The origin of the New Year's resolution
很多人会在一年之初给自己制定各类计划和目标，对过去曾犯下的错误进行反省，改过自新。人们每在新年之际为来年制定自我提高计划这个概念从何而来？各个国家有哪些相关的习俗和传统？本文介绍 “新年决心” 的起源，并讲解与 “期许、承诺” 有关的词汇。
Step 1 Vocabulary词汇表
New Year’s resolutions and promises 词汇: 新年决心与期许
a clean slate 从头开始、既往不咎
turn over a new leaf 翻开新篇章，改过自新
reflect on 反省、回想
refrain from 忍住不…
take an oath 宣誓、立下誓言
Step 2 Reading and understanding.
Happy New Year! For many in the UK, if the New Year means anything, it means starting with a clean slate and turning over a new leaf. And to do this, many of us make New Year's resolutions – a list of ways that we intend to improve ourselves in the year ahead. We reflect on our past transgressions and resolve not to do them again. Refraining from smoking is ever popular, as is a vow to take up more exercise or spend more time with family. But where does the idea of a New Year's resolution come from?
The answer might lie 4,000 years ago in ancient Babylonia, according to History.com. The Babylonians are believed to be the first to hold recorded celebrations for the New Year. The 12-day-long celebration, Akitu, allowed them not only to reaffirm their loyalty to the king, or crown a new one, but also to pledge to the gods to pay their debts and return borrowed objects. For their 'good behaviour', they believed the gods would bestow favour upon them for the year to come. If not, there would be divine consequences!
The Romans too had similar traditions. New Year's Day was a time when senators would swear they had upheld the laws and city leaders and soldiers would take an oath of loyalty to the emperor. Incidentally, the month of January, is named after the Roman god Janus. He is the god of beginnings, transitions and time, among other things and is depicted as having two faces – one looking to the past and the other facing forward to the future.
The Romans may be long gone, but their legacy lives on. Come the turn of the year, our eyes turn inwards. We look at self-improvement, review our past mistakes, confess our wrongdoings, seek atonement and try to sharpen up in general. Ultimately, much like the Babylonians and Romans, we seek to reaffirm the best parts of ourselves, while leaving the dross behind.
Whether you're looking at a quick behavioural tweak, or a huge personality overhaul, you're taking part in a tradition that goes back centuries. I wish you all the best sticking to your resolutions. Happy New Year!
Step 3 测验与练习