As 2016 comes to a close and the confetti falls on bright hopes for 2017, our focus often goes towards our New Year's resolutions. In fact, making resolutions is a self-improvement tradition starting January 1 each and every year, our chance to finally conquer the lofty goals that eluded us over the previous 365 days.
Whether you want to lose 10 lbs., get a better job, or finally find love, you’re in good company, as the majority of people in the U.S. set lofty goals and resolutions for themselves for the next 12 months.
Let’s look at some trends, facts and stats about New Year’s resolutions, and how to actually meet your goals this year.
Ranking the most popular New Year's resolutions:
1. Lose weight and eat healthier.
2. Spend less money and save more.
3. Get out of debt.
4. Get a better job or promotion.
5. Enjoy life to the fullest.
6. Go to the gym and exercise more to get in shape.
7. Learn something new or take a class.
8. Quit smoking.
9. Cut back on alcohol.
11. Meet someone, fall in love or strengthen a romantic relationship.
12. Spend more quality time with family.
13. Take a trip.
14. Recycle and be more environmentally conscious.
15. Practice wellness, de-stress with more regularity.
Homeownership is a common New Year's resolution.
Among non-homeowners (renters), home ownership is also one of the highest-ranked goals. In fact, a survey by the National Association of Realtors found that 83% of renters say they want to own – often in the coming year or as soon as they are able, making it their most grand resolution. Additionally, 77% of renters believe homeownership is part of their American Dream, and 84% believe owning a home is a good financial decision.
Why do they rank homeownership as one of their most important aspirations for the coming year? Of course, owning a home goes hand-in-hand with these other New Year’s resolutions on the list that revolve around getting one’s personal financial house in order, including saving (for a down payment) and paying off debt (to save more, get a better debt-to-income ratio, and improve credit score.
Positive feelings about homeownership over the next 365 days seem to be universal, with a majority of both homeowners (82%) and renters (68%) saying that it’s a good time to buy a home.
Let’s take a look at some other statistics about the New Year’s resolutions we make, some we break, and how we might actually achieve them in 2017:
How many of us make resolutions?
45% of Americans almost always make New Year’s resolutions.
17% of Americans infrequently make New Year’s resolutions.
38% of Americans never make New Year's resolutions.
What do people resolve to do?
47% of resolutions are self-improvement or education goals
38% of resolutions have to do with losing weight
34% of resolutions revolve around making more money
31% of all resolutions have something to do with better relationships
How often do people achieve success?
Only 8% of people successfully achieve their New Year’s resolutions
49% have mixed results with their New Year’s Resolutions
24% never achieve their New Year’s Resolutions every year
Does success have something to do with age?
39% of people in their twenties achieve their resolution each year
14% of people over 50 achieve their resolution each year
How long do we stick to our resolutions?
46% maintain for six months or longer
64% one month or more
71% two weeks and beyond
75% at least a week
Fun fact: studies indicate that the less happy you are, the more likely you are to make New Year’s resolutions
Of all people who make resolutions:
41% are unhappy with their lives
34% are moderately happy
25% are happy
So how do you improve your chances of achieving your New Year’s resolutions?
1. Make one resolution and focus on it.
2. Make it specific, reasonable, and measurable. People who commit to specific resolutions are 10 times more likely to achieve them compared to general ones.
3. Formulate an action plan to execute to reach that goal.
4. Put it all on paper and schedule your action steps.
5. Hold yourself accountable or better yet, team up with a buddy or group who is trying to achieve the same goals.
6. Set several small plateaus or milestones to mark your progress.
7. Get your family and friends on board to help support and encourage you.
8. Keep your thoughts positive on your progress.
9. Don’t wait until the New Year – get started now to jumpstart your improvement!
Good luck with your resolutions this year, and if you don’t quite reach your goals don’t worry – there’s always next year! If you'd like help achieving that penultimate goal of owning a home, purchasing an investment property, or moving up to that dream home, give us a call!