Casual Fridays: What's a resolution worth?

This year Greta and I rang in the new year with a couple of good friends, some good wine, and not a lot of fuss or formality. We quietly noted when the clock struck midnight and went on with whatever we were talking about at the time.

Our son Jim marked the occasion much more seriously, with several resolutions directed at improving his fitness, eating habits, and school work.

It got us to wondering: what kind of people are most likely to make New Years' resolutions? Are New Years' resolutions any more successful than pledges for personal improvement made at other times of the year? And what are the most popular resolutions to make? I've seen a number of "top ten lists" for resolutions, but they seem all to be based on anecdotes. We should be able to do a little better than that, even on a Casual Friday.

This week's study asks you what resolutions you've made, and how good you've been at keeping them. We'll tally up the (non-scientific) results, and let you know what we find out next week.

Click here to participate

As usual, the survey is quite short, with about 20 questions. It should take only a minute or two to complete. You have until the morning of Thursday, January 10, to complete your response. There is no limit on the number of respondents.

Don't forget to come back next Friday to see the results!

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I think the type of goal-- eg longterm (no eating junk for a year vs short term project (get another job) makes a difference, and maybe active doing vs not-doing makes a difference, and the intrinsic pleasure... I have given up for now on the lose weight-work out one because the time I did that it wasn't because of a resolution, I just kind of decided and then followed through. Exactly why and how I did that is a subject of some interest because I haven't reproduced the behavior, even though it was very rewarding to lose the weight. So I think the question of what makes a person actually make a change that he has long known he should? Why does a person 'just do it' at any particular time?
Other things like, accountability, peer involvement, etc, might increase success of the less immediately, intrinsically rewarding ones.