The end of the year is a time for reflection on how far we've come, and an opportunity to consider where we'd like to be. That's where New Year's resolutions come in. Around 60% of people make resolutions when they flip their calendars, but only 8% stick to them. So what are these self-improvement goals people are making and quickly forgetting? Here are some of the most common New Year’s resolutions.
Spend More Time with Family and Friends
With the amount of time people spend at work, quality time with friends and family usually falls by the wayside — and after a year like 2020, we're all missing our nearest and dearest more than ever. Even during normal years, this resolution makes the list for 13% of people. Try putting a few get-togethers on your calendar now (they don't have to be in-person! Phone dates or group FaceTime sessions also fill the bill) so that you have some quality time on the books. Then stick to it.
Find Another Job
A shocking 85% of Americans claim they’re unhappy with their jobs. So, it comes as no surprise that finding a new job continually makes the list of most common New Year’s resolutions. Although your schedule might be packed, if you’re serious about following your dreams, you need to make the time. Allocate two or three hours per week to look for potential opportunities.
The next step is to take networking seriously. More than 60% of employers hire by referral. Constantly look for opportunities to meet others in the field — think of it as an opportunity, not an obligation.
For 17% of people, their New Year’s resolutions include reading more. Set aside specific times of the day to read. That will get you into the habit of doing it daily. Just make sure it's a schedule you can stick with. It’s also important to know what you like to read. If you enjoy fast-paced mysteries and capers, don't pick up Shakespeare or War and Peace to start the year. Jumping into something that doesn’t truly interest you is a sure-fire way to fail at your resolution.
Also, consider taking advantage of books on tape. If your goal is more about consuming and enjoying more books rather than the act of physically sitting down to read, subscriptions to Audible or renting recorded books can allow you to getting your "reading" in while washing the dishes or taking a shower.
Learn a New Skill or Hobby
Life often gets busy with work and other responsibilities, it's often your hobbies that fall by the wayside. Twenty-six percent of people choose learning a new skill or hobby as their New Year’s resolution.
The trick to making sure your hobby remains a hobby is by setting aside specific times to work on it. Make it into a habit and don’t allow it to get pushed aside. Tell your friends and family about your goals and schedule, so that they can help to hold you accountable.
Save More Money
Thirty-two percent of people make saving more money a resolution. The first step is to set specific goals. “Save more money” is vague. The more specific your goals, the easier they will be to follow — is there a set amount you want to put into an emergency savings account, or do you need to put away a certain amount per month in order to have a year-end trip fully funded? People tend to work harder when the know they’re working toward something.
Almost two-thirds of people have a new exercise routine they want to try out in the new year. A fun trick to get you into the exercising mood is instead of making a resolution to exercise more, make a resolution to change into your workout clothes immediately after coming home from work (or laying them out next to the bed so that you can put them on first thing). Getting started is the hardest part, and once you’re in your exercise gear, you might as well work out, right? Forcing yourself to take that first step could push you toward keeping up your exercise routine.
The most common New Year’s resolution is to diet or eat healthier. Around 71% of people put this resolution on their list. This one is hard to keep because there’s no specific target to reach. Eat healthier can mean any number of things. Set small, specific goals that you can stick to.
It’s also important to make your goals attainable. If you love eating pizza and pasta, perhaps reconsider your resolution to remove carbs from your diet entirely. That’s a recipe for failure.