In ancient Roman mythology, Janus is a literally two-faced "god of beginnings and transitions" — one face looks to the past and the other looks to the future. And according to BrainCraft, a YouTube channel brought to you by PBS Digital Studios, Janus serves as the inspiration for how January got its name, hence the tradition of taking time to reflect and set new goals. But not all resolutions are created equal.

"The new year's resolution has long been seen as a chance to set goals and change our behavior […] they're mostly about losing weight, doing regular exercise, or saving money," says BrainCraft host Vanessa Hill. "But only 8 percent of those people actually achieved their resolution." Hill cited American psychologist Amy Cuddy, who writes in her new book Presence that "new year's resolutions are riddled with psychological traps that work against us."

Reason one: most resolutions are too ambitious, especially if they revolve around a new behavior. Often times we don't realize how much of a commitment certain goals are, like going to the gym three times a week. Hill adds that when we miss a visit, be it sooner or later, we start to lose confidence and our "new year, new me" mantra loses steam.

Another way to set your resolution up for failure is to focus too much on the details, rather than the process or steps it'll take to get to where you want to go. You can't resolve to quit smoking if you don't first consider the process, Hill said. And with too long-term resolutions like "quit smoking," it can be hard to imagine what life will be like one year later, increasing the risk you'll abandon it mid-year.

"This is why new year's resolutions can be bad for us," Hill said. "Setting goals like this can lead to learned helplessness, where we give up what we're capable of doing after we've repeatedly fail. So should we still make new year's resolutions?"

Watch the video for Hill's psychologist-approved tips for new year success.