As the seasons turn and this year becomes last year, many people take advantage of the arbitrary date change to vow to make changes in their life, habits or personality.

The vocalisation of one of these vows becomes known as a New Year's Resolution.

Most of these resolutions, being things that people have failed to change up until this date are doomed to failure. Common themes are: weight-loss, giving up an addiction such as smoking, undertaking rigourous physical activity and so on. A few hardy individuals succeed, but by 1 February, most resolvers have seen their good intentions crumble and feel like failures, once again.

A more positive approach is to select a single project or ambition and resolve to achieve it during the following twelve months. This kind of resolution has a higher success rate, since, in general, what is required to reach it is focus, and it is unlikely to result in disruption of the resolver's entire life.

Whichever your preferred style, I recommend making it a policy to always have one resolution that is guaranteed to succeed. Personally, I usually go for something like "I will not take up hamster-molestation/mass-murder/sundry other exotic perversion this year". That way, at the end of the year you can hold your head high and declare "Well there was at least one resolution I kept to." (Hint: it is usually a good idea not to tell people what it was)

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