Last January 2006, an estimated 45 million Americans, or approximately one in five adults, set an average of three New Year resolutions each, according to the results of a nationwide phone survey conducted in December by LifeTango.com.
Battle of the 'Bulge' and 'Budget' Top the List
Of those setting resolutions, nearly three in four set a resolution related to diet, weight loss, or exercise -- not surprising when you consider that two-thirds of American adults are overweight and about one in three is considered to be obese, according to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
The second most common resolutions were financial and budget-related, also not surprising considering debt statistics. According to the Consumer Federation of America, the average household with debt carries $10,000 to $12,000 in total revolving debt. Within this context, and on the heels of holiday shopping sprees that see credit-card debt spike each year, roughly two in five Americans who set resolutions hoped to control their spending or improve their financial situation.
Friends, Internet Offer Support
In the study, LifeTango.com found that people who set resolutions with another person were 40 percent more likely to accomplish those resolutions. As a result, managers of the site recommend finding a friend or family member who will work on a resolution with you.
Another suggestion is to write down your resolutions or record them on a computer or the internet. LifeTango.com founder Brent Johnson notes, "Though only one in four people setting resolutions recorded them, those that did were 25 percent more likely to accomplish their goals."
LifeTango.com helps in both ways by giving users free tools to help them record their goals and resolutions and track their progress. Visitors to the site can also find others on the site with similar aspirations to provide one another encouragement, advice, and support. LifeTango.com gives users the choice of which goals they want to share publicly and which ones they want to keep private.
"I started using LifeTango to work on a goal with my sister," says Lovina Roundy of Monterey, Cal. "But seeing some of the goals that others posted to the site made me realize I needed to adjust my life to match my priorities -- to take my daughter to the park more often and work on personal interests. For me, this is just the beginning."
More information about the survey and statistical finding are available at www.LifeTango.com/press .