The month of January is named after the Roman god Janus who had two faces, one that looked backwards into the old year and one looking forward to the new. He was the god of gates, doors, archways, beginnings and endings. In this month people would typically make some resolutions with a moral flavor i.e be good to others.
Centuries later and now we make resolutions to quit smoking, lose weight and give up caffeine. Not quite in the spirit of the original intentions but you get the picture.
I personally don't make New Years resolutions. I think if you're going to make a change in your life, you shouldn't wait for the turning of a calendar page to do it. You should do it whenever you're ready to commit to making a change in your life.
Case in point. The gyms are PACKED at this time of year. They are making a killing on new memberships from people who are determined that this is the year they are going to get into shape. Honestly, I hope that every single person that joins a gym in 2012 sticks with it. That would be awesome. But in my experience, changes that are made spur of the moment or with no real thought or planning typically don't result in permanent long term changes.
But here's to a happy and healthy new year. May we all stick to our resolutions with ease and determination.