Citizen reporter
2 minute read
31 Dec 2018
6:26 am

Researchers have charted how long most new year’s resolutions last

Citizen reporter

New Year, Same You? is a survey that charts how long new year’s resolutions last, so that new resolution makers may know when their willpower will fail them.

Picture: iStock

The survey has researched people who made some of the most common resolutions for January 2018 and pinpoints when over the year they lost interest. The survey was conducted among 2,002 UK adults who made New Year’s resolutions in January 2018. Fieldwork was conducted in November this year.

Despite the reputation of January gym goers being the biggest quitters, it is smokers who apparently need the most help to achieve their goals.

Almost half (48.4%) of people who made the resolution to give up had broken it by the first week of February. In contrast, just over one in five new gym goers (22.7%) admitted to no longer bothering by the same time.

In fact, it takes until the middle of September for half of this category to throw in their workout towels.

People wanting to cut down on alcohol face the second-biggest challenge. Despite well-meaning intentions, 37.6% of the resolute picked up the bottle again after a month last year. Almost a quarter (23.1%) didn’t even make it dry into two weeks.

Righteousness is no guarantee of perseverance either. Those who promise to donate more to charity over the year have the third-highest quitting rate by February.

Exactly one in three who said they would donate more to charity had either given up on the thought or cancelled their payments after a month.

In fact, the first two weeks of January see one in 10 people give up on their new year’s resolutions, on average, despite the intention being to pursue resolutions over the whole year.

Despite their early chance of failure, though, almost half (49.2%) of resolution adopters felt the need to make exactly the same resolution as the year before. Would-be charity donors admitted this most of all the categories – a whole 61.1% of them.

Broken promises

The new year’s resolutions with the fastest quitting rates by February are:

  • Quit smoking – 48.4%.
  • Drink less or give up alcohol – 37.6%.
  • Donate to charity – 33.3%.
  • Eat more healthily – 30.0%.
  • Improve sleep patterns – 26.5%.

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