- 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.
|image from Wikipedia|
- Improve physical well-being: eat healthy food, lose weight, exercise more, eat better, drink less alcohol, quit smoking, stop biting nails, get rid of old bad habits
- Improve mental well-being: think positive, laugh more often, enjoy life
- Improve finances: get out of debt, save money, make small investments
- Improve career: perform better at current job, get a better job, establish own business
- Improve education: improve grades, get a better education, learn something new (such as a foreign language or music), study often, read more books, improve talents
- Improve self: become more organized, reduce stress, be less grumpy, manage time, be more independent, perhaps watch less television, play fewer sitting-down video games
- Take a trip
- Volunteer to help others, practice life skills, use civic virtue, give to charity, volunteer to work part-time in a charity organization
- Get along better with people, improve social skills, enhance social intelligence
- Make new friends
- Spend quality time with family members
- Settle down, get engaged/get married, have kids
- Pray more, be closer to God, be more spiritual
- Be more involved in sports or different activities
- Spend less time on social media (such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.)
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