From the first Definition from Merriam-Webster's Dictionary Online.
Main Entry: res·o·lu·tion
Etymology: Middle English resolucioun, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French resolucion, from Latin resolution-, resolutio, from resolvere
Date: 14th century
1: the act or process of resolving: as a: the act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones b: the act of answering : solving c: the act of determining
Making a New Year's Resolution?
Not me; I think they just about set you up for failure. Why wait until 01/01/09 to resolve to change/make better/to resolve issues? If you're aware of a problem or something that needs to be addressed why not just go for it instead of waiting?
I understand - new year, new life, new resolve; it all goes so well together.
How about...next year, when you discover something you want/need to change you just go for it? Start a "new year" for yourself on your own terms (with your own date! give yourself a reason to celebrate a year from some random date in March or June or August or whenever...): especially when you're talking about things like your health (smoking, drinking), the health of the planet (recycling, reducing waste, eating organic foods), the well-being of others (donate time and money now!) etc. - can those things really wait? Aren't you just cheating yourself and others by putting this off?