SURVEY SAYS: What's Your 2010 New Year's Resolution(s)?

January 7, 2010 ( - It’s a brand new year, and one of the “traditions” associated with a New Year is the making of New Year’s Resolutions.

This week I asked readers to share theirs – and you sure did.      

Despite a relatively robust list of choices, the most common response this week (more than 41%) chose something that was not even on our list.  More on that in a minute.        

Yes, losing weight and eating better was “popular” – nearly a third (31.4%) chose that as a dual option, while another 14% opted for losing weight and nearly 13% went with adopting healthier behaviors.       

Before we get into those other choices, a number of readers shared some perspectives on being (or deciding not to be “resolute”:      

Seems as soon as I tell anyone about a New Year’s resolution – it’s out the door and I give up.  Therefore, I’m not going to tell anyone what my New Year’s resolution is and perhaps I’ll be able to attain it – or at least part of it.

Getting completely out of debt!!!!!!!!!

Started on the lose weight in October.  Relieved to have survived the holiday eating season.

“I am hoping to eat healthier and lose weight.  Of course, I probably should add exercise

to that list and that is the hard part.  It seems like something else always interferes with my time.  I did shop for a lot of fresh fruits and veggies this week, so my resolution will last aleast

until I go shopping next week.  Maybe I can convince my husband that dancing IS considered fun as well as exercise.”

Normally I make no new year’s resolutions either because I will be doing what I would have resolved anyway – or I know that I would fail to keep the resolution(s) so why bother.

I personally tend to make my resolutions around my birthday as opposed to New Year’s…I’ve found I can keep them more personal (people don’t ask about your birthday resolutions) and it also makes them more meaningful to me.  In 2008 I didn’t set out to quit smoking, but in my 30th year of existence, I realized I was too old to continue a bad habit I picked up in high school.  A different way of looking at it, but it works for me.

My resolution to lose weight and adopt healthier behaviors is tied to being able to exercise, which is directly related to the number of hours per day available to do that, which is directly related to the number of hours I work.  So, my number one resolve is to quit working so many hours, and if I can figure that one out, hopefully the rest will fall in line like they are supposed to!!!

I am proud to say that I made it through three days without breaking my resolution to have a better attitude at work!  I didn't revert back to my old ways until Monday, January 4th.  I won't highlight the fact that that was my first day at work in the new year.  I've since changed my resolution to "Find a different/better job".

I make one resolution a year, so that it is easier to stick with.  Last year I made the resolution to quit smoking and I have just a few more days to go and I will be smoke free for a year...this year, being healthier, eating and exercising....but take small baby steps to achieve this like I did last year on the smoking.

What is it about a new year that makes normally rational people think they can magically change something about themselves that they are woefully unable to change any other time of year?  Maybe it's the same cockeyed optimism that has made me resolve to swear less - we'll see how that goes.

The dawn of a new year is an effective excuse to start anew and make a change you've been putting off; much like Thanksgiving is an excuse to stuff your face, St. Patty's Day is an excuse to drink excessively, and July 4th is an excuse to play with fireworks.

"Not to just pat myself on the back, but I've had the ""lose weight"" resolution each year for the past few years, and I've managed to do it EACH year...but then it creeps back.  I only gained 8 pounds over the holiday, and I want to get back to 170.  Now last year was different... I was at 188, and I wanted to get to 180...I made it and then decided to shoot for 170...I made it there too!  Even got as low as 167 before settling in at 170 around the middle of the year.  It's not been bad at all!  Now if I can just get back there.  I am sticking with Atkins.  It's worked all of the other times, and I don't care what the dieticians have to say about it.  My bad cholesterol level is good one is high.  My BP is fine.  I had a checkup last year and when I told the doc what I'd been eating, he laughed... bacon and eggs each morning for breakfast.  Ham and cheese for lunch... sensible dinner.. and still GREAT cholesterol numbers!  Anyway, HAPPY NEW YEAR!"

Most people don't come anywhere close to sticking to their resolutions.  It simply doesn't work and is a ridiculous practice.

Each day I will resolve anew to do the best job I can.  I really enjoy my job, so I'll try my darnedest to pay attention to the details and avoid mistakes.  Perhaps checklists would help.  All I need is the time to create them!

"I'm truly resolved to try to listen to those who disagree with me.  Too many Americans have become dead certaiin that we are right and ""they"" are wrong.  Unfortunately ""they"" is defined as those who disagree with us - so why bother listening.  We label their thinking as ""politically correct"" then try to impose our version on them.  That's not the way I want my world to work."

This year I decided that making resolutions sound nice, but really accomplish nothing.  Instead of making a resolution, I decided that I am going to envision who I want to be and actively work towards becoming that person.

Exercise more (I'd add this one for next year - it's not necessarily about the weight - it's about being in shape and feeling good too).

I think it's always important to have a plan.  I'm a goal oriented person so a resolution for the new year gives me a great starting point.

I've found that since I always resolve to lose my "holiday weight" every year, although I still want to do that, I'm declaring a someone smaller, more achievable official resolution, such as breaking an annoying an expensive habit.

My son received a fancy bathroom scale for Christmas and my husband made the mistake of trying it out.  It added 10 pounds to the reading on our old-fashioned scale.  My husband is the cook in the family so we are now both on a starvation diet and walking 2-3 miles a day.  I don't really mind as I am usually the one who tries to eat healthy and exercise.  It is great he is now motivated to join me.

Now in my late forties, I think I have finally figured out how to make resolutions I can keep - rather than the sweeping, nebulous decrees of "This year, I will eat better!", I have minimized my resolutions to just a few specific behavior changes that I can implement easily, such as: "I am going to lower my caffeine intake by using the tea bag twice." Doesn't taste so bad, and so far I've kept up this resolution for six days. Wow, this just might work!

"Another resolution I make every year:  ""How can I make this fun?""    

Has helped me in many situations every year when something annoying or just plain terrible arises.

I realize that it has a mischievous element to it, but that's what makes it fun.  :)"

Just hoping I set a new personal best in maintaining the resolution momentum!

The only resolution I've kept in the past was when I resolved not to do any sit ups!  This year, though, I just want to eat better and try not to give in to the 3pm chocolate craving.

I've already made headway by drafting my resume.  My goodness it's been a very long time and it was a difficult task that I'm proud to have completed.  Now on to the job interview....  Luckily I'm still working, just hoping to find a little more appreciation somewhere else.      

Other Choices   

Now, back to the resolutions chosen – among the other resolutions (remember that multiple selections were permitted):     

  • 15.1% - save more  
  • 11.6% - read more  
  • 10.5% - spend more time with loved ones  
  • 8.1% - work smarter  
  • 7.0% - break bad habit(s)  
  • 5.8% - pursue more/additional education  
  • 5.8% - be better behaved  
  • 2.3% - work less       

In fact, 12.8% said they wanted to find a different/better job (for some idea as to just how bad it could be, check out SURVEY SAYS – What’s Your Worst Job?).       

And, while 3.5% said they wanted to make “better” resolutions, only one-in-ten said they resolved to “make no New Year’s resolutions.”      

Just 1.2% wanted to spend more – and no one wanted to resolve to work more.  My favorite group, however, were the 15.1% who resolved  to “have more fun.”      

Earlier I mentioned the large number of “other” selections – you’ll find an expanded listing in the verbatim on the next several pages, but my personal favorites were:

  • To not talk about my resolutions.   
  • I resolve to fish more in the daytime and drink more wine at night.  
  • No wine on week nights. (I'm trying. 2 nights into it. It's tough!)  
  • I want to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am  
  • Continue to help displaced colleagues find new positions   

One reader when so far as to note “They say that most people don't carry out their resolutions, so I have made the resolution to "gain" weight, so we'll see how that works out!”      

This week’s Editor’s Choice, however, goes to the reader who resolved to “Never miss an issue of NewsDash.”      

Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!

Not talk about my resolutions.

No wine on week nights. (I'm trying. 2 nights into it. It's tough!)

Get my financial act together, realize I won't live forever and get a will drawn up.

I resolve to fish more in the daytime and drink more wine at night.

Work out regularly, pray more, read Scripture more often

bring lunch to work once each week

Prepare for retirement in a year

Be more positive about my current work environment.

Exercise more

To have a better attitude at work.

I want to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am

Continue to help displaced collegues find new positions

Stay Positive no matter what

I resolve to pick better friends

Declutter my life and surroundings (get organized, treasure only what has meaning to me)

Have more adventures, from trying new foods, experimental theater, or just plain hanging out and having fun.

Organize my digital files and really learn my new Droid and Mac.

I nor anyone in my family makes New Year's resolutions.  It's a silly meaningless tradition.

Not waste time making New Years Resolutions

Do the best job I possibly can each day.

Lower my overall debt and stop "feeding" the credit card companies 😉

Downsize.  To get rid of all the accumulated stuff one does not use (or need) anymore in order to free up space and be better organized.

Never miss an issue of NewsDash

Spend one hour a day on my own goals (not helping kids, husband, or working)

Swear less

be more charitable

To continue to "live long and prosper." per Spock in the original Star Trek.  As a two time cancer survivor nothing more is needed.

I am going to try to only eat cage free chickens.

Be more patient with my kids

Excercise more

Wear lipstick and rotate through my handbag collection

Drink more water...helps the wrinkles be less obvious!

Pay off all credit card debt (and cancel the cards)

Keep a positive outlook (could fit into adopting healthier behaviors)