Will Americans vow to make a change heading into 2011? A majority of U.S. residents — 56% — think it is not likely at all that they will make a New Year’s resolution this year while 44% believe it is at least somewhat likely that they will.
When Marist asked the same question last December, 52% did not plan to make a resolution for 2010 while 48% did.
Younger Americans are still among those who are most likely to make a resolution. 58% of those under the age of 45 say they will vow to improve an aspect of their life compared with 34% of those 45 and older. Last year, those proportions stood at 60% and 40%, respectively.
Men and women are currently on equal footing here. 44% of men and the same proportion of women — 44% — resolve to make a change.
Kicking the Smoking Habit Tops List of Resolutions… Losing Weight Follows
Among Americans who are likely to make a resolution, 17% say they want to quit smoking. 16% want to lose weight while 13% want to spend less money and save more. 10% plan to be a better person, and 8% say they are going to exercise more. 36% resolve to make another type of change.
Last year, weight loss topped the list of resolutions with 19%, and quitting smoking took the second place spot with 12%. Rounding out last year’s top five were exercising more which received 10%, being a better person with 9%, and getting a better job with 8%. Spending less came in seventh with 6%.
Men and women have different resolutions in mind this year. 22% of men who are likely to make a resolution plan to stop smoking while weight loss and spending less top the list for women who expect to make a resolution, each receiving 16%.
Age also comes into play. More than a quarter of those under the age of 30 — 27% — say they want to stop smoking. Weight loss (21%) and kicking the smoking habit (17%) top the list for those 30 to 44 years old. Those age 45 to 59 are on the same wavelength. 16% say they want to lose weight while 14% plan to stop smoking. Losing weight is also on the minds of 20% of those 60 and older.
True to Their Word?
But, will they keep their pledge? Of those who made a resolution last year, 60% report they kept their resolution for at least part of the year while 40% did not.
Six in Ten Optimistic About the Future
Americans maintain their optimism going into 2011. 60% are more optimistic about the world in 2011 while 38% are more pessimistic. Just 2% are unsure. In Marist’s December 2009 survey, 63% were more optimistic while 34% were more pessimistic. Three percent, at the time, were unsure.
Younger Americans are more optimistic about the future than are their older counterparts. 71% of those under 45 have a positive outlook compared with 53% of those 45 and older who share this view.