Where Do New Year's Resolutions Come From?

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The oldest known New Year's resolutions date back to the Babylonian festival of Akitu, which occurred around 2000 B.C. Since then, individuals and groups from various cultures have resolved to renew allegiances or set new goals each New Year, according to Purch.

Akitu was set at the beginning of the spring harvest in March and was a time of oath renewal to the gods and the king. If there was a new king, he would be crowned during the festival. If the same king was still on the throne, oaths of loyalty would be given. The Babylonians would also promise to pay off old debts and return any objects they had in their possession that were not their own.