New Year, New Me

Joel Hernandez
Insights Newsletter
24 January, 2020

When was the last time you made a New Year’s resolution? Maybe 25 days ago.

And how long did you manage to keep it? I would say a week if you were lucky.

The evidence is in the idle treadmills and lacklustre spin class attendance. Admittedly, I haven’t been to the gym either. But judging from the line at the KFC drive-through last night, I figured out one from the other.

While many people might not like to admit they have set themselves New Year’s resolutions, one survey by the American Physiological Association (APA) suggests otherwise.

Researchers have found that 93% of people made some sort of resolution to make lifestyle changes at the beginning of every year.

APA’s survey showed the usual suspects: 57% resolved to lose weight, 40% resolved to eat a healthier diet, 41% resolved to exercise more regularly, while 52% resolved to save more money.

Other surveys yielded similar results, albeit with resolutions framed in slightly different ways.

For the religious among us, resolutions may involve more praying – but not necessarily for spiritual guidance. As one Twitter user tweeted, “Dear God, my prayer for 2020 is a FAT bank account and a THIN body. Please don’t mix it up like you did last year”.

Others like to increase their chance of meeting their resolutions by making a large sacrifice to the resolution Gods. A case in point is the annual gym membership fee: an irrefutable act of faith.

In all fairness, some of us do commit to resolutions for more than a week.

University of Scranton researchers found 77% of us keep our resolutions after one week, 55% after one month, 40% after six months, and 19% after two years.

Optimists, or at least those of us resolving to be more optimistic, may deduce that nearly one-fifth of us kept their resolutions long term.

Conversely, pessimists may wonder what percentage of that 19% met their resolutions due to technicalities.

While many people resolve to read more every year, I am not sure turning on the subtitles on your TV counts as reading.

Resolving to stop lying to yourself about making lifestyle changes does not count, either.

Regardless of how long your resolutions lasted, spending half a year or even half a month on good habits is better than spending no time at all, right?

Happy new year!

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