On the eight day of Christmas my true love gave to me eight maids a milking, traditionally representing the eight beatitudes as related in Mathew 5:2-9. It is in this light that January first is the date chosen by many to make one or more resolutions to improve both their own existence as well as that of those around them, to codify if you will some ethical agenda to accomplish a degree of personal or universal improvement.
Yes, of course that promise might be as simplistic as stopping eating candy for the following month, or as serious as donating a percentage of income in perpetuity to a favorite charitable organization. The value of this pledge is not necessarily to be measured by the effect, but rather by the purposefulness, the discipline by which it is approached and fulfilled by the assurer.
Having goals, looking forward to accomplishment, positively seeking improvement, these are futures that inspire the betterment of human nature, providing kudos in an oft unfulfilling span.