Every January, countless people promise themselves (or their loved ones) that they will work less, exercise more, stop smoking, etc. . . . But how long have we, as a culture, been making New Year’s resolutions? And do they actually work?


Where It Originated

According to History.com, people have been making New Year’s resolutions for thousands of years—about 4,000, to be exact. It was a little different back then. In ancient Babylon, where the tradition began, the new year started in March when they planted crops. Their resolutions took place during a 12-day religious festival and involved promises to repay debts and return borrowed items (okay, maybe not so different from some of the resolutions we make today). Ancient Romans were also known to promise good behavior for the new year, and early Christians saw the new year as a time to reflect on past mistakes and determine their intentions for the upcoming year.

Most Common Resolutions

Of course, popular resolutions change over the years, and depending on where you are geographically. Not surprisingly, deciding to exercise more or lose weight is universally a very popular resolution. This year, according to thedenverchannel.com, saving money is also a frontrunner. What else are people putting at the top of their priority list? Traveling more, making new friends, getting a new job or hobby, and finding love.

Top 2019 Resolutions

Exercise/Lose Weight
Save Money
Travel More
Make New Friends
New Job or Hobby
Find Love

Do People Stick to Their Resolutions?

Statistics vary, but in general show that between 8 – 9.5% of people keep to their resolutions. Though that’s not a very heartening number, there are things you can do to help you up your odds! Entrepreneur.com ran a great article about why most New Year’s resolutions fail and how you can combat those obstacles. A few of the tactics they mention are:

  • Make only one resolution and make it a habit change that creates the most change.
  • Realize that research shows it takes nearly 70 days to totally break an old habit; even longer to master a new skill.
  • Celebrate positive changes – even small ones!

Haselden’s New Year’s Resolutions

We couldn’t be more excited about 2019! One thing we are doing is reinvigorating our blast emails; we want to get feedback from all of our clients to find out what they’d like to see in their inboxes. To that end we’ll be sending out an email survey this month to find out what information our clients are interested in. We can’t wait to hear from you!