It's a list. A list of desires, to be exact. To look at it, what one does when writing a list of resolutions is essentially, putting one's desires to ink. I want to lose weight, I want to have a lower, I want to read 12 good books- I want, I want. And barring the case where one's resolutions are forced by another hand (in which case it still a desire, merely not yours), it does appear that resolutions are, at the heart of it, a crystallization of want and desire.
Typically we discourage people from having a heart full of desire. Two reasons, greed is bad, and we don't like to remind people how dissatisfied they actually are with their lives. What's so special about resolutions?
It is that we are both the recipient and the sender. Perhaps obviously, we list resolutions not in the vain hope that somehow they will come true (ha! false premise here), but to remind ourselves to act such that they come true.
Or at least, I hope that's what we're doing. It does lead us to think along certain lines, though. Let's be honest, most resolutions fail. Could this be related to the state of mind when writing the resolution?
Perhaps people that draft resolutions while thinking only of their desires would fail. This is good to have, this is good to be. Perhaps those resolutions that are realized are expressed in terms of the costs to be paid. This is good to do, this is good to work for.
In the end, for the resolution to be resolved, we need to have resolve.