A new year marks a fresh start. We make resolutions that we want to keep, but people who don’t follow the tradition may find it irrelevant. Why do we set high standards for ourselves to “better” our lives every time we welcome a new year?

A recent psychological shows that “starting fresh” has various advantages. But is there something about this specific day that makes any kind of personal change appealing? Psychology professor Katy Milkman says that we think about our lives as if we were characters in a story. We think of different stages in our lives as “chapters”, with each flipping of the “pages” bringing a new beginning. This, according to Milkman, helps us to put psychological a distance between ourselves and previous failures. It causes us to believe that our “old selves” were the ones who made the mistakes and that we will do better in the future. Still, some are doubtful about the practice’s success rate. Surprisingly, it’s higher than what people assume. Based on a recent YouGov study, 35% of those who made resolutions maintained all of their commitments, while 50% kept part of their promises.

There will be a few hindrances in any great endeavor. However, if you’re resolute in making a change, you’ll have a much better chance of succeeding.