The Number of People Who Stick to Their New Year's Resolutions Is Very Low
Find out how many people keep their New Year's resolutions—and how you can be one of them!
The most common New Year's resolutions are usually centered around getting healthy or simply living life to its fullest. However, despite your best efforts to usher in a new era of health, fitness, and overall well-being in 2020, research shows that even the most resolute among us are likely to lose steam in their pursuit of personal betterment pretty early on in the year. A landmark 1988 study out of the University of Scranton found that while 77 percent of people who committed to a New Year's resolution stuck to it for a week, only 19 percent of those who made resolutions actually fulfilled them within two years. And the statistics have only gotten worse over time: According to a survey by Statista, only four percent of people who made New Year's resolutions in 2018 said they kept them. So if you can stick to your New Year's resolutions this year, you'll definitely be in the minority.
Of course, there will come a time when your willpower will be tested. But will you be one of the many who gives in and gives up, or will you be among those who actually stick to their New Year's resolutions? Unfortunately, once again, research shows that the odds are not in your favor: Data from the athletic social networking site Strava reveals that the second Friday in January is the most common day for the formerly resolute to start waving that white flag when it comes to their New Year's resolutions. That means by Jan. 10, 2020, most of us will be New Year's quitters.
So why do so many people ditch their resolutions after such a short period of time? As Chris Berdik, a science journalist and the author of Mind Over Mind explains, it's because people typically set long lists of lofty, unattainable goals for themselves rather than small ones they might actually be able to stick to. "I'm keeping my resolution list short," he told Forbes in 2013. "My earlier laundry lists made it easier to abandon." In short: The more realistic you make your resolutions, the more likely you are to achieve them.
More than anything, to ensure that 2020 is your year of self-improvement, registered dietician and nutritionist Vanessa Rissetto recommends practicing patience—both with yourself and the goal you're trying to achieve. "If you gained 12 pounds over the holiday season, why do you think you can lose it in a week if it took basically 12 weeks to gain?" asks Rissetto. "If people just trusted the process, they would fare better. No quick fixes—just hard work on the road to success."