Skip to main content
The Skinny on New Year's Resolutions

Amanda Reaume writes about retirement planning and investing. Her work has appeared on sites like Forbes, Yahoo! Finance, Time, and FoxBusiness.

Cynthia Park is a New York-based graphic designer, creating visual solutions for enterprise brands.

Do you make New Year’s resolutions, but abandon them faster than you can clean up the confetti from your New Year’s Eve party? We looked at the latest research around resolutions to find out how Canadians feel about them, and to see what you can do to improve your chances of succeeding in the new year.

The Skinny on Resolutions

3 in 10 Canadians make resolutions1

73% fail to stick to them

Despite this, 53% believe that the New Year is an opportunity for a fresh start

Whereas 88% look for ways to improve their well-being throughout the year

Resolutions Are Important!

People who make new Year’s resolutions are 10 times more likely to achieve their goals than those who don’t!2

How Do You Stack Up In Keeping Your Resolutions?

19% – Keep theirs for less than 24 hours

15% – Last one week

52% – Stick it out for one month

19% – Stay committed the whole year3

Why Don’t Some People Make Resolutions?

28% – Don’t see them as a serious commitment

27% – Set goals during the year

15% – Claim lack of willpower

14% – Don’t think resolutions are important

10% – Never stick to them anyways4

Canadians; Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions

1. Become fit or lose weight

2. Focus on financial goals

3. Travel more

4. Give up bad habits like smoking or drinking

5. Spend more time with family or friends4

Scientifically Proven Methods

If you’re hoping this year will be the one when you finally follow through on your resolutions – these tips may help. Here are 5 strategies to increase your chances of succeeding:

1. Focus on One Goal – A researcher who tracked 5,000 people with resolutions, found that those with just one resolution were more likely to be successful. (NHS).5

2. Make Your Resolutions Specific – Specific and challenging goals lead to higher performance 90% of the time6

3. Get a Partner – 53% are more likely to achieve their goals if they have an accountability buddy.7

4. Get the Right Tools – 83% of Canadians believe the right tools and equipment are critical for success.7

5. Keep your goals personal – Telling people about your New Year resolutions can make you less likely to achieve them.8


1. Ipsos Reid poll;

2. Norcross, John & S Mrykalo, Marci & D Blagys, Matthew. (2002). Auld Lang Syne: Success Predictors, Change Processes, and Self-Reported Outcomes of New Year’s Resolvers and Nonresolvers. Journal of clinical psychology. 58. 397-405.

3. Toronto Star Library;

4. Ipsos Reid poll;

5. Wiseman, Richard. How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions.

6. Locke, E. A., Shaw, K. N., Saari, L. M., & Latham, G. P. (1981). Goal setting and task performance: 1969–1980. Psychological Bulletin, 90(1), 125-152.

7. Ipsos Reid poll;

8. Peter M. Gollwitzer, Paschal Sheeran, Verena Michalski, and Andrea E. Seifert. “When Intentions Go Public: Does Social Reality Widen the Intention-Behavior Gap?” Association for Psychological Science