Few Say They Will Make Resolutions, New Saint Leo Poll Shows

December 22, 2016

SAINT LEO, FL –The idea of a “new year, new you” might be appealing, but a recent survey by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute (http://polls.saintleo.edu) shows that just more than one-quarter of respondents say they will make New Year’s resolutions.

The online poll surveyed 1,001 adults in the United States from November 27 through November 30, 2016. The 27.2 percent who say they will make resolutions were asked to name what their plans are for 2017. Losing weight and saving money overwhelmingly lead the responses with 61.8 percent saying they hope to drop some pounds and 57.4 percent saying they plan on saving more money.

Goals of traveling more and exercising more, garnered 34.2 percent and 32.4 percent, respectively.

Healthy habits such as joining a gym and drinking less alcohol did not fare well in the Saint Leo poll. Only 12.9 percent say they will join a gym while 8.1 percent say they will drink less alcohol.

Dr. Scot Hamilton, assistant professor of psychology at Saint Leo University, suggests keeping resolutions small.  Do not become preoccupied with the end goal more than you need at the onset. “So the adage of just a little better each day, or a little less each day,” is the correct approach, Hamilton advises. He also suggests allowing yourself the right to indulge or go back to a bad habit, but then return to keeping your resolution, “knowing that you’re not back to square one.”

Hamilton -Scot

The Saint Leo poll shows doing good for others came in at 23.9 percent with respondents saying they will volunteer more.

And some folks will be sprucing up their résumésduring the holidays, as 20.2 percent say they resolve to find a new job in the new year.

Family time also was explored in the poll, and 26.8 percent say they will spend more time with relatives, while 0.4 percent say they will spend less time with family members.

Dr. Hamilton advises people to “bring the personal into the social,” and “think about making some resolutions as not being for yourself solely, but ones that will strengthen some ties, help the relationships, and form them—do relations work rather than self-work.”

The “buddy system” is best for helping keep resolutions, he says. “Don’t go it alone with the self-work,” Hamilton said. “Help yourself on the resolve for the personal development by engaging and co-encouraging somebody else with theirs—very frequently, consistently, warmly, and genuinely.”

Cheers to the New Year and keeping those resolutions!