New Years Resolution vs. New Years Commitment

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Difference between New Years Resolution and New Years Commitment

For many people, the coming of New Year means a time of celebration, optimism, reflection, and hopes for the next year and the New Year's resolution is an important part of that ritual. At the end of every year, people take stock of their goals and accomplishments and what they can do to achieve them over the next 12 months. While this is certainly commendable, and a character adjustment is indeed often necessary, perhaps some thought may also be given to making an actual New Year’s commitment instead of a New Year’s resolution. What's the difference? Let's take a look!

New Years Resolution
New Years Commitment


A New Year's resolution is most easily defined as a promise made by an individual to oneself, most often involving the achievement of some goal or the elimination of a negative habit or character flaw. Most people for instance would have a New Year’s resolution to stop gossiping, lose weight or to save more money. This promise to oneself, of course, takes effect on New Year’s Day and will remain in effect until the goal has been achieved or the habit has been eliminated. A New Year’s commitment is pretty much the same, in that it involves a promise to oneself. The main difference is that a commitment is a promise made towards a course of action or a very definite set of goals. While a New Year’s resolution is often a vaguely defined promise involving a character trait or behavioral change, a New Year's Commitment often involves a very specific plan or a course of action, such as to achieve a certain position at work, or to start up a business.


New Year's resolutions have been traditionally done at the end of every year, and people who do so have probably made such promises for a number of years. As to whether or not such promises are actually kept varies, but the main problem is the lack of a truly sober and clearly defined goal. A New Year's commitment on the other hand, subjects the person to a definite objective or a plan of action. For instance, a New Year’s resolution may be to quit smoking, while a New Year’s commitment may involve being free of smoking by a specific day. In the same way, a person may make a New Year’s resolution to be nicer by the end of the year, while a person who makes a New Year's commitment may stop being mean to a specific person by a specific date documented somewhere meaningful.


Both New Year's resolutions and New Year's commitments need a healthy share of resolve of course, and the person must be firmly committed to achieving these goals if they are to work. But while a New Year's resolution can be fulfilled somewhat by even a minor step in the right direction, a New Year’s commitment requires a definite plan of attack. With a New Year’s resolution of being financially successful for instance, you will need to make a New Year's commitment to achieving a certain work related goal by the said date or saving a certain amount of money by then.

Similarities and Differences

New Year's resolution

  • Traditionally practiced at the start of every year
  • Is a personal promise made by an individual to oneself
  • Most often involves a behavior modification or elimination of bad habits

New Year's commitment

  • Is promise made to oneself towards the achievement of a particular goal
  • Requires a clear plan of action
  • Is often a clearly defined goal
  • Has a due date and is documented somewhere meaningful to the aspirant

Which one will you proclaim this year?
  • New Years Resolution
  • New Years Commitment

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