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How good are we at accomplishing our New Year’s resolutions?

A new year means a fresh start and new goals to be accomplished. New Year’s resolutions are goals that people make to achieve within the year. These goals can be changing a bad habit, continuing a healthy diet, maintaining or losing weight, or exercising daily. New Year’s Resolutions were first created 4,000 years ago with the Babylonians when they celebrated their first barley harvest. These goals might seem easy to keep up with, but how many people achieve their New Year’s resolutions?

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Around 39% of the US population make New Year’s resolutions, 59% of them being between the ages of 18 and 34. In 2022, 48% of people wanted to exercise more, making it the most popular resolution. In 2023, the three most popular New Year’s resolutions are improved mental health, improved physical health, and losing weight.

Let’s look at the top two resolutions in 2023: improved mental and physical health. According to a survey with 1,005 US respondents conducted by Forbes Health, young adults focused more on their mental health than their physical health. 20% said that improving mental health was a top priority, 16% said that improving physical health was a top priority, and 64% said they were of equal importance. 47% of women chose improved mental health as their resolution, while 40% of men chose improved mental health as their resolution. Men were more focused on improving their physical health. This is just the creation of a New Year’s Resolution, but how many people actually accomplish their resolutions?

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81% of people felt confident in achieving their goal, with men feeling more confident than women (86% vs 79%). In 2022, out of 39% of people who made resolutions, 23% failed their resolution the first week after setting their goal, 43% failed their resolution before February, and 91% failed their resolution. How come so many people fail their New Year’s resolutions? Many New Year’s Resolutions fail due to unreasonable goals. Because of unreasonable goals, 35% of people lose their motivation to continue, and 19% say they are too busy. So what did the 9% of successful people do to achieve their goals? These people are not perfect; the average amount of slip-ups is 7 per person. What allowed them to achieve their goal was their resilience and determination.

You may ask, “How can one keep their New Year’s resolutions?” Here are some suggestions:

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  • Use the SMART goal rule (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely)
  • Create short-term goals to give satisfaction to keep on going
  • Have someone make the resolution with you so you can encourage each other
  • Be fully committed to your resolution
  • Remember, delayed gratification!

Successfully achieving your New Year’s resolution will be a great feeling. Everyone will mess up, but are you willing to get back up and push yourself? It’s not too late to start a New Year’s Resolution!

Collin Park is a sophomore member of the Multimedia Journalism class.