Is there something about the calendar flipping over that impels us to make changes? Why wait? Is it "easier" to change at the New Year- really? This has always puzzled me...If I am unhappy with myself about something, I would rather do something about it right away instead of postponing the change until January 1st. Is it really true that people more likely to succeed in their decisions because it is a new year?

Happy New Year (almost), Jai

asked 31 Dec '09, 00:45

Jaianniah's gravatar image


edited 31 Dec '09, 17:36

Vesuvius's gravatar image


Statistics show people are unlikely to succeed with their 'resolutions' at New Years.

I think people make their resolutions then because of the time, and how people tend to think about it. Things are segmented up.

For example, people on a diet or exercise routine may start their day off 'badly', say, they eat a large pizza for breakfast. They then decide that since they did that, they may as well just cheat the whole day and then "tomorrow" they'll start again fresh. So, they eat more bad food, or skip the rest of the exercise that day.

We are attracted to the idea of 'new beginnings' or a 'fresh clean slate' (for getting things we desire - while having the opposite currently). The day example can be extended, to a week (I'll start it at the beginning of the week - rather than in the middle)...or the next month, or the next year etc. Whenever something appears 'new' and 'whole' (as in, there is a whole year ahead of me, or a whole day) it is chosen over something that appears 'in part' i.e. I can change for part of the day.

The key then, would be to get people to think smaller - and consider every second a 'new fresh moment - I have a whole second ahead of me!' But that is harder to do because people think "what can I do with a whole second?"


answered 31 Dec '09, 01:03

Liam's gravatar image



The new fresh moment thing gave me a moment of pause...Must consider that. Could be a profound awakening!

(31 Dec '09, 01:09) Vesuvius

I like your answer; it is so true! (and I am guilty of that type of thinking many times, I admit!)

(31 Dec '09, 04:14) LeeAnn 1

It's not so much that people put off setting goals until the first of the year, as it is that the new year reminds them that another year has passed (oh my, where has the time gone?), and they realize they forgot about last year's goals by the time February came around, and basically got nothing accomplished from their list of goals. So they set new goals, and promise themselves they won't forget about them again this year!

Then, next year, they do it all over again.


answered 31 Dec '09, 01:04

Vesuvius's gravatar image


+1 for truth...

(31 Dec '09, 01:05) Liam

It's because they don't want their goal strongly enough to say "I need to change RIGHT NOW." It's the ultimate procrastination tool. "I will do that next year." When people desire something strongly enough or detest something badly enough, they will make a change right away. New Year's resolutions aren't resolutions so much as they are good ideas for change. It's something people think they should do, as opposed to something they see that needs immediate attention. I am a former drug addict. When I finally realized what a mess my life was, I changed that day, that moment. I didn't wait until the new year. I didn't have time to wait. I guarantee that if a doctor told you that you have diabetes, you would not wait until January first to change your diet. You would change immediately. Because it would be important to you.


answered 31 Dec '09, 12:36

Konrad's gravatar image


Really, it is just another fun thing to do, after Christmas. It is a New Year, and making a New Year Resolution is a part of our culture everybody is doing it, and it is a good conversation piece to start off the New Year. One of the first things that most people would ask you on New Year's day is: What is your New Year Resolution for 2010? So, as it seems, we are expected to act, and behave in this manner, or we can refer to it as a common tradition in our society.


answered 31 Dec '09, 06:58

Inactive%20User's gravatar image

Inactive User ♦♦

I do agree that it is the fact that people realise that another year enter code here has passed and they are now a year older and they have still not managed to change something in their lives that they want to improve or are not too happy about.

However, I would like to point out that a lot of these New Year's resolutions do not last very long. The most common New Year's resolution is to lose weight and/or get fit by joining the gym. What happens is all the gyms get new joiners after the New Year and are packed as far as February or early March but then most people can't really cope with the new change in their lives and usually end up quitting the gym and going back to how they were before the New Year.

This gives some insight into the fact that we should not wait for the New Year to make changes in our lives. We should change because we really want to change and using the New Year as the time to start might not be the best idea.


answered 31 Dec '09, 12:13

Pink%20Diamond's gravatar image

Pink Diamond

I think because we symbolically think of every new year as a new beginning instead of a continuation which it really is. This new beginning or fresh start idea has potential, kind of like, "well last year I messed up but that year is over with so here we are at a new year, a brand new start to get things right this year! This year is going to be different, I'll learn from my mistakes of last year." Unfortunately so much emphases is placed on new starts begin at a new year that if a resolution is broke after the new year has started it remains broke for the rest of the year, like that was it, you only had that one shot at change. It gives an excuse, "well I tried at lest!"


answered 31 Dec '09, 14:00

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Wade Casaldi

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