Did you make New Year’s Resolutions?

Ringing in the new year comes with friends and family declaring all sorts of New Year’s resolutions. By early February, I’ve heard countless resolutions from more nutrient dense eating to traveling to new places.

A December NPR/PBS/Marist Poll found that 44% of Americans, the same percentage as last year, say they are either somewhat likely or very likely to make a New Year’s resolution for 2019. However, a YouGov poll from around the same time showed that 48% of Americans think New Year’s resolutions are pointless.

The same poll showed exercising more and eating healthier as the most popular New Years’ resolutions nationally. Rounding out the top of the list are saving money and losing weight.

Another recent poll found that among people who want to eat healthier or diet, they were most likely to try a low carb diet, calorie restriction, or keto diet.

The research also found that among those who resolve to exercise more, the most common resolutions were “work out 3 or 4 times per week” and “go to the gym more often.”

Among those resolving to exercise more is Representative Kevin Brady (R-Texas), who said, “Honestly, mine will be to start exercising and getting in shape. It’s something I haven’t been able to do for two years and I need to.” Adding that if he sticks with it, “I’ll look like Paul Ryan.” Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD), not only resolved to exercise, but to make others, saying “My New Year’s resolution is to take new members of the House on hikes in Rock Creek Park on the weekend.”

Even with these ambitious resolutions, the same YouGov poll found that 80% of Americans agreed that “most people probably don’t stick to their New Year’s resolutions.” In addition, 22% admit that their 2019 resolutions are the same as their 2018 goals.

That’s not surprising given University of Scranton research that found that only 77% of people make it through a week of their New Year’s resolutions and 55% stick with it for all of January. By six months, only 40% of those who had made a New Year’s resolution were still sticking with the goal.

Even with a significant number of Americans abandoning their resolutions, I still like to set some every year. In mid- February, I am still going strong on my 2019 resolutions, and am hopeful I won’t need to pick them again for 2020!

Public Opinion Strategies