NEW YORK — January 1st is a time when millions of people set lofty goals and expectations for themselves in the new year. Unfortunately, most of those resolutions are easier said than actually accomplished, and a new survey is showing just how frequently, and quickly, most Americans give up on their self-improvement strategies. According to the research, which encompassed 2,000 U.S. adults, all it takes is one month for the average citizen to shelve their New Year’s resolutions entirely.
By February 1st, the average respondent will have given up on their resolutions, and 68% said they usually don’t even last that long!
The survey, commissioned by Crispy Green, also found that one in seven Americans never really believe they will follow through on their resolutions in the first place.
So, what is stopping so many people from improving themselves? The top reason given by respondents was a lack of discipline (52%), followed by packed schedules (43%). Other popular responses included social pressure (40%), familial pressure (39%), and negative influence from a partner (35%).
While it’s clear that the majority of Americans don’t end up seeing through their plains to completion, for many, it’s not for lack of effort. In all, 41% of respondents said they usually try to announce their resolutions to other people in an attempt to be held accountable, and 37% often try and recruit a friend to work on their resolutions together.
Here’s a telling statistic: the average respondent would be willing to pay $15,748.19 all just to have someone hold them accountable to their resolutions.
Besides major resolutions, 75% of respondents also said that it is the little failures in life that add up to a whole lot of regret. Half of all participants said eating healthy is a common daily goal they struggle with, while staying under a budget (47%) came in second, followed by saving for retirement (42%), maintaining an exercise routine (40%), and spending less overall (36%).
The top 10 daily struggles were rounded out by learning a new desired skill (28%), cooking more (28%), drinking enough water (26%), cleaning the dishes (23%), and being kind to others (22%).
Still, despite the fact that many don’t end up accomplishing their goals, 67% of respondents said that just setting a New Year’s resolution has a positive impact on their life.
Many Americans, though, admitted that they spend too much time worrying about what other people think. A significant 67% said they worry about what the people in their life will think when they don’t accomplish their goals. Similarly, 20% said they are usually ashamed of themselves when they fail to reach a goal they had set out for themselves.
The survey also noted that, for most Americans, a day is officially written off as “bad” if four or more circumstances go wrong. A few common examples of such circumstances listed by respondents included a wardrobe malfunction (43%), losing a wallet (29%), being late (31%), and breaking a phone (25%).
The survey was conducted by OnePoll.