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Research: Statistics on new year's resolutions


How many people make new year's resolutions? How many keep them? For how long?

See also: How to set goals.



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.
Source: 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 For Good.


See also:

- Setting goals: Let your felt sense guide you

- How to make & keep new year's resolutions

- New year’s resolutions: How to change your life



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