If you’re reading this on New Year’s Day, there’s a good chance you’ve made a few resolutions. Drawing up a new set of resolutions can be a bracing, hopeful, even comforting ritual. If you succeed, you’re the better for it, and if you fail — well, try again next year.
A resolution seems like a simple thing: a promise we make to ourselves to change. But in recent years, philosophers and psychologists have been focusing on resolutions — the promises we make to ourselves not just on New Year’s, but throughout our lives — and have concluded that there’s far more going on than we might realize.