«New year’s resolutions have a long history. The Babylonians pledged to return borrowed objects and repay their debts at the start of each year, while the Romans kicked off January by making a vow to the god Janus (from whom the month takes its name). That’s centuries of potential for broken promises.
Psychologists recently proposed that, for behaviour change to occur, people must have the capability, opportunity and motivation to make it happen. Often people aren’t making resolutions for the right reasons, says Gardner: “They think that because it’s new year, they’re obliged to say they’ll change their behaviour. But once they face the reality of what they’re doing, they give up because they aren’t motivated enough in the first place.”»