January is a month that invites change. And change can be a good thing. Things like a fresh haircut, new sheets and a shake-up to an old routine can all be positive.
What can be frustrating, however, are the things that don't change, even when they desperately need to.
Now, I could go all philosophical or even political on this topic but this time of year - every year - I can't help but think about one thing: why do we still insist on making New Years resolutions, when - for the majority of us - it is little more than some personal branding and maybe a social media post every December 31?
Taking it back a notch - or two - the entire reason we have resolutions extends back before New Year's also welcomed January.
Next time you pledge to start using that gym membership you bought on four years ago, you should think of the Babylonians, because it is believed that the yearly tradition on making promises to improve ourselves dates back to their 12-day festival which marked the beginning of their new year every March.
Along with making these resolutions the Babylonian's 12-day festival also included a yearly humiliation of the king.
The high priest would undress the king and slap him hard in the face. If the king shed a tear it was believe the the god Marduk approved of his reign for another year. This has nothing to do with New Year's resolutions so consider it a bonus fact.
But, getting back to the main point, while you are gearing up for that #fitspo life with nothing but pure motivation standing between you and your goal, the Babylonians believed that if they didn't follow through with their promises there would be godly repercussions.
While the threat of sudden doom is sure to make anyone follow through on their resolutions, their promises were also more measurable and arguably more achievable, such as returning borrowed items.
But, I say arguably more achievable because while simple, these resolutions still had a plan in place, with steps to follow in order to achieve the goal.
Isn't this what most modern New Year's resolutions are missing - a plan or even just the will to follow through with it?
Fast forward a couple of millennia and the Romans - who were responsible for establishing January 1 as the beginning of the year - had a similar practice.
While they didn't have the 12-day festival, they did make promises for good conduct in the coming year to the god Janus.
So, it does beg the question, do we need a religious element to succeed at New Year's resolutions? Of course not.
This is good news for the 79 per cent of Aussies who made resolutions for 2020. However, it's also news that will only prove to be correct for the 8 per cent expected to succeed.
I'm not here to rain on your parade and tell you that 2020 is not the year that you lose weight or get out of debt. Truth be told, you are able to achieve every single one of your goals.
But maybe we should all just take a tip from the Romans and realise that Rome wasn't built in a day. And even if it was, it doesn't have to be January 1 - there are 365 other days in 2020 (thank you, leap year).
Just because 'New year, new you' makes a good social media caption, doesn't mean that's the only time you can reassess your life and try to improve. No matter what the gym advertising leads you to believe, you have just as much of a chance of succeeding at improving yourself on any other day of the year.
In fact, I would argue that you have more of a chance at succeeding any other time of the year.
A time where there's not the expectation that you're going to fail by January 31. A time when you have more motivation and more accountability than that provided by the inevitable New Year's social media post you published.
But here's a thought - why do you even have to tell the world about what you're setting out to do?
And does the world even care about your attempt at being a better you?
I know people who have set up Instagram accounts solely for document their healthy eating, new fitness regime and even their journey to get out of debt.
Like I said, the argument is that it makes you accountable. That you have a following that you need to keep up to date with your 'relatable' struggles.
Obviously they're not really relatable posts. They're social media relatable because the amount of people who broadcast their reality on social media is very slim.
This yearly ritual of people saying they're committed to a cause and failing to actually do anything aside from broadcasting it to the world is predictable.
Ironically, the season which markets itself as a time to make changes for the better is the one thing that never actually changes. Nowadays, at least.
Looking back at how the New Year was welcomed thousands of years ago and it's wholesome that all they wanted to achieve was to return something they had borrowed. But wholesome or not, they still probably got the job done - even if it was because they believed a god was watching.
And they would have got the job done without telling their whole network about it.