40 to 45% of American adult make one or more resolutions each year.
Among the top new years resolutions are resolutions about weight
loss, exercise, and stopping to smoke. Also popular are resolutions
dealing with better money management / debt reduction.
The following shows how many of these resolutions are maintained
as time goes on:
- past the first week: 75%
- past 2 weeks: 71%
- after one month: 64%
- after 6 months: 46%
While a lot of people who make new years resolutions do break them,
research shows that making resolutions is useful. People who explicitly
make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than
people who don't explicitly make resolutions:
New Year's resolvers (sample = 159) and comparable nonresolvers interested
in changing a problem later (sample = 123) were followed for six months
via telephone interviews. Resolvers reported higher rates of success
than nonresolvers; at six months, 46% of the resolvers were continuously
successful compared to 4% of the nonresolvers.
Auld Lang Syne: Success predictors, change processes, and self-reported
outcomes of New Year's resolvers and nonresolvers, by John C. Norcross,
Marci S. Mrykalo, Matthew D. Blagys , University of Scranton. Journal
of Clinical Psychology, Volume 58, Issue 4 (2002).
John Norcross is a co-author of Changing