New Year's resolutions: How many are actually achieved?

There are not many people who end the year saying they kept their New Year's resolution. 

Yet come January 1, most people are back making a new commitment to change. But how long is it before the New Year's resolution becomes a thing of the past?

It's the year old saying, 'New Year, new me'. It's a pledge to change with a chance of failure.

People Newshub spoke with have pledged a number things, including cutting out fast food and trying to eat healthier.

Others have pledged to become more engaged in the community or perhaps join the latest fitness craze.

Research shows within 14 days, 23 percent of people trying to lose the booze pick it back up.

Come February 1, around the same amount of gym goers throw in the towel. By that same week, half of smokers are back on the bad habit - and so too are a third of those who were eating healthy.

More than half of all adults make a commitment to a fresh start by making a New Year's resolution but within just a few months just 10 percent stick to it. 

It's all an idea that evolved from the Romans: making promises to the two-headed god Janus who looked back to the past and into the future.

But is the 4000-year-old tradition something that should stay in the past?

Motivational coach John Shackleton reckons setting goals can actually cause more stress than they're worth.

"If you're trying to enjoy life, have fun. Goals can often be a deterrent - they will often stop you enjoying yourself because you're so focused on them and they put too much stress on you."

His advice: try mindfulness, paying attention to experiences as they happen.

"Replace goal-setting with mindfulness - that would be a fantastic way to free the mind."