The practice of making resolutions for the new year is thought to have started 4,000 years ago with the Babylonians. They would mark the occasion with a massive festival and make promises to their gods that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts.
A similar practice occurred in ancient Rome when the Romans offered sacrifices to the two-faced god named Janus and made promises of good conduct for the coming year.
And for early Christians, the first day of the new year became the traditional occasion for thinking about one's past mistakes and resolving to do better.
According to recent research, as many as 45 percent of Americans say they usually make New Year's resolutions. However, only about 8 percent are successful in achieving their goals.
Clinical psychologist Joseph J. Luciani says the majority of people can not keep their resolutions unless they can back them up with the “capacity to either sustain motivation or handle the inevitable stress and discomfort involved in change.”
However, that may only be half the battle. A person's surroundings can also make it harder or easier to make changes.
WalletHub took a look at 150 of the largest U.S. cities across 49 key indicators of a location that’s conducive to self-improvement. Some of those indicators included access to exercise opportunities, access to healthy food stores, gyms and weight-loss centers per capita, median annual income, debt delinquency rates, homeownership rates, rental affordability, unemployment rate, average quality of universities, binge- and heavy-drinking rate, smoking rate, park playgrounds, fun opportunities and singles friendliness.
According to their rankings, if you live in Las Vegas, you have a pretty decent chance of keeping your resolutions. Las Vegas ranked No. 21 out of 150.
But, if you live in North Las Vegas, your chances may be pretty slim. North Las Vegas came in No. 144 on the list.
As for other cities in the state, Reno ranked No. 55.
The best city to live in is Salt Lake City, Utah, and the worst city for people who make New Year's resolutions is Detroit, Michigan.
Best vs. Worst
- San Francisco has the lowest percentage of obese adults, 14.8 percent, which is 2.4 times lower than in Mobile, Ala., the city with the highest at 36.1 percent.
- Scottsdale, Ariz., has the most gyms per 100,000 residents, 64.6, which is 36 times more than in Greensboro, N.C., the city with the fewest at 1.8.
- Fremont, Calif., has the lowest share of residents who are delinquent on their debt, 2.06 percent, which is 5.2 times lower than in Brownsville, Texas, the city with the highest at 10.75 percent.
- Overland Park, Kan., the city with the lowest poverty rate, 5.9 percent, which is 6.8 times lower than in Detroit, the city with the highest at 40.3 percent.
- Lincoln, Neb., has the lowest unemployment rate, 2.5 percent, which is five times lower than in Detroit, the city with the highest at 12.4 percent.
- Memphis, Tenn., has the lowest prevalence of adult binge and heavy drinking, 10.9 percent, which is 2.3 times lower than in Madison, Wis., the city with the highest at 25.5 percent.
- San Jose, Calif., has the lowest share of adult smokers, 9.0 percent, which is 2.8 times lower than in St. Louis, the city with the highest at 25.5 percent.
- Orlando, Fla., has the most nightlife establishments per 100,000 residents, 277.72, which is 21 times more than in Moreno Valley, Calif., the city with the fewest at 13.45.
- Gilbert, Ariz., has the lowest average wedding cost as share of median household income, 34.9 percent, which is 3.6 times lower than in Newark, N.J., the city with the highest at 124.3 percent.