CLARK, NJ - 2015 has arrived! For many people, this New Year means a new beginning for them. They see it as a fresh start, a way to begin a new, improved life. So, in order to achieve this goal, they develop New Year’s Resolutions for themselves so they can work to become the person that they dream of being.

The idea of New Year’s Resolutions began with the ancient Babylonians who, at the beginning of each New Year, made promises to their gods often regarding paying off debts and returning borrowed object. Since then, many other cultures and religions have engaged in similar actions at the beginning of each year by praying or making promises to their god(s) or a supreme being.

Kelly Vena, a senior at Arthur L. Johnson High School, said that her resolution is “to be more kind to people and to try and look at things through others’ perspectives before jumping to conclusions or judging them.”

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Some of the most popular resolutions that are made at the beginning of each new year are to donate more to the poor, become more assertive, improve one’s physical or mental well-being, or to spend more time with family. Also, one resolution that occurs most often is to improve oneself through organization, reducing stress, losing weight, becoming more confident, or having a positive attitude.

Mark Spence, also a senior at ALJ, did not make a resolution for the upcoming New Year. However, he feels that, by making a resolution, “it is nice to have an idea of what you want to improve upon throughout the year.”

A 2014 study conducted by the University of Scranton and reported at indicated that approximately 45 percent of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions and 38 percent absolutely never do. A mere eight percent actually achieve their resolutions.

The study found, encouragingly, that those who do make resolutions are ten times more likely to attain their goal than those who don’t bother at all.

New Year’s Resolutions have allowed people to do great things in the New Year. Through making resolutions this year, 2015, can become a new beginning for many.

Happy New Year!  

Editor's Note: Amanda Merten is an ALJ student and a member of the TAP team at ALJ.