Apparently, keeping resolutions has always been difficult.
From the Springfield, Mo Express, December 30, 1881 [page 2].
The time to “swear off”.
From yesterday’s Patriot [city not named]
Next Monday is the annual day for “swearing off”. The field for good resolutions is broad and ample and there are many who will no doubt enter upon the New Year with worthy resolves. But we have frequently observed that resolutions made during the holiday season are not of the most substantial character. Some of them are thoughtlessly made and others spring from a sense of guilt that loses its force when the period of dissipation has passed away. Still they are better than none at all and we hope that a number of our friends whose welfare concerns us will test their firmness in the right during the first few weeks in January at least.
From the New Orleans Bee, January 3, 1853 [p.1]
Police Items - Quite a large number of arrests were made in the various districts on Saturday and yesterday but they were mostly the effect of an exuberant display of New Year's hilarity and as such attacked their victims merely with a temporary degree of unsteadiness which, being relieved by a nights lodging in the Watchhouse, they were allowed to go forth on the following morning with a promise not to engage in future in a fruitless chase after lamp posts and brick walls. After all, there was nothing very wrong in the matter for the people having sanctioned "License" at the polls by a large majority argued that they had a perfect right to take the largest liberty on an occasion which, by the bye, only comes off once a year. [Note: the New Orleans Bee newspaper on microfilm was on loan from the Louisiana State Library.}
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