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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
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; https://www.ipsos.com/sites/default/files/publication/2015-12/7096-pr.pdf
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; https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2013/01/01/new_years_resolutions_by_the_numbers.html
4. Ipsos Reid poll; https://www.ipsos.com/sites/default/files/publication/2015-12/7096-pr.pdf
5. Wiseman, Richard. How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions. https://richardwiseman.wordpress.com/2011/12/28/how-to-keep-your-new-years-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; https://www.ipsos.com/sites/default/files/publication/2015-12/7096-pr.pdf
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
This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.