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12/22: Weight Loss Top New Year’s Resolution… Finding a Better Job Gains Traction

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12/22: Weight Loss Top New Year’s Resolution… Finding a Better Job Gains Traction

Health and employment are top of mind heading into 2016.  Among Americans who plan to make a New Year’s resolution, weight loss, 12%, takes the top spot followed by getting a better job, 10%.  Exercising more, 9%, quitting smoking, 9%, and improving one’s, overall, health, 9%, round out the top five New Year’s resolutions for 2016.

While weight loss, 13%, was the leading resolution for 2015, finding a better job was the goal of just 5%.  But, this year, fueled by people under 45, among whom it’s number one, getting a better job also rivals the top spot for all Americans.

Do Americans plan to make a resolution for 2016?  Less than four in ten Americans, 39%, say they are very likely or likely to do so.  This is down from 44% last year.  However, similar to last year, younger Americans are more likely to resolve to change than older Americans in the New Year.

Many Americans are also true to their word.  Nearly two-thirds of those who made a resolution for 2015, 64%, report they kept their resolution, at least, in part.  Similar proportions of men, 65%, and women, 63%, say they kept their promise.  The proportion of women who kept their resolution increased from 55% last year.

Complete December 22, 2015 Marist Poll of the United States

Poll points:

  • 12% of Americans who are likely to make a New Year’s resolution vow to lose weight. 10% want to find a better job.  Getting more exercise, 9%, ceasing smoking, 9%, and improving their health, 9%, follow.  Eight percent want to be a better person, and another 8% say they will try to eat healthier in the New Year.  Seven percent resolve to spend less and save more.  Last year, 13% vowed to lose weight, 10% promised to exercise more, 9% resolved to be a better person, and 8% wanted to improve their health.  Quitting smoking, 7%, spending less and saving more, 7%, and eating healthier, 7%, followed.
  • Regional differences exist.  One in five Northeast residents who plan to make a resolution, 20%, resolve to find a better job.  However, in the Midwest, quitting smoking, 12%, improving one’s health, 11%, and eating healthier, 10%, vie for the top spot.  13% of those in the South cite weight loss while 12% mention saving more and spending less.  Among those in the West, 13% want to find a new job, 12% cite exercising more, and 11% mention weight loss.
  • Women, 16%, are more likely than men, 6%, to mention weight loss.  Men, 13%, put finding a better job at the top of their list.  Quitting smoking, 11%, and exercising more, 10%, follow.
  • 39% of Americans are very likely or likely to make a resolution for 2016 while 61% are not likely at all to do so.  The proportion of Americans making resolutions is down from 44% last year and at the lowest point since 2011 when 38% of residents vowed to do so.
  • Americans under 45, 47%, are more likely than older residents, 31%, to make a resolution.  Still, the proportion of younger Americans making resolutions is down from 56%.
  • Among those who vowed to change something in their life last year, 64% kept that resolution, at least, in part.
  • Similar proportions of men, 65%, and women, 63%, kept their 2015 New Year’s resolution.  There has been an increase in the proportion of women who kept their word, up from 55% previously.

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables

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