New Year’s traditions and resolutions to usher in 2021


Ana López del Punta '23

Members of the Sacred Heart Greenwich community share their resolutions for 2021.

New Year’s resolutions have become a staple around the world when celebrating the turn of the year.  Countries, such as the United States, Japan, and Russia, commemorate the start of the year with their own traditions.  Sacred Heart Greenwich students freshman Caroline Clark, sophomore Maddy Abramson, junior Annie O’Connor, and senior Lianna Amoruso shared their New Year’s resolutions for 2021.

Historians believe the Babylonians, who settled in present-day Iraq, introduced the observance of the New Year.  Four hundred years ago, the ancient community celebrated with a 12-day long festival known as Akitu held in March, according to  Traditions included making promises to gain favor with their gods and reasserting loyalty to the ruling sovereign or enthroning a new king.  Thousands of years later, early Christians established January 1 as the official day to mark the New Year.  The Christians similarly made resolutions to reflect upon previous mistakes and improve their character. 

Caroline Clark ’24 strives to help her community in 2021.  Courtesy of Caroline Clark ’24

Today, New Year’s traditions vary from country to country and culture to culture, according to abc-amega.comIn New York City, New York a giant Waterford Crystal ball drops at midnight to commence the new year.  Buddhist temples ring their bells 108 times throughout Japan to symbolize removing 108 human sins.  Russia broadcasts its national anthem at midnight and in the morning, while children open presents.  Common global celebrations include spending time with loved ones and toasting to good luck and happiness in the coming year.

The making and breaking of resolutions is also a tradition of the season.  Although 45 percent of the American population make resolutions, only 8 percent accomplish their goal, according to history.comThose who wish to create resolutions should contemplate their goal before the start of the New Year to attain their objective, according to The Washington PostMaddy explains the difficulty of achieving New Year’s resolutions and how she plans to keep her resolution this year.

“In all my life, I have been notoriously bad at keeping my New Year’s resolutions,” Maddy said.  “It always seems that more important things get in the way.  This year, I have made my resolution early, as I intend to start working toward my goal as soon as possible.  I have resolved to be kinder to myself, and take good care of myself as well.  It is so easy for me to get caught up in what others think of me so that I neglect my own thoughts and my own mind.  I often find myself so caught up in helping others, that I forget about myself.  It is important for me, especially in this hard time, to remember to take care of myself as well as other people.  And so, my New Year’s resolution is to take care of myself as much as I take care of others.”

In the new year, Caroline wants to help her community by doing her part to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This year, I have felt that I have not done as much to give back to my community as I could have,” Caroline said.  “My New Year’s resolution is to help my community more.  I plan to do this by making more of an effort to practice social distancing and to continue to wear a mask and wash my hands after I go out.  I also plan to find more opportunities for me to help my community, like donating to the hospital or participating in virtual community service opportunities.” 

Annie wants to maintain her efforts in preserving the environment this New Year.  The effects of climate change are evident in our environment, however, efforts to conserve water, minimize waste, and to recycle, can help conserve the planet, according to  

Lianna Amoruso ’21 wishes to become more motivated and to receive more sleep in the new year.  Courtesy of Lianna Amoruso ’21

“One of my New Year’s resolutions is to recycle more and to be conscious of my carbon footprint,” Annie said.  “I want to make sure that I am doing my part to keep our planet clean in 2021 and beyond.” 

The challenges of the coronavirus pandemic have made it difficult to stay positive during the holidays. Many people are both coping with the death of loved ones or are unable to see family and friends regularly.  As a result, Lianna aspires to become more grateful and motivated in 2021. 

“This year, in particular, I have found it difficult to see the glass half full because of the loss and devastation of the coronavirus pandemic, and the reality of senior year during a pandemic,” Lianna said.  “As a result, my first New Year’s resolution is to write down something I’m grateful for every day.  My schoolwork and golf practice often feels rote and unavailing.  So, my second resolution is to make daily goals so I can see my progress and also to improve my planning.  My third and final resolution is to schedule more sleep and self-care for myself so I can be more ready to seize each day.  We can choose to be safe, lift each other up, and be positive, so let’s choose growth in 2021.” 

Featured Image by Ana López del Punta ’23