Maybe you planned to ring in the New Year with advancing your cooking skills to the next level, spending more time playing your favorite video games, watching more movies, or perhaps your ‘To Be Read’ list has gotten a little out of hand. Whatever your New Year’s resolution was, it’s the end of January, and there’s a good chance your plans have already taken a turn for the worse. Research shows that around 50% of Americans make a New Year’s resolution each year, but less than 10% of them keep the resolution for more than a few months. So, why do we make resolutions in the first place?

It all started roughly around 4,000 years ago, with the ancient Babylonians holding a massive twelve-day religious celebration called Akitu. Although this two-week-long holiday was held in March to celebrate planting new crops, it served a similar purpose to the New Year’s celebration we know today. Ancient Babylonians would use this festival to return any objects they had borrowed and make promises to the gods to pay off their debts.

Many historians consider these promises are the forerunners to our New Year’s resolutions. Humankind has been making (and breaking) resolutions for thousands of years. Let’s dive into how you can continue keeping up with your New Year’s resolution.

Make Your Goals Achievable

Wouldn’t it be great if you could complete an entire year-long goal within a week of setting it? Sounds impossible, right? There is no shame in setting smaller goals that lead to a much bigger one. Even if that goal is something like reading one chapter each week, that’s four chapters in a month, twenty-four chapters in half a year, and in one year, you will have read forty-eight chapters. By breaking up your goals into smaller steps, you will start to see progress faster, and your end goal will seem a lot more achievable. Nee d help with that? Check out this cool step-by-step plan by Book List Queen to make it happen.

Don’t Punish Yourself

We all have those days, even weeks where we just… can’t. There is nothing wrong with taking a short break from your goals. Make a promise to yourself to pick things back up again when you can and take a breather.

Do it for the Love of Reading

An essential part of having a realistic resolution is your mindset. A goal is always 10 times more achievable when your heart is in it. Even if your resolution isn’t something you totally love, there is always a way to make it more enjoyable. If your goal is to read more books, why not do it with a friend or group of friends? Having friends around who have a similar goal will help you stay accountable and make your resolution a heck of a lot more fun.

Surround Yourself with Your Resolution

Bookmans is a great resource for inspiration. Just a short walk around our stores will empower you to continue growing with your resolutions. No matter what, Bookmans always has your favorite hobbies covered, from books on exercise, art, cooking, and goal setting, to DVDs, video games, vinyl, and so much more. We’ve even got some of our very own tips and tricks to help you further your reading goals.

Don’t forget that February is Black History Month, so let the topic inspire you to hold fast to your resolutions!