We make them, we break them and we do it all over each year.
Whether it is losing weight, increasing wealth, improving health or just trying to be a better person, many of us strive for some form of renewal with the dawn of a new year.
The ancient Babylonians made promises to their gods that they would pay their debts and settle accounts at the beginning of their new year.
A 2007 study by Professor Richard Wiseman of the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom involving 3,000 people showed 88 percent failed to keep their resolutions.
Despite the odds against them, people continue to project their hopes into the coming new year.
Reporter Andy Gross and photographer Marisol Díaz interviewed random Riverdalians from the Knolls to the city line. Here’s a sampling of the resolutions they shared in the waning days of 2013.
Ms. Connaughton, the owner of Mary-Anne’s Irish Gifts on Riverdale Avenue, said she hoped to run more in 2014. The Riverdale resident and member of the Van Cortlandt Track Club also wants to compete in the New York City Marathon.
A probationary fireman at Engine Company 52, Mr. Rivera said his goal for 2014 was “to stay healthy, eat right and stay in shape” for his job, which he said he loved. “I think it is best to set simple goals.”
Mary Kostides, 85
Ms. Kostides said she resolved to be “more organized and more patient with people she might have misunderstood in the past” as she shopped along Kappock Street. She said she also hoped she might have more patience in 2014.
Cieran Bowling, 15
Waiting for a bus in south Riverdale on the last Friday of 2013, high school student Cieran Bowling vowed to change his eating
habits. “I definitely want to cut back on sweets, especially chocolates,” he said.
Pallavi Damidi, 34
At the Starbucks in the Target Shopping Center at 225th Street, Ms. Damdi said her New Years’ resolution was to fall in love. She also mentioned she might like to save some money in 2014.
Tamina Davis, 20
Lacing up her skates at the Van Cortlandt Ice Skating rink, Tamina Davis, a senior at Hunter College, said that her New Year’s resolution was to graduate.