I am quite certain that new year resolutions don’t really work, are more wishful thinking (gyms are full in January and empty in February), except when you are registered for a course, study hard and pass.
New resolutions but old habits. The paradox of new years resolutions is that you get into the new year with new ideals but you are still carrying the old habits.
I have personally never been successful with positive resolutions, but have been with stated negative year-end rules: in 2007 (never be late for meetings, submission for the year 2008 which worked well by injecting redundancies, and seems to have effortless carried over to today) and 2012 (no more neglecting writting and reading, with weak exceptions).
Intuitively this makes sense. Easier to eliminate some bad practice, rather than doing something new. We’ll try in 2014.