Like shopping and increased alcohol consumption, making a New Years resolution is one of the holiday season's long-standing traditions. And even if studies have shown that most resolutions aren't fulfilled, Americans continue to set ambitious goals as the new year rolls around.

Even the federal government has a list of popular New Years resolutions on its website. From better managing stress and debt to losing weight and quitting smoking, there are options for everybody.

Around town, many were skeptical at the idea of making New Years resolutions; others simply hadn't thought of them yet. But some had already made up their minds and were willing to share.

"I want to be grateful for the good things in life instead of worrying about the little things," said Phyllis Weinstein, an employee at Mackenzies.

"I want to be closer to God," Vanitt Gilles said.

College sophomore K.C. Clark said that he would like to find the time to travel abroad by himself.

"Typically, I never really entirely follow through with [resolutions]. I think that's something everybody can relate to," Clark said. "This year, I'd really like to though."

For others, making new years resolutions simply isn't a part of the holiday season. College sophomore Ben Preziosi said that the logic of new years resolutions has never appealed to him.

"I've always felt like it's a strange concept. I've never understood the idea of making commitments just because the calendar changes," Preziosi said. "I think most college students want to improve their academic standing and just be overall good people."

For New Canaan business owners, any new years resolutions or goals are relatively simple and straightforward -- they want to ensure that their stores can survive in this harsh economic climate. The recent closure of Gramophone Video, a Main Street institution that first opened as Gramophone Records in 1974, has illustrated the challenges of operating small businesses in town. And with the U.S. economy's lagging growth, the difficulty of running a small business is ever more present.

"I want to do more business. I need business," said Jim Berry, an employee at Mackenzies.

"I just hope that our business can survive," said Ann Chou, owner of Canaan Parish Sweet Shoppe.

Jim and Margaret Wenzel, owners of New Canaan Healthfare, said that they would make an effort to shop more frequently in town and to support local businesses.

Indeed, regardless of whether one chooses to makes resolutions or not, a hope for a better economy is something that can bring all New Canaan residents together.