Ringing in the New Year: A Look at Resolutions
Not everyone makes New Year’s resolutions, and that may have something to do with the fact that those who do often fail. Let’s take a look at the most common resolutions for 2018, and why most of us just can’t follow through.
The Resolution Rundown
40% to 45%: Percentage of Americans who make one or more resolutions each year
Top Resolutions for 2017
- Lose weight/eat healthier — 21.4%
- Self-improvement — 12.3%
- Better financial decisions — 8.5%
- Quit smoking — 7.1%
- Do more exciting things — 6.3%
- Spend more time with family/close friends — 6.2%
- Work out more often — 5.5%
- Learn something new — 5.3%
- Do more good deeds — 5.2%
- Find love — 4.3%
- Find a better job — 4.1%
- Other — 13.8%
Google searches tell us more about what resolutions people might be making for 2018. Search terms are listed on the left and the number of searches during the holiday period are on the right.
- Get healthy— 62,776,640
- Get organized— 33,230,420
- Live life to the fullest— 18,970,210
- Learn new hobbies— 17,438,670
- Spend less/save more— 15,905,290
- Travel— 5,964,130
- Read more — 4,746,560
Two of the most popular resolutions are getting a better job and improving yourself. Education is one of the best ways to do that.
- 73%: Adults who consider themselves lifelong learners
- 1 in 4: Higher ed students enrolled in at least one online course
Sticking to It
Unfortunately, most resolutions don’t last long.
Average Length of New Year’s Resolutions
- Maintained through the first week — 72.6%
- Through two weeks— 68.4%
- Through one month— 58.4%
- Past six months— 44.8%
Here Are Some Tips for Keeping Your Resolutions
Make a resolution you’re passionate about
Maybe you feel pressured by others to make certain life changes, but you’re not actually that into it. Your resolution should be something you really want and something you’re willing to work hard for.
Be specific and make a plan
Just saying you want to lose weight is too vague a concept. Have a specific goal and make a plan to get there.
Use the right tools
Take advantage of apps to keep you on track. Use online resources, including web-based classes, as needed. Invest in smart technology that you can use long past when you’ve met your goal.
Spread the word
What are the stakes of your failure? If no one knows about your resolution, then no one will care when you succeed or when you fail. The more stock you put into your resolution’s outcome, the more likely you’ll be to reach your goal.