enjoy working-out like I used to, benefitting my health, body and mind."
Sleep and the New Year
If sleep (or lack of) is at the forefront of your mind, our resident Sleep Expert, Dr Sophie Bostock may be able to help. For tips on how to improve your sleep in the New Year, take a look at Dr Sophie Bostock’s New Year Resolution Ideas for a Better Night's Sleep . In this in-depth guide to changing habits and behaviours, Dr Sophie uses her sleep expertise to give you some fantastic ways in which you can change your sleep for the better this coming New Year.
Instagram Poll results - December 2022
What's your New Year's resolution for 2023?
Try 101 things in 101 days
To eat regularly
To try lots of new things
No alcohol, back to fitness
Do you prefer your resolutions to focus on...
Learning new things 5, 17%
Living a healthier lifestyle 20, 67%
Helping the environment 3, 10%
Helping others 2, 7%
How good at you at keeping your New Year's resolution?
I'm great! 1, 3%
Bit hit and miss 21, 58%
I'm terrible! 14, 39%
Do you set a resolution every year?
Without fail 6, 15%
Sometimes 20, 51%
Never 13, 33%