New Year's resolution

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English[edit]

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Two early 20th-century postcards bearing New Year’s resolutions

Noun[edit]

New Year's resolution (plural New Year's resolutions)

  1. A vow that one makes on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day for the coming year.
    He made a New Year’s resolution to quit smoking.
    • 1762 February 26, Seth Coleman, “Journal”, in Memoirs of Doctor Seth Coleman, A.M. of Amherst, (Mass.) [], New Haven, Conn.: Printed by Flagg & Gray, [], published 1817, OCLC 505982692, page 99:
      Felt that I had reason, from the stupidity of my heart, to fear that my New-Year's resolutions were made too much in my own strength.
    • 1850, [Elizabeth Missing Sewell], chapter XXXIV, in [William Sewell], editor, Margaret Percival in America: A Tale. [], 2nd edition, Boston, Mass.: Phillips, Sampson & Company, OCLC 503698847, page 245:
      If you direct me, on your authority as a priest of our Church, to renounce these acquaintances as dangerous, and to put by all the books of Dissenters, I am here, ready, from this moment, to obey. It shall be my New Year's resolution.
    • 1869, E[dwin] H[ubbell] Chapin, “The Book of Human Life”, in Providence and Life: Select Sermons Preached in the Broadway Church, New York, Cincinnati, Oh.: Williamson & Cantwell, publishers, OCLC 2676132, page 257:
      Young man—young woman! There [the "book of human character"] is the journal of your daily life; there is the remembrancer that records no compliments, no flatteries, only the plain honest truth; blotted it may be with passages of sin and shame, and let us hope here and there with penitent tears; dedicated, let us pray, for its future pages, with a new year's resolution that shall be answered and blessed in the record.
    • 1869, George P[utnam] Upton, “The New Year”, in Letters of Peregrine Pickle, Chicago, Ill.: The Western News Company, [], OCLC 6348618, page 78:
      I never saw but one person who succeeded in keeping a New Year's resolution, and he had pined away so rapidly in his physical and grown so abnormally in his moral man, that it was really painful to look at him.
    • 1906 December 19, Benjamin Ide Wheeler, “The Things Worth While for a People”, in Proceedings at the Opening of the Seattle Public Library Building: December 19, 1906: The Gift of Andrew Carnegie, [Seattle, Wash.]: The Ivy Press, published 1907, OCLC 7376118:
      The public library is safely and surely a blessing to the community. It drives out the dram-shops faster than New Year's resolutions. It is the friend of good manners, clean homes, and sweet reasonableness.
    • 1925 December, “In Other Departments”, in Al C. Joy, editor, San Joaquin Power Magazine, volume VII, number 12, Fresno, Calif.: San Joaquin Light & Power Corporation, OCLC 22413218, page 23, column 1:
      The railway department made one unanimous New Year's resolution,—"To work for a reduction of accidents, an improvement in service and an increase in revenue."
    • 2008, William D. Crump, “Resolutions”, in Encyclopedia of New Year’s Holidays Worldwide, Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, →ISBN, page 207, column 2:
      In a broad sense, New Year's resolutions have accompanied the world's cultures and civilizations for millennia. As far back as ancient Mesopotamia, people were resolved to set their affairs in order, clean their homes, return borrowed items, settle debts, and mend broken relationships before the turn of each year. [] The Puritans of Great Britain, a radical group of Christians born from the Protestant Reformation, have been credited with laying the groundwork for the modern New Year's resolutions in the West.
    • 2015, Leslie [A.] Kelly, “No More Bad Girls”, in New Year’s Resolution: Romance! (Harlequin Anthology), Don Mills, Ont.: Harlequin Books, →ISBN, chapter 3, page 165:
      Despite her bad-girl persona, Lex had quickly ferreted out the true Amelia, and he undoubtedly already realized she was the type who would, eventually, want the white picket fence, kids, the whole deal. Despite his New Year's resolution though … would he want all that?

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