New Year's resolution
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, to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve their life.
This tradition has many other religious parallels. During Judaism's New Year, Rosh Hashanah, through the High Holidays and culminating in Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), one is to reflect upon one's wrongdoings over the year and both seek and offer forgiveness. People can act similarly during the Christian liturgical season of Lent, although the motive behind this holiday is more of sacrifice than of responsibility. In fact, the Methodist practice of New Year's resolutions came, in part, from the Lenten sacrifices.[verification needed] The concept, regardless of creed, is to reflect upon self-improvement annually.
At the end of the Great Depression, about a quarter of American adults formed New Year's resolutions. At the start of the 21st century, about 40% did. In fact, according to the American Medical Association, approximately 40% to 50% of Americans participated in the New Year's resolution tradition from the 1995 Epcot and 1985 Gallop Polls  A study found 46% of participants who made common New Year's resolutions (e.g. weight loss, exercise programs, quitting smoking) were likely to succeed, over ten times as among those deciding to make life changes at other times of the year. 
Some popular resolutions are:
- Promise to donate to charities more often
- Try to become more assertive
- Strive to be more environmentally responsible.
- 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 more spiritual
- Be more involved in sports or different activities
- Spend less time on social media (such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr etc.)
In a 2014 report, 35% of participants who failed their New Year's Resolutions admitted they had unrealistic goals, 33% of participants didn't keep track of their progress, and 23% forgot about them; 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, wherein resolutions are made in terms of small and measurable goals (e.g., "lost a pound a week" rather than "lose weight").
- Lennox, Doug (2007). Now You Know Big Book of Answers one of the amazing thing. Toronto: Dundurn. p. 250. ISBN 1-55002-741-7.
- Julia Jasmine (1998). Multicultural Holidays. Teacher Created Resources. p. 116. ISBN 1-55734-615-1.
- Lennox, Doug (2007). Now You Know Big Book of Answers. Toronto: Dundurn. p. 250. ISBN 1-55002-741-7.
- James Ewing Ritchie (1870). The Religious Life of London. Tinsley Brothers. Retrieved 2011-12-28.
At A WATCH-NIGHT SERVICE: Methodism has one special institution. Its lovefeasts are old-old as Apostolic times. Its class meetings are the confessional in its simplest and most unobjectionable type, but in the institution of the watch-night it boldly struck out a new path for itself. In publicly setting apart the last fleeting moments of the old year and the first of the new to penitence, and special prayer, and stirring appeal, and fresh resolve, it has set an example which other sects are preparing to follow.
- "New Years Resolution Statistics - Statistic Brain". statisticbrain.com. 9 January 2018. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
- Norcross, JC, Journal of Clinical Psychology, Vol. 58(4), 397-405, 2002
- Norcross, JC, Mrykalo, MS, Blagys, MD, J. Clin. Psych. 58:
- "Popular New Year's Resolutions - USA.gov". archive.org. 1 June 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
- Hutchison, Michelle (29 December 2014). "Bunch of failures or just optimistic? finder.com.au New Year's Resolution Study shows New Year novelty fizzles fast - finder.com.au". finder.com.au. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
- Blame It on the Brain: The latest neuroscience research suggests spreading resolutions out over time is the best approach, Wall Street Journal, December 26, 2009
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