Top New Year’s Resolutions and Why They Fail

The first week of the new year is underway and, for many, that means 2023 resolutions are in full swing. So, are you sticking to your goals (most people, about 80%, don’t!)?  Read on for tips to stay on track.

Top New Year’s Resolutions People Make

Statista Global Consumer Survey asked more than 400 adults in the United States what their top resolutions for 2023 would be. Common resolutions that top the list in America for the New Year include1:

  • Lose weight/exercise more.
  • Eat healthier.
  • Save more money.
  • Spend more time with friends and family.
  • Spend less time on social media.
  • Reduce job stress.
  • Do more for the environment.
  • Eat less meat/animal products.
  • Reduce the use of nicotine and alcohol.

To achieve that last goal, many people across the world participate in “Dry January.” Starting January 1st, no alcohol of any kind for the next 31 days. Benefits of refraining from drinking any kind of alcohol for the entire month include2:

  • Improved mental health and concentration.
  • Brighter skin.
  • Better sleep.
  • More energy.

Furthermore, participants of Dry January feel “an amazing sense of achievement” and save more money (which can help your other 2023 resolutions).

Why Your Resolutions Fail

According to therapy and career coach Kathy Caprino, “there’s so much hype and pressure around [resolutions] that I find they rarely work.3” In fact, a study at Scranton University found that only 19% of people keep their New Year resolutions.4 That means over 80% of people fail!

Kathy goes on to say that “most of us simply can’t bring about significant change in our lives if one key thing is missing—understanding at a deep level why you operate the way you do and recognizing what keeps you locked in specific “negative,” self-sabotaging, or self-limiting behaviors that resist change.”So really, it takes a lot more work than simply announcing to your friends/family (or writing down) a list of goals.

How to Stick to Your New Year Goals

How do you stick to your New Year’s goals? Create an accountability structure to help you sustain positive change. Start small and build on your successes.4 We’ve all heard the saying “you’ve bitten off more than you can chew” and it definitely applies to resolutions. Let’s take a look at those popular resolutions and better ways to meet your goal.

  • Lose weight. Instead of this broad goal, you can decide on the number of pounds you want to lose and then set benchmark or monthly goals to help you track progress and celebrate milestones.
  • Exercise more. Again, define what “more” means. For example, you may want to join a gym and commit to going 3 days per week. Or walking for 20 minutes every day. Maybe your goal is to run a marathon, you may want to follow a training schedule that will hold you accountable.
  • Save Money. Make a list of the “extra” items or services you spend money on and cut out what you can. Food delivery, going out to eat, and fancy coffee shops tempt you with convenience but can break the bank.
  • Spend less time on the smartphone.  A more achievable way to tackle this goal is to pick a time of day when phones are off. Whether it is a couple of hours at dinner time or first thing in the morning, figure out what works for you.

However, some goals may require outside help to achieve. You may want to quit drinking alcohol or using drugs but cannot successfully stop on your own. This may be a sign of drug and/or alcohol addiction.

If you suspect you or someone you love may need help for addiction, reach out to AcCare’s compassionate admissions navigators available 24/7 at to learn more about rehab in New England, how to start treatment today, how to pay for treatment, and what kind of services are offered.

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