A New Year's resolution is a tradition, most common in the Western Hemisphere but also found in the Eastern Hemisphere, in which a person resolves to change an undesired trait or behavior.
- Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts
- The Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named.
- In the Medieval era, the knights took the "peacock vow" at the end of the Christmas season each year to re-affirm their commitment to chivalry
- At watchnight services, many Christians prepare for the year ahead by praying and making these resolutions
- This tradition has many other religious parallels.
- Stay fit and healthy-37%
- Lose weight-32%
- Enjoy life to the fullest-28%
- Spend less, save more -25%
- Spend more time with family and friends -19%
- Get organized-18%
- Will not make any resolutions-16%
- Learn something new/new hobby-14%
- Travel more-14%
- Read more-12%
The most common reason for participants failing their New Years' Resolutions was setting themselves unrealistic goals (35%), while 33% didn't keep track of their progress and a further 23% forgot about it. About one in 10 respondents claimed they made too many resolutions.
A 2007 study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people showed that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail, despite the fact that 52% of the study's participants were confident of success at the beginning. Men achieved their goal 22% more often when they engaged in goal setting, (a system where small measurable goals are being set; such as, a pound a week, instead of saying "lose weight"), while women succeeded 10% more when they made their goals public and got support from their friends.
Information from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Year's_resolution