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Top New Year’s Goals 2013 [infographic]

A December 2012 Harris Poll survey of 3,036 U.S. adults identified “weight loss” as the top resolutions for the new year. Health and money accounted for two-thirds of all resolutions.

Here are a few key points from the survey, performed by Dr. John Norcross from the University of Scranton:

Top 2013 Resolutions of Americans

Weight loss 21%
Improve finances 14%
Exercise 14%
Get a new job 10%
Healthier eating 7%
Manage stress better 5%
Stop/reduce smoking 5%
Improve a relationship 5%
Improve procrastination 3%
Set time aside for myself 3%
Start a new activity/hobby 3%
Improve my work habits 2%
Stop/reduce drinking alcohol 2%
Assertion/learn to say no 1%
Other 5%

The difficulty of committing to change

When asked to think about past New Year’s resolutions and efforts to change, Amercians found difficulty in the following:

Getting started and motivated 26%
Getting prepared and an action plan 6%
Actually changing my behavior 24%
Avoiding relapse into my old behavior in the first couple of months 16%
Slipping quietly back into my old routine over time 28%

Maintaining a goal

A 2002 survey of New Year’s Resolutions, again by Dr. Norcross and published in the University of Scranton Journal of Clinical Psychology, followed up with people to see how well they maintained their goals. Interestingly, his study compares the success rates of resolvers (those already active in making a change) and nonresolvers (those simply contemplating a change). See what a difference positive action makes:

Interval Resolvers Success % Nonresolvers Success %
1 and 2 weeks 71% 51%
3 and 4 weeks 64% 17%
3 months 50% 16%
6 months 46% 4%

Look at those numbers for 6 month success rates! To put this in perspective, if you start the new year already acting on your goal you are more than 11 times more likely to achieve your goal than if you were just thinking about it.

The 4th most popular goal in the survey above (Get a new job) and the 11th (Start a new activity/hobby) both tie into another popular goal: Get a better education. If you want to start a new career path, or learn a new skill we can help you find the school that’s right for you.

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Additional Source: Statistic Brain

Top New Year’s Goals 2013 [infographic]

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