A History of New Year’s Resolutions and “Dry January”

New Year reliably comes around once a year, every year, and so do New Year’s resolutions. Setting fresh goals at the beginning of each year has existed for millennia. However, its original purpose and appearance differed from how we apply it today.
The History of New Year’s Celebrations and Resolutions
According to records and opinion, the ancient Babylonians were the first to celebrate the year change and set resolutions around 4,000 years ago. Although their new year began in mid-March to coincide with when they planted their crops, an extensive 12-day religious festival, Akitu, was held. The Babylonians made various promises to the gods to garner divine favor in the coming year.
The ancient Romans also celebrated the new year with promises and offerings to the deity Janus, with January holding a special meaning. Symbolically, Janus looked ahead to the future and backwards to the previous year. Early Christians also emphasized attending church ceremonies on the first day of January while resolving to improve.
Despite the popular custom’s religious and spiritual origins, modern New Year’s resolutions are mainly secular. The practice is considered fun, with resolutions not as daunting as promises to the gods may have been. Research suggests that while almost half (45%) of Americans set goals in January, only 8% stick to their resolutions1. Among those who do take their New Year promises to heart are the growing population of “sober-curious” Americans and those observing “Dry January.”
What Are “Sober-Curious” and “Dry January”?
Drinking alcohol can be fun, especially when socializing or celebrating. Hangovers, headaches, after-party regret, and long-term negative consequences are not. As an alternative, the sober curious movement embraces sobriety to leverage the benefits of avoiding alcohol, such as improved health, sleep, concentration, mood, and control over decisions.
At the same time, being sober curious doesn’t mean total abstinence. Instead, it means exploring and enjoying the advantages of staying sober most of the time. In response, sober challenges such as Dry January and Sober October encourage consumers to take a healthy time out from drinking. The break can be for a week, a month, a year, or indefinitely.
Alcohol Change UK launched its annual Dry January campaign in 2012 to promote a new discussion around alcohol. It encourages everyone to “ditch the hangover, reduce the waistline, and save some serious money by giving up alcohol for 31 days,” with the campaign catching on worldwide.
According to CGA, over a third (35%) of U.S. adults participated in 2022, up from 21% in 2019. In addition, almost three-quarters (74%) succeeded2. For those exploring sobriety, another alternative to occasional or “tiger-striping” alcohol consumption is choosing no-alcohol “alcoholic” beverages.
The Rise of No-Alcohol “Alcohols”
According to Forbes, 2022 sales of no- and low-alcohol beverages increased by over 7%, a growth exceeding a market value of $11 billion, with non-alcoholic beer and millennials the most significant growth drivers. While 18% of users are abstainers, the remainder also consume regular-strength alcohol3. This surge is due to increasing demand and advances in no-alcohol beverage production.
However, how do beverage manufacturers create satisfying no-alcohol versions of consumer favorites? The secret is in the flavor, aroma, and mouthfeel of the ingredients, such as those from Advanced Biotech.
Help Drive a Sexier, Safer Sobriety With Advanced Biotech
Advanced Biotech offers 100% natural, pure, and EU-certified taste and aroma molecules. The range includes distillates, natural aromatics, pyrazines, extracts, oleoresins, heterocyclics and sulfurs for authentic flavor and fragrance, and Koolada for a cool, refreshing sensation in the mouth. Please contact us for more information.

1 https://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/
2 https://www.today.com/health/dry-january-what-it-what-are-benefits-women-t146331
3 https://www.forbes.com/sites/katedingwall/2022/12/23/the-no-alcohol-drinks-market-surpassed-11b-in-2022/?sh=4ce15a55689a