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New 12 months’s Resolutions 2024: Most Damaged And Most Common Intentions

New 12 months’s Resolutions 2024: Most Damaged And Most Common Intentions


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New year, new me — at least that’s what we tell ourselves. Many of us see the new year as a time for setting objectives that we hope to achieve in coming months. And yet, we are merely human; thus, we’re almost certain to end up with a few failed New Year’s resolutions. If you’ve already set your goals for 2024, check out our list of the most broken New Year’s resolutions to help track your progress (as well as ease your failures). Hey, no judgment!

Every January 1st on the dot, millions of people sit down, pens at the ready to lay down their laundry list of things to do. Driven and motivated for change, we consider everything we’ve been through in the past year. We re-evaluate and take stock of the things we hope to achieve — as well as the things we failed to achieve, and pledge to do better. Hopeful for a better year ahead, especially important for 2024 considering the turbulence of our pandemic years, we set intentions for self-improvement and make New Year’s resolutions.

And then, like clockwork, we break them.

Why do people break their New Year’s resolutions?

While we all make New Year’s resolutions with the intention to keep them, it’s unavoidable — even inevitable that we end up breaking some, if not all. And that’s not entirely on us. The fast-paced and often tumultuous nature of our modern world can proffer challenges that make it difficult to stick to the plan. After all, it’s harder to eat well and exercise after a long day at work.

A survey conducted by Forbes and One Health revealed that the average resolution is upheld for about 3.74 months. The same survey, which was conducted in October of 2023, showed that 8% of respondents stuck out their resolutions for a month, while 22% maintained their goals for two months. Yet another 22% maintained their goals for three months, and only 13% made it to the four-month mark. Dismal though they are, these numbers are nonetheless positive in comparison to reports from Ohio State University’s Fischer College of Business. In an article detailing why most New Year’s resolutions fail, the school shared that 23% of people quit their resolution within the first week, and 43% bow out by the end of January.

broken new year's resolutions popular 2024
One of the top New Year’s resolutions made by people include getting fit and healthy. Do as Bridget Jones would and hop on that soul cycle train! (Image: Universal Pictures)

Sadly, the act of abandoning one’s New Year’s resolutions has become something of a meme-able tradition, with unofficial dates in abundance to celebrate humanity’s inevitable failure. Mark your calendars for January 17, 2024, raise a glass to ‘Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day’ and watch as your carefully curated list gets relegated to the graveyard of abandoned intentions (RIP to those whose New Year’s resolutions include drinking less).

So, why exactly do we fail so much? Therapist, speaker, and author Amanda E. White believes that resolution-makers tend to make lofty promises without a plan for success. Indeed, many of these goals prove too difficult to achieve and too appealing to abandon. To mitigate this, clinical counsellor and author Matt Glowiak, PhD, suggests setting Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timebound (SMART) goals. Psychologist Mariana Strongin supports this approach, positing that it is better for resolution-makers to break their goals into smaller, quantifiable measures. The idea is to give yourself a checklist of smaller tasks that, together, contribute to the fulfilment of one big objective. This essentially fuels your endeavours, providing measurable progress and the positive boost that comes with accomplishment. The experts also agree that a retrospective look at your failed resolutions can help you to identify why you failed, as well as how you can improve.

What are the most popular New Year’s resolutions and are they the ones that keep getting broken? Read on to find out.

10 most broken New Year’s resolutions to try and keep in 2024

Improve fitness

Topping Forbes’ list of 2024’s most popular New Year’s resolutions is fitness — more specifically, the improvement of it. Understandably so, it is also one of the most broken New Year’s resolutions, with a 59% failure rate as revealed in a 2022 survey by Tracking Happiness. Want to stay on top of your resolution to get healthy this year? Try starting small: take the stairs instead of the elevator, park a little further away from your destination, get an accountability buddy, and invest in some low-impact fitness classes.

Drink less

While only 3% of Forbes’ respondents resolved to drink less in 2024, it remains one of the most broken New Year’s resolutions of all time. Interestingly, those who vowed to cut down on drinking were more successful in keeping their resolutions, as compared to those who resolved to cut drinking entirely; Tracking Happiness’ 2022 survey showed that 61% proved successful for the former, versus 33% for the latter. If your end goal is to say goodbye to alcohol permanently, it’s a good idea to start small and slowly work your way up.

Spend less time on social media

It would be pointless to deny that social media has become an irreplaceable facet of modern-day communications. It is how we keep in touch: with our friends, with our family, and with pop-culture news about our favourite celebrities and public figures, without whom our lives would be incredibly boring (if more peaceful). To note: 51% of respondents on Tracking Happiness’ survey broke their resolution to say goodbye to the ‘gram.

Lose weight

After the abundance and excess of the Christmas and New Year season, it makes sense to set a resolution to lose weight — and this is reflected in Forbes’ survey, with 34% of respondents willing themselves to drop the kilograms in coming months. And while the incredibly determined may succeed, the only thing many of us will drop is the resolution itself. Do as the experts suggest and start small; choose healthier options every once in a while. Indulge in Meatless Mondays, cut down on your sugar intake, and commit to light exercise at least three times a week.

Give up smoking

There’s a reason smoking is widely regarded as an addiction, and that’s because it is an incredibly difficult habit to drop. Case in point: 55% of respondents in Tracking Happiness’ survey failed in their resolution to quit smoking. Those who truly want to increase their chances of succeeding in this resolution can look to nicotine replacement therapy. Alternatively, experts suggest other relaxation techniques to delay the urge, including chewing on gum or simply choosing to postpone taking a cigarette break — indefinitely. Just make sure you don’t replace one addiction with another.

Save money

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Coming in second on Forbes’ list of popular New Year’s resolutions is the act of saving money, or improving finances — and it is also one of the most abandoned. With numerous concerts to splurge on, new fashion releases to indulge in, and amazing restaurants to try out, it can be difficult to stick to a leaner budget. Manage your finances better by setting specific budgets across your commitments, from rent and utilities to groceries and fuel. Give yourself a reasonable entertainment budget to avoid dipping into your savings with wild abandon. Want to keep track of your spending? Try the new TikTok trend of filling up a budget binder at the start of every month, or simply download an expense tracker app like Goodbudget.

Prioritise work-life balance

If one of your 2024 New Year’s resolutions is to foster a good work-life balance, then you’re in agreement with 7% of the respondents on Forbes’ survey. With many of us ramping up to kick into gear for the new year, keeping to this resolution is a balancing act that requires much restraint. Avoid devolving into any one direction — while applying a lackadaisical attitude to work is certainly not the answer, not sparing time for self-care will only lead to burn out in the long run. Look into some mindfulness and meditation techniques and commit yourself to leaving work outside of the home sphere.

See Also

Spend more time with family

The holiday season excels at showing us just how many precious moments we miss at home. According to Forbes’ list, 25% of respondents have resolved to make time for their loved ones, though that is not always successful. Among one of the most broken New Year’s resolutions, this intention flies by as easily as the months do. Often, we simply forget to find the time for our loved ones. Though understandable, this lack of planning can be easily remedied. Commit to a few family-only activities, and try to uphold them as much as possible. This can include daily activities like eating and unwinding, as well as weekend getaways for extra bonding time.

Upskill

Whether it’s learning a new language, growing a new garden, or simply pledging to take that online course, there’s no better way to usher in the brand-new year than by upskilling. After all, knowledge is eternal, and learning is the one thing we never stop doing. While 9% of respondents on Forbes’ list agree, the concept of upskilling is also one of the fastest-abandoned resolutions. Commit yourself to a new skill by taking baby steps. If your goal is to learn how to draw, set aside some time to create one doodle a day. Ditto, if you’re learning a language; take five-minute lessons every day and you’re sure to see results at the end of the year.

Volunteer for a charity

Humans are inherently good, and our commitment to charity is a sign of that. While the act of donating is noble and much appreciated, those who cannot spare the extra cash can instead opt to give their time and energy. Sadly, according to Tracking Happiness’ survey, 45% of people who make this resolution are likely to break it, citing a lack of time and resources. Your greatest hope at keeping this resolution? Apply the airplane safety model: put the mask on yourself before you do others in your care. Start by being kind to yourself, meeting your own needs, then spread that kindness outward to others.

Don’t despair if you’ve already broken your New Year’s resolutions for 2024! Ultimately, a resolution is simply a reflection of the change you want to see in your life. Honour and respect that, and give it the commitment it deserves. Don’t be discouraged if you slip up — understand and accept that imperfection is a part of life. Remember: progress is better than perfection. And that’s the final word on that.

(Main and featured image: Paramount)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

– Which is the most commonly broken New Year’s resolution?

The most commonly broken New Year’s resolutions are to quit drinking entirely, followed by exercising and improving fitness, and giving up smoking.

Source: Prestige Online

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