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If you’re reading this editorial, chances are you’ve already given up on your new year’s resolution. Managing Editor Christopher Fox Graham
In 2012, a little more than half the population, 117 million Americans, made a new year’s resolution. Keeping them, however, is far tougher.
According to the Rory Vaden New Year’s Resolutions Survey, roughly 18 percent of people who made a resolution in 2012 kept it for less than one day.
Some 20 percent gave up after just a week. Those who toughed out the first week fared better, with only another 5 percent giving up in the first 20 days. However, by the end of the month, another 23 percent had given up. In total, 66 percent of those who made a resolution stopped following their self-imposed rules or behavior changes by the end of January.
Another 20 percent slowly peter out by the end of three months while a slim minority of 15 percent keep their resolution more than 90 days. However, 71 percent of those who make it past the three-month mark generally finish their resolution by the end of the year, according to the study.
Although the rates for ending their resolutions remain roughly the same, resolutions are more common among younger people than older ones. Around 71 percent of those between 18 and 34 make resolutions while only 43 percent of Americans over age 35 did the same.
Is it because older people have learned through experience that they won’t keep their resolutions? Or it more that older people feel more content with who they are and their life choices and don’t see the need to make dramatic changes or set unreachable standards? Oh, the folly of youth.
Roughly the same percent of men and women make resolutions but women are three times more likely to break their resolution, although slightly more men make resolutions than women.
According to the study, what does help is having friends and family around to keep you honest and committed. People who live alone are more likely, by nearly 10 percentage points, to quit than those who live with at least one other person. Parents are also more likely to both make a resolution and keep it than people living without children, by 53 to 45 percent.
If you do intend to make a resolution, be it to quit smoking, drink less, exercise more, save money or end a bad habit, tell friends and family. While guilt can be a great motivator, having some support can keep you on track to keep your resolution all the way to the end of 2014.

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