SURVEY SAYS: Have You Made a New Year's Resolution?

January 4, 2007 ( It's a brand new year, and one of the "traditions" associated with a new year is the making of New Year's Resolutions.

The most common (note I didn’t say “popular”) response/resolution was the 37% who wanted to lose weight ( “Lose weight.   Real original I am sure!” noted one), followed by the 23% who basically opted for some version of adopting healthier behaviors/exercising (including one who said, “To walk myself and the dog at least three times per week or more” ) – not to mention several who fell in with the sentiments expressed by one reader who said, “I have the usual. To lose weight and be more healthy.”   Not surprisingly, among this week’s HR respondents was the reader who noted that, “Being a Wellness Committee member, I have decided to become successful at getting healthier and (of course) lose weight.”  

Overall, the responses were relatively scattered, however, and ran across a wide gamut of behaviors.   In some contrast to those who were looking to control their food intake, roughly 10% were looking to exercise more control over what comes out of their mouth (one noted, “Not to raise my voice when speaking to my children” ), while 7% each were focused on breaking bad current habits, or getting more organized (some were just looking to GET organized) – or getting their finances organized.  

Among the rest, 11% had resolved to make no (new) resolutions ( “On January 1, 1995, I resolved never to make another resolution (or join another aerobic class) and I’ve had great success with it,” stated one), and about 5% seemed to fall into the category of making resolutions – but not at the New Year.   “I believe in continuous improvement, so if you figure out in May, September, or any other month that you want to change something about your life, why wait for New Year’s to change?” said one.    The rest – well, the rest were interesting, but difficult to “group.”  

Among some of the more interesting comments:

“This year, I had to recycle last year’s because it worked out so well.   First off, let me say those lifestyle-change ones never work.   Yes, we might lose the weight, but it always comes back.   And I’m just not going to floss my teeth every single night.”

“Resolutions are like junk mail.   No one takes them seriously, and that is why they get repeated year over year.”

“To deal with my drinking problem…I’m addicted to Diet Coke!”

“Maybe even get the husband to lose 20 pounds or so.”

“My New Year’s Resolution, inspired by viewing college and professional football coaches over the weekend: Cover my mouth when speaking in the workplace (preferably with a client’s file).”

“Not to use the phrase, ‘I’m   too busy’ as an excuse for not doing something!   I’m so tired of hearing it from other people, it’s time that I take a stand!”

“Turn 40 without ‘complication’ this year.”

“Take more personal responsibility rather than blaming others when things go wrong.”

“My New Year’s resolution is always the same: to be the best man I can be, every day. I don’t have to buy any special equipment for it, there are no subscription fees, and I’m really the only one who can judge. Perfect.”

“My wife made my resolution for me.  According to her I must “listen when she speaks”.  I am doing my best.”

“I have resolved to exercise more for 3 reasons:   (1) my Doctor is nagging me, (2) I know I’d feel better if I dropped a few pounds, (3) I can’t afford to buy a new wardrobe and that’s where I’m heading.”

But this week’s Editor’s Choice goes to a reader who said, “I didn’t want to risk sending this from my work e-mail:   I resolve to get a new job–away from DB plans!”

Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!