Something Old, Something New

Here it is.  2019.

A new year, a new you.

You know the expectation and the routine. It’s habit.  A new year means a NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION.

History says humans have been making resolutions for about 4,000 years, starting with the Ancient Babylonians to appease their gods.

Today, it is estimated that nearly half of all Americans will make resolutions to ring in 2019.

Gym memberships increase. Sales of vitamins, athletic clothes and date planners rise. All for the resolve that the new year brings.


Why do we make resolutions?

“Psychologically, the start of a new calendar year creates changes in our mind set,” Psychologist Glenn Miller, M.D. said. “We hearken back on prior year’s events that have passed and our thoughts drift to what could have been, what we could have done better.”

Basically, the doctor said, a brand new calendar year marks for novelty and a fresh start.


New gets noticed.

Your brain is more acutely aware of something when it is new or different. Science has shown it. Researchers even have a name for it. They call it the ‘novelty effect.’

The novelty effect is a short-term boost in performance or productivity caused by an increased awareness or interest.

That’s fancy talk for — your brain notices something new and then reacts more.

In fact, sometimes, we may seek it.

“Consumers derive utility from collecting new experiences,” researchers Anat Keinan and Ran Kivetz said.

“…Consumers choose novel experiences not for the sake of immediate pleasure but rather for the opportunity,” the study pointed out.

So, things like a new fitness tracker around your wrist, or a new planning calendar can spark an immediate boost in production. Simply the fact that they are new and different can be the spark that so many resolutionists need.


scrabble resolutions

  • It’s a new year — hit the rest button.
  • Find something NEW that sparks the motivation in you.





Norcross, John C. Auld Lang Syne: Success Predictors, Change Processes, and Self-Reported Outcomes of New Year’s Resolvers and Nonresolvers. Journal of Clinical Psychology. April 2002. Vol. 58, Issue 4, Pages 397-405. DOI: 10.1002/jclp.1151. Note: content for reference only. Read the original publication

The Psychology of New Year’s Resolutions.Original written by Mark Griffiths, Nottingham Trent University. Jan. 01,2016. Note: content for reference only. Read the original article

 The History of New Year’s Resolutions. Original written by Sarah Pruitt, Note: content for reference only. Read the original article

 Science-based tips for a better, happier New Year. Original written by Gerry Everding, Washington University in St. Louis. Note: content edited. Read the original article


Niall McCarthy Infographic chart Statista; 02 Jan 2019. 

Miller, Glenn M.D. Why We Make New Year’s Resolutions and Why We Should. 

Berlyne, D.E. Novelty, Complexity, and Hedonic Value, Perception & Psychophysics (1970) Vol. 8, Issue 5, Pages 279-286. DOI 10.3758/BF03212593 

Kienan, Anat, Kivetz, Ran. Productivity Orientationand the Consumption of Collectible Experiences. Journal of Consumer Research, Volume 37, Issue 6, 1 April 2011, Pages 935–950. DOI 10.1086/657163

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