Jan 6, 2011

The politics of New Year’s resolutions

Only 41% say they will make personal pledges   
Are Americans big fans of New Year’s resolutions? One nationwide survey of 1,022 adults provides a glimpse. Last month, the Barna Group found that: “Nearly two-thirds of the nation’s population (61%) has made New Year’s resolutions at some point in their lives. More than 90 million adults (41%) say they will make such personal pledges in 2011, representing roughly two-fifths of the nation’s population.” And call me ignorant but how many illegal immigrants participate in American surveys? Now that would make an interesting report. Details please.   

I’ve found that a good New Year’s resolution is motivating. For others though the experience is negative. According to one BBC report, only 10% of people stick to their goals, and psychologist Richard Wiseman from the University of Hertfordshire too says that many fail in the first week. Some encouraging news though: If you treat your pledges like a series of steps, and reward yourself along the way, then you’re more likely to succeed.  Perhaps the fear of failure also motivated successful participants who shared their New Year’s resolutions with friends/family. 

Getting healthy is a top priority

One of my New Year’s resolutions is health-related. I’m not alone. Steve Vernon of moneywatch.com states:According to a recent poll taken by the Society of Actuaries, about 80 percent of respondents said that taking care of their health was their top strategy for managing their medical bills, well ahead of buying medical insurance.”  He advises:  “Take just a few steps in January to establish good nutrition habits, and you’ll be well on your way to improving your health and increasing your lifespan.” (In America, it will take energy to escape Obama-approved death panels.)   

2011 doesn’t look like a green year

Returning to the Barna Group survey, we see that Americans aren’t as green as Hollywood’s jetsetters. Really: “When it comes to the types of resolutions people make, Americans not surprisingly focus on self-oriented changes. Among those planning to make resolutions, the top pledges for 2011 relate to weight, diet and health (30%); money, debt and finances (15%); personal improvement (13%); addiction (12%); job and career (5%); spiritual or church-related (5%); and educational (4%).” David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group noted, “virtually none of the survey respondents mentioned anything about becoming more green.”


JD Curtis said...


I'll delete the other site from my favorites and bookmark this one.

Good luck!

Positively Churchillian said...

JD: Thank you for the thumbs up.