Statistics Brain has the results of a survey from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, USA. The results were published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology in January 2014. This includes a list of the top 10 new years resolutions for 2014.

Survey says…

Rank Top 10 New Years resolutions for 2014
Lose Weight
Getting Organized
Spend Less, Save More
Enjoy Life to the Fullest
Staying Fit and Healthy
Learn Something Exciting
Quit Smoking
Help Others in Their Dreams
Fall in Love
Spend More Time with Family
News Years Resolution Statistics Data
Percent of Americans who usually make New Year’s Resolutions 45%
Percent of Americans who infrequently make New Year’s Resolutions 17%
Percent of Americans who absolutely never make New Year’s Resolutions 38%
Percent of people who are successful in achieving their resolution 8%
Percent who have infrequent success 49%
Percent who never succeed and fail on their resolution each year 24%
People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions
Type of Resolutions (Percent above 100% because of multiple resolutions) Data
Self Improvement or education related resolutions 47%
Weight related resolutions 38%
Money related resolutions 34%
Relationship related resolutions 31%
Age Success Rates Data
Percent of people in their twenties who achieve their resolution each year 39%
Percent of people over 50 who achieve their resolution each year 14%
Length of Resolutions Data
Resolution maintained through first week 75%
Past two weeks 71%
Past one month 64%
Past six months 46%

What I take away from this research is:

  • Amongst the top 10 resolutions, health and wellness related goals dominate the list at numbers 1, 5 and 7.
  • Amongst all goals, Self-Improvement related goals are the most common (47%, almost half).
  • 8% of people succeed in their goals, but only a portion of the population actually bothers to set a resolution to begin with, so the success rate is actually much lower than 8%. Those are terrible odds! Keep reading for tips on how to improve your own success rate.
  • Most resolutions don’t stick through the long-term, with only 46% lasting beyond 6 months.
  • However, the study also shows that “People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.” It’s unclear from the data how they determine this…so I’m just taking their word for it for now.

Do resolutions actually work?

The statistics show that they do work, and that people who make a resolution are 10 times more likely to attain goals vs people who don’t. However, the fact that only 8% of resolution-makers actually succeed in achieve their goals (and most don’t last longer than 6 months)…shows there is a lot of room for improvement.

How can we make resolutions that stick?

I’ve written a few posts that touch on this subject, so I won’t rehash it here. Check out these two posts:

How to Motivate Yourself Quickly and Easily

5 Tips for Conquering Your Goals

If you want to further improve your chances of making resolutions that stick for 2015 and beyond, I recommend using the proven Motivated.Life 7-step goal setting plan. It is a simple process that is guaranteed to help you set and crush your biggest goals ever.  Just enter your email address in the form below and we’ll email it to you.

This goal setting approach will get you focused on what really matters for the next year and why. It will also get you clear on how to tackle your big goals and motivate you to take massive action right away to make progress.

Don’t let your dreams wither on the vine. Take the time to set powerful goals, and see them through.

Live your dream,


Published by Ravi Raman

Executive Coach + Yogi + Endurance Athlete