SO, how are those new year’s resolutions going? Still at the gym/not drinking/on your diet? Well, be warned, today is Ditch New Year’s Resolution Day.


No comment.

Indeed, January feels as though it’s in its 52nd week and we are barely half way through. It’s a long old haul, particularly when you have to get through it without your crutch of choice, from chocolate to a glass of red wine, because you decided on December 31 that it was a good idea.


What’s it all about anyway?

New year's resolutions are said to date to around 4,000 years ago when the ancient Babylonians made promises to the gods at the start of their new year in mid-March to pay their debts.


Thousands of years on…?

It’s tough to stay strong as January trudges on, with today also referred to as “Blue Monday”, a term that originated nearly 20 years ago when a UK firm, Sky Travel, said they had determined the third Monday in January to be the most depressing day of the year, having calculated the date using an “equation".


Our willpower is low?

It's regarded as a particularly difficult day because we are all cold, it’s still dark for so long, we are still paying a price for Christmas spending and are usually struggling to keep our new year's resolutions on track, with 2022 posing the extra challenges of the continuing pandemic.


So our new year’s resolutions are at risk?

The origins of 'Ditch Day' are uncertain, but it has grown in momentum each year, with supporters calling for us to abandon our resolutions guilt-free, accepting that we may have got a bit carried away at the clean page offered by a new year and taken on a bit more than we can chew, advising us to ‘let it go’. Some stores even hold ‘Ditch Your New Year’s Resolution’ sales, with prices slashed on items like biscuit barrels.


The odds are stacked against us?

Every year, about half of us make resolutions and by February, 80 per cent of the resolutions fail. One study found 35% of participants who failed said they had unrealistic goals, while 33% said they didn’t keep track of their progress and 23% simply forgot about their resolutions. About one in 10 people who failed said they made too many resolutions.


But some of us will still plug away?

For those of us who stay strong, Ayelet Fishbach, a professor of behavioural science at the University of Chicago - and author of new book “Get It Done: Surprising Lessons from the Science of Motivation” - told Scientific American magazine: “Looking back at what you’ve done reaffirms your commitment. If you’re unsure whether a goal is worthy or whether you can do it, look back at what you’ve achieved. Looking ahead makes you realise how far you are from your target. If you’re already committed, you’ll want to make more progress when you look ahead.”