Do New Year’s resolutions work?

By Janice Biehn on January 14, 2015

Over the holidays, a friend asked my teenage daughters to fill out a New Year’s resolution questionnaire. I was surprised to see they both identified “reducing stress” high on their list of goals.

shouldn't have been. According to a recent survey of Canadians conducted by well.ca, 75% of people felt this was something that would improve their lives. “We were surprised to see reducing stress as a top resolution,” says Erin Young from Well.ca. “We need to stop glorifying the word busy, and take some time to focus on relaxing and taking care of ourselves.” 

As expected, the top resolutions for 2015 also included eating healthier and getting in shape.

The survey also revealed that 82% of Canadians have made a New Year’s resolution at some point in their life, and 52% believe a New Year’s resolution has improved their lives. The key to success, according to 60% of respondents, is setting small, attainable goals. While many people are prone to making large-scale resolutions at this time of year, survey respondents believe that taking baby steps towards an obtainable goal will garner better results.

“Keeping and maintaining a resolution and making a life change may seem daunting,” says Erin. “But if you break it down and make small, steady changes, like drinking more water or taking nightly walks; you suddenly realize change is achievable. Also remember, studies have shown, eating healthy and regular exercise can reduce stress.”

Also mentioned as a key factor in resolution success is support from family/friends. “Resolutions can be a family affair,” says Erin. “Make resolutions together and encourage one another.”
 
The mostly female respondents were asked to make resolutions for their partners. “Be more romantic” and “Spend more time together” topped the list. “Start your year off with some home grown romance,” says Erin. “Perhaps a long, romantic walk and a healthy, candlelit dinner for two is in order.”
 
When asked about resolutions for their kids, most respondents answered they would like to see their children spend less time in front of the screen – televisions, phones, tablets and computers. Not surprising, a large majority of parents also cited “helping out around the house” as something they would like to see their kids resolve to do.

By Janice Biehn| January 14, 2015

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