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The origins of New Year’s resolutions began 4,000 years ago with ancient Babylonians. According to historians, they were some of the first people to observe the start of the new year.
But, fun fact, back then they established the start of the year in late March, which coincided with the beginning of Spring.
The ancient Romans moved it to January, named after the two-faced Roman god Janus. New Year’s resolutions began at this time, during the reign of Caesar, and had a moral characteristic to them—like encouraging acts of kindness.
A new year is a threshold—a starting point for the future as we say farewell to the past. Is it any wonder we mark this time with a higher resolution to do better than where we started?
Why do people make New Year’s resolutions?
A poll conducted in 2021 suggested that around a quarter of Americans will make at least one resolution for the upcoming year.
Research shows that the vast majority of those who made resolutions were optimistic about the future (86%) and expected the new year to be better than the previous one.
Also, the younger you are, the more optimistic you tend to be.
Self-improvement is the most popular New Year’s resolution, with many people vowing to live healthier (23%), be happier (21%), lose weight (20%), exercise (7%), quit smoking (5%), and reduce their intake of alcohol (2%).
Many people also resolve to set higher career goals (16%) and improve their personal relationships (11%).
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Do New Year’s resolutions actually work?
The struggle is real; A new year’s resolution is hard to keep.
Many people will, unfortunately, fail to do whatever they decided to do for the year. Whether stopping a bad habit like quitting social media or setting a goal such as starting a new hobby, many quickly lose willpower within a few weeks.
Keeping a New Year’s resolution is a common problem.
A university study found that 77% maintained their pledges for a week, but only 19% maintained the change after two years.
There are several reasons why new year’s resolutions don’t stick. The biggest reason is likely that people resolve to do something they think they should do as opposed to something they want to do. If you don’t really want to change something, you most likely won’t do it.
Making a resolution last beyond New Year’s Eve
Keeping track of your progress is essential. Fitness apps can help monitor your well-being if you’re trying to stay fit. A journal of your efforts can also show your success rate.
Planning is also essential. A New Year’s resolution idea is not the same as an action, so you must figure out how to achieve your goal with defined milestones. Planning can also help avoid missteps along the road, like procrastination.
Attitude can make a big difference. Change is difficult, but if you take an optimistic attitude to the task, your chances of success can increase.
Reward yourself. Each time you reach a milestone, allow for a non-food reward like new workout gear. Consider posting your successes on social media to encourage your loved ones to encourage you.
Even though most resolutions fail, that doesn’t mean yours will. If you accept the reality of your challenge and are willing to implement the extra effort as necessary, there’s little reason why you shouldn’t succeed.
Big or small new year’s resolutions?
A new year’s resolution does not have to be big.
Picking up a new skill doesn’t necessarily mean learning to play the violin like a virtuoso. It can mean something simple like getting more hours of sleep or spending more time with loved ones.
Creating small, new habits like regular physical activity will likely have strong accumulative effects.
So long as you stick with your new changes, they can become part of your new routine and help create the best new year ever.
New year, new house
Big resolutions can be daunting, but they will often have the biggest results if you are looking to change your life.
A big change like a new car, a bucket-list travel destination, renovating your home, or just moving to a new one might seem out of reach due to the effort needed or maybe financial reasons.
But a lot of people have already discovered that any big problem is just many little things that need to be done.
Moving to a new location might be a big project, but it also has many benefits.
- A new location means meeting new people and getting a new perspective on your life. If your biggest complaint is that you are stuck in a rut, this can break that same-old routine.
- Starting over can easily mean hitting the reset button on your life. You can redefine yourself and your identity, allowing you to create new, healthy habits.
- New or novel experiences have been shown to improve brain health, activate the brain’s neuroplasticity, and speed up learning and growth.
As for financing obstacles, you may be sitting in a solution right now—your home equity.
Cash-out refinancing for your New Year’s resolution
Cash-out refinancing can mean accomplishing your big New Year’s resolution without resorting to a personal loan, maxing a credit card out, or applying for a second mortgage.
Cash-out refinancing allows you to borrow from the equity you’ve paid into your home and put it towards almost anything you like, including:
- Home improvements
- Exercise equipment
- Education expenses
- A bucket-list travel destination or experience
- Taking care of a high-interest debt that’s weighing you down
Cash-out refinancing will often give you a lower interest charge than credit cards. The amount available to you will typically depend on the value of your home—which may need to be appraised—and your credit score.
Once your refinancing is complete, you can use the cash to achieve your new goal while you make your mortgage payments as usual.
Get started with a conversation with one of the dedicated loan officers at Homefinity. Together, we can figure out the most affordable options for your situation and what you need to achieve your best new year.
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation dba Homefinity. NMLS#2289. 4750 S. Biltmore Lane, Madison, WI 53718, 1-866-912-4800. Restrictions and limitations may apply. All rights reserved. Equal Housing Opportunity.
Photo by cottonbro studio