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Do You Set New Year's Resolutions?

The Doe Team

by The Doe Team

| January 13, 2022

The new year marks a time for a reset, or can be just another day. Learn why our readers will either opt to set or forget New Year’s resolutions in 2022.

About 74% of the U.S. population sets goals around the New Year. In this blog, we’ll explore the most common impetuses for resolution setting, why some people argue against setting New Year’s resolutions and how to stick to the goals you set for yourself.

It's that time of year again. Often lost amid the bustle of the holiday season (and reserved for last-minute contemplation) is the notorious New Year’s resolution. 

Want to take a guess at how many people set New Year’s resolutions? The numbers may surprise you. 

According to Finder, an estimated 188.9 million people (about 74% of the U.S. population) set a goal to make lifestyle changes or to learn something new at the start of the new year. Of those, about 45% of resolutions are related to health (work out more, eat healthier) across all surveyed, while 37% are focused on self-improvement and 33% on money.

We asked our followers if they set New Year's resolutions and to tell us why or why not. In this blog, we'll take a closer look at their answers and offer resolution tips for those of you who are committed to making a change in 2022.


Yes, Bring On the New Me!

People in the “yes” category mentioned that they set resolutions because “it’s good to set goals.” Why? Setting goals is the key to reaching long-term ambitions while giving us milestones and the motivation to achieve that vision in the short-term.

John B. Miner, a psychologist who studied goal theory, suggests that goal setting works for three reasons: 

  • Goals energize people to expend the required effort needed to complete difficult tasks.
  • Goals motivate people to persist in activities over time.
  • Goals direct people’s attention to relevant action and away from behaviors that are irrelevant or detrimental to the achievement of the task.

Setting the goal is the easy part—following through requires discipline and determination. The latest stats we could find noted that only 25% of those who made resolutions kept them within a month of making them and only 8% completed theirs. (More on how to make good on those promises you make to yourself later.)


No, No Need to Wait for the New Year

People who don’t set New Year's resolutions had a number of reasons why, and their responses made a ton of sense. “No, I still want the same things I wanted five years ago. My dreams haven’t shifted,” said one reader, implying that they’ve kept their goals on the horizon.

A large majority of respondents mentioned that they don’t wait for the new year to set resolutions; they embrace change year-round. “No—no need to wait for New Year’s Day to change the wrongs,” said one reader. 

While resolutions may be seen as a chance to improve yourself or an aspect of your life, this reader's message reminds you not to forget that resolutions can be tied to the way you treat and view others. At The Doe, we encourage readers to take a step outside their comfort zone to both share their experiences and seek out those different from their own. A resolution could be an intention to better understand new people you meet or bring more patience and kindness to your existing relationships.

We’ll close this section with a final insightful comment from a reader: "I think about setting resolutions, but really, if a change was important, you should do it before the new year.”


Tips for Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions

If you want to change the world, first you need to change your perspective. And it takes goal setting and goal reaching in order to do that. For those of you committed to carrying on this time-tested tradition and accomplishing what you set out to do, we have a few tips to help you actualize that potential:

Pick Just One Thing

To combat falling into the trap of setting too many or too unrealistic resolutions, limit yourself to just one manageable thing you’d like to accomplish. That doesn’t mean don’t think of all that you can achieve. Go crazy and write down everything you want for the year ahead first, then pick one that speaks to you most.

Evaluate Your Reasons for Making a Resolution

The main thinking behind this tip asks: Are you making a particular resolution for the right reasons? Do you want to lose weight to feel healthier and happier, or are you trying to reach an impossible beauty standard? Do you want to meet new people as a way to expand your horizons, or are you looking for validation you need to give yourself? Picking goals that are healthy and give you purpose are often more manageable than vanity pursuits.  

Map Your Resolution Throughout the Year

You’ve committed to your goal; now it’s time to put it into action. Set milestones that reach beyond just January to keep yourself on track. Goals that are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) increase your chances of success.

Give yourself reminders or come up with a mantra to keep you motivated and consistent throughout the first few weeks of the year.


New Year’s Resolution Ideas

Here are just a few ideas broken down by category to jump start your New Year’s resolutions:

  • Health: Stick to a workout routine for X time or for X results; stop snacking or try going sugar- or processed food-free every Monday; commit to more stress-free activities like yoga, meditation or mindful walking.
  • Money: Commit to saving at least 5% of your paycheck for a goal purchase or amount; open an investment account or read more about investing in cryptocurrency. 
  • Relationships: Pick a virtue or value you want to bring to every relationship in your life; find new ways to show you care about others that go beyond gift giving.
  • Career: Pick an ambitious project you want to tackle and see if you can complete it by a certain time frame; set a new boundary at work, whether it’s with your employer or yourself.
  • Passion: Carve out X hours a week for a personal project. Don’t have a passion or hobby yet? Save some time for discovery! Take a course online or bookmark some how-to YouTube series.


The Final Word on New Year’s Resolutions

Whether you’re a firm believer in the trend or a staunch antagonist to the idea, improving yourself and our world can’t happen without you. Even if you don’t set a resolution this year, we encourage you to think about what you want to create more of in this world by being your authentic self.

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