What’s the most common resolution? You can probably guess
Research shows that about 60% of Americans set New Year’s resolutions the coming year. Here are the 10 most popular resolutions:
- Lose weight (eat healthy, exercise) — This is the No. 1 resolution for Americans year after year, and it’s no wonder. The National Center for Health Statistics estimates that 39.8% of Americans aged 20 and older are obese, and that another 31.8% are overweight. By now, most everyone knows that the keys to losing weight are eating healthier — more fresh fruits and vegetables, less bread, sweets and dairy — and exercising more — gym memberships skyrocket every January.
- Get organized — This can take a number of different forms from cleaning up your workspace to finding a more efficient way of planning your day, week or year. Clutter or disorganization can make simple tasks seem overwhelming. Less is more, so cut the fat. Adopt the minimalist credo: If you haven’t used it/worn it in the past year, you don’t need it.
- Learn a new skill or hobby — Adopting a new hobby is a great way of learning a new skill. Take a photography class, or buy a guitar and learn to play from YouTube videos. Skills are simply hobbies that you stay with long enough to achieve proficiency. So dance, literally, like no one is watching.
- Save money — This is always one of the top resolutions for Americans each year, and one of the most difficult to follow through on, especially in this valley where the cost of living is high and wages are low. It can be achieved, though, by setting goals, automating your savings through your work or bank, setting a budget and tracking your spending, and paying down your debt.
- Quit smoking — Or whatever your bad habit/addiction is — excessive amounts of food, alcohol, TV, computer or smartphone — most people realize it is holding them back from being their best selves. Your resolution can be as simple as replacing the bad habit, at least partially, with a good one.
- Be more sociable — Psychologists say that the most important need people have is interpersonal relationships with other people. But not everyone has the same needs in this area — some need multiple friends/family around them, while others are OK with just one or two — but as the song goes: everybody needs somebody, sometime. Volunteering, or joining a group of people with similar interests are great ways of meeting new people.
- Travel more — Americans have the travel bug, and whether that means a weekend road trip to Las Vegas, or a month-long excursion in Bangladesh — plan for it, save for it and just do it.
- Get a new job — Most people are content in their jobs, but may wish for a higher wage, a better work environment, or to make a career change, perhaps within the same company. Take classes and learn a new skill, or simply thumb through the local job listings and see what’s out there.
- Be a healthier, happier person — All of the above resolutions have the potential to make you happier and healthier. Step out of your comfort zone and take a positive attitude toward whatever you want to achieve.
- Follow through on my New Year’s resolution — Psychologists say that by following some simple rules, you’ll have a much greater success rate in achieving your resolution: a) Mentally prepare for change; b) Set a goal that motivates you; c) Limit resolutions to a manageable amount; d) Be specific; e) Break up big goals into smaller goals; f) Write down your goals; g) Share your resolutions with others; h) Automate where possible; i) Review your resolution regularly; and j) If you fall off track, get back on quick.
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