The Daily Practice of New Year's Resolutions

With New Year's coming tomorrow, people are busy making their resolutions. It's time to plan how to become better people in the coming year. Exercise more, quit smoking, improve your diet. People make resolution resolutions too like finding a boy or girlfriend, improving their relationship, or dating more often too. There are also business resolutions like being more successful and making new connections.

I'm Jewish. Like many other cultures, Jews have their own new year, Rosh Hashanah. That means I get 2 New Years, or 2 chances to make resolutions of how I'm going to become a better person. That brings up the question, why do we have such a limited number of days to make resolutions to be better people? Why can't we make this a more frequent ritual?

We can.

The New Year is a time for optimism and rebirth, but it doesn't only have to be on January 1. We can make this a part of our lives every month, week, or day. Just like there are ritual practices like meditation and yoga, the process of bettering ourselves like we do on new years can be come a practice. Instead of waiting for next year to make resolutions on how to improve ourselves, let's make this a frequent ritual. 

Sean Young PhD

Sean Young, PhD, MS is the Executive Director of the UCLA Center for Digital Behavior. I'm a scientist, innovator, and UCLA medical school professor. I study the science behind human digital behavior (see for more info about this field of research).I also assemble technology teams and solutions to improve UCLA Family Medicine patient care. For more info or to contact me: