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.
What Does This Really Mean
Of course numbers only represent averages and do not reflect on YOUR personal situation. However, there are a few questions you may want to ponder as we approach 2012:
■What kind of New Year’s Resolutions do you typically set (money, health, self-improvement, or relationship-oriented)?
■ Why do you set these particular resolutions?
■ What do you hope to gain by achieving these resolutions?
■ What will you do to be more successful (than the typical person)?
■ Do you believe you will be happier on December 31, 2011 if you are successful in achieving your resolutions? If so, be aware that this is rarely the case – your attitude is more important than the results.
■ And finally, what could you do to improve your level of happiness TODAY, rather than believing your happiness lies in the future?
New Year’s Eve is just around the corner. This year, instead of looking forward to what you want, spend your time reflecting on what you have. This is especially important during these troubling economic times.
And if you do set a resolution, set a “theme-based” resolution rather than a “goal-based” resolution. This will increase your level of happiness AND participation in the coming year.