Of course it's tradition to create a New Year's resolution at the strike of midnight. The community as a whole gets into it as well.
Way back when, the first day of a the Babylonian year was considered to be March 23, and a common resolution was their custom of returning something borrowed from a friend over the course of the previous year. A common resolution in ancient Rome was to seek forgiveness from enemies of previous years. Among the many customs associated with the Chinese New Year is housecleaning, frequently found today on lists of the most common New Year’s resolutions worldwide.
With all the junk we now face, most people resolute to drink less, eat healthier and start exercising. If you've ever been to the YMCA at 5pm the 2 weeks after New Years, then you know every one had the same idea on their minds.
This year, I'm not making any resolutions. Why should I promise to do things that I should already be doing. Eat healthier, be nicer... shouldn't I already be doing this? Resolutions are a bad excuse to do a good thing. And, unless you physically write yours down for all to see, how many of us actually follow-through with them into the next year. (YMCA traffic usually dies down late-February and early-March.)
Instead of a New Year's resolution, I think I'll just start being nicer and eating healthier. ;o)