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Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions around the world
5 min read
Updated on May 14, 2024

Have you made any New Year’s resolutions this year? Or set a personal goal to achieve? Whether it’s something as simple as avoiding an alcoholic beverage or watching TV less, goals keep us going!

Cultures around the world have marked the beginning of a new year differently. However, New Year's Day is seen as a chance for change for much of the Western world, as people make New Year’s resolutions related to their health, relationships, jobs, and productivity.

Creating New Year's resolutions (and failing to stick to them) has become something of a tradition. Let's look at how the tradition started, the most popular New Year’s resolution ideas, and other New Year’s traditions around the world.

Fill me in

New Year’s Resolution ideas from around the world

Just like traditions differ from place to place, so do the resolutions people make yearly. In 2013, Google Maps launched the Zeitgeist project (now called Year in Search) allowing internet users worldwide to share their resolutions.

The map showed that the average person in the United States and Egypt had more health-related resolutions, while Australia and Japan were looking for love. In Russia, education goals were most prominent, and in India, people seemed more career-driven.

However, there were also similarities worldwide, and the most popular resolutions included the following:

  1. Planning to exercise (stick to a workout plan or do more physical activity), eat healthier, and lose weight. Goals in this category also spoke about plans to change eating habits, and consume less alcohol.

  2. Change sleeping habits, establish good sleep hygiene or getting enough sleep, at least eight hours of sleep per night.

  3. Learn something new, such as learning a new language or craft.

  4. Saving money for a rainy day, or putting extra money aside for a beautiful holiday with their loved ones.

  5. Travel more is a resolution we support wholeheartedly!

  6. Focus on self-love, self-care, and kicking a bad habit.

  7. Make new friends and stay in contact or rekindle relationships with family members and old friends.

  8. Read and write more (especially handwritten letters and journals).

  9. Spread love and lead a fulfilling life.

  10. Focus on mental health and reduce stress.

Others promised to quit social media, earn more, save money for a home, focus on self-improvement and quit smoking.

Where did the tradition of New Year resolutions start?

The ancient Babylonians are credited for starting the New Year’s resolution tradition about 4,000 years ago. They reportedly celebrated the New Year on the first new moon after the spring equinox and called it Akitu.

They threw an eleven-day festival during which Babylonians made New Year’s resolutions to keep themselves in good standing with the gods by planning to do things like get out of debt, be less gluttonous or to return borrowed farm equipment.

Not that much different from the current promises people make for themselves each year, from putting more money in your bank account to eating healthier!

Advice about New Year’s resolutions

While there can be many reasons why New Year’s resolutions fail, it’s not impossible to stick to them if you follow some simple rules. Here are some tips to help you succeed, no matter what:

  • The best resolutions are simple and achievable. Start small!

  • Focus on tackling parts of your goal by splitting it up into objectives to reach at the end of each week.

  • Limit how many resolutions you make. Focus on one main achievement.

  • Be specific about what you want and how you plan to achieve it.

  • Write down your goals either in a journal or share your goal with friends and family so that they can keep you accountable.

  • Set up a new routine that allows you to optimize your time around your resolution.

Focus on things that will help you lead a happier life and improve your well-being. You’ll be surprised how motivating learning a new hobby can be! It is even said that achieving small goals can help reduce stress and avoid depression.

Some other New Year’s traditions around the world

In modern times, people around the globe celebrate the New Year differently. Some fantastic New Year’s traditions include:

  • United States: Millions of Americans watch the ball drop at the stroke of midnight each year. A tradition started in 1907 by New York Times owner Adolph Ochs who wanted to draw attention to the Times’s new headquarters.

  • Japan: The Japanese start off the year with a warm bowl of soba noodles. The tradition reportedly started in the Kamakura period, and it is believed that eating the long thin noodles symbolizes a literal break away from the old year.

  • Denmark: Danish people start the year by throwing old plates to bring loved ones good luck. The belief is that the more broken kitchenware you accumulate on your doorstep, the better off you’ll be.

  • Spain: Celebrate the new year with a fruity tradition by eating 12 grapes, which symbolize each strike of the clock. The tradition of las doce uvas de la suerte started in the late 19th century and is believed to ward off evil and boost prosperity and luck.

iVisa’s New Year’s resolutions

As mentioned, our favorite resolutions tend to involve traveling. It is the perfect way to clear your mind, refresh your outlook on life, and motivate yourself. Not to mention, you’ll find tons of time to read, sleep, and even practice a new language, making it a win-win experience.

iVisa can help make the entire experience of planning your travels easier. With our help, you can obtain all the necessary documents from the comfort of your home. So, make your resolutions, plan your trip and use our visa checker tool to find out which documents you need for your upcoming trip.

Top 5 places to visit in 2023

If we’ve convinced you to travel more in 2023 but you’re not sure where to go, we suggest adding these places to your bucket list:

  • Copenhagen, Denmark: Undoubtedly one of the most fashionable cities in Europe!

  • Florida Keys, United States: Get up close and personal with tropical fish on a snorkel trip, or dive to explore a famous Florida Keys shipwreck.

  • Istanbul, Turkey: Culture galore in this city that is located on two continents.

  • Lisbon, Portugal: From amazing food, to historical sights, and gorgeous beaches, Lisbon has it all.

  • Mexico City, Mexico: Many travelers who visit this vibrant city struggle to leave, and for good reason.

We look forward to helping you achieve all your travel resolutions by giving you an easy and quick way to obtain your visas and travel documents, passport renewal, and even passport photos online!

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