Each week our two teenagers debate a hot topic. This week ... Dennis Wu, 17, St Joseph's College New Year resolutions are empty promises: do we really need to cheat ourselves, year after year, with blatant lies? We are lazy by nature and unwilling to improve. When was the last time you really carried out the resolutions you made? And when was the last time you fulfilled the promises you made to yourself? The resolutions we make are usually too demanding and simply not achievable. What are our chances of actually getting in shape, achieving flying colours in exams or living an environmentally friendly lifestyle? The odds are against us because of human nature. Unfulfilled resolutions leave us disillusioned with our lives and frankly, I don't think we deserve to go through that painful process every year just because we have set goals too high for ourselves. To get what we really want, we need much more than a desire to change. Will power determines whether you can shed that extra weight or get straight As in exams. If you want something badly enough and can change your mindset and habits, you will eventually get what you want. You need to change yourself before you can make things happen; the world is not going to change just because you want it to. New Year resolutions won't change anything if you don't have the will. If you happen to be a weak-minded person like me, I suggest you scrap the resolutions and just enjoy the holidays. Esther Pang, 16, Diocesan Girls' School With the Christmas cheer and goodwill going around, many of us are drawn into the joyful mood. Then the new year rolls in - and the desire for a 'new start' sees us making New Year resolutions. But even as we're making these resolutions, some of us wonder if we're wasting our time, given we'll probably succumb to old habits before January's over. Take heart: these long lists of good intentions aren't pointless. All resolutions stem from a desire to do right, to correct wrongs we have done. New Year resolutions can be beneficial. We may not be able to keep most of them, but think about it from another angle: once, every year, we reflect on the last year. Is life going the way we want it to? Are we acting the way we should, doing the right things, making the right decisions? This is our chance to face up to our not-so-smart moments in the past year, to criticise ourselves without getting defensive. Others can - and probably have - told us about our faults but nobody likes criticism, especially if it's true. If we are the ones doing the criticising, however, we are likely to genuinely develop a desire to do better. The good intentions may never be more than warm fuzzy feelings if we don't take action to reform ourselves, but it's a good first step. If we don't face our own weaknesses and think of solutions to rectify them (actually implementing solutions being another matter), we will never change.