New Year's Resolution Statistics for the U.S.

157.2 New Year's Resolution Statistics for the U.S.

This is the first part of a two-part lesson. In the first part, you’ll learn how to use the common English expression: To Get the Ball Rolling.

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Words that are bolded in red are suggested vocabulary words for this episode.

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Welcome back. This is episode number 157.2 New Year’s Resolution Statistics.

Every January, as the clock strikes midnight and the New Year unfolds, millions of people around the globe start a familiar ritual: they start their New Year’s resolution. A resolution is a firm decision or commitment to oneself to achieve some sort of goal. Usually one is made with the hope of self-improvement.

In today’s lesson, we’ll talk about a few different studies and surveys about top New Year’s resolutions in the United States. My hope is to uncover cultural insights, not only about our aspirations and priorities for 2024, but how we can be more successful at achieving our goals.

Because this is an English lesson, we’ll cover more than just culture. I’ll explain new vocabulary and phrases as we progress through this audio. So listen carefully, you’re going to hear a lot of vocabulary related to statistics. You’ll learn how to compare and contrast data.

Here’s how this lesson will be structured.

First, we’ll start with a mini vocabulary lesson.

Secondly, we’ll casually go over the statistics that I found and how they can be interpreted.

Thirdly, we’ll talk about what we learned from the success and failure of New Year’s resolutions and how that can be applied to our language learning habits so that we have a higher chance of achieving our goals.

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Let’s start with the vocabulary lesson.

In English, we use the verb "to make" when talking about commitments, promises, or resolutions.

  • I made a commitment to stop drinking soda.
  • She made a promise to herself to work out three days a week.
  • He made a resolution to study English for 20 minutes a day.

You can also say he resolved to study English for 20 minutes a day, but it’s not as common.

So to make a commitment, to make a promise, to make a resolution.

We can also keep commitments, promises or resolutions when we maintain them, when we are successful. Right? Nobody wants to give up. Nobody wants to abandon their resolution.

Keeping a resolution requires dedication and consistent effort. So my question for you is, have you ever made a resolution? If so, did you keep it?

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Is it a tradition in your country to make New Year’s resolutions?

In the United States, according to YouGov, 37% of individuals make a New Year’s resolution. 37%! That’s over one third of the population, or more than 1 in 3, right? So here we hear a percentage 37%, one third, that would be a fraction and 1 in 3, so a ratio.

In a recent poll led by Forbes Health and OnePoll, which asked 1,000 Americans about their resolutions for 2024, it was revealed that 62% of respondents feel pressure to make New Year’s resolutions.

For example, if your friends declare their resolutions for 2024 on social media, which might be good for accountability, it might make you feel pressured to do so. Our peers are people around us, our coworkers, our family members, and our friends, we call pressure from these people peer pressure.

Or you might come across New Year’s resolutions conversations [00:05:00] in work environments, or at school. It’s a popular topic to find out what goals people have, specifically at the beginning of the year, when there’s still a feeling of hope in the air. Many people consider January a time to start fresh, although remember, January is not the only time we should be starting fresh. So if you fail with your New Year’s resolution, if you give up, if you abandon it, there’s still 12 months to go, or 11 if you make it to the end of January.

Pressure also comes from the media. If you hop on your computer or smartphone at the end of December or January while in the United States, or if you watch regular cable TV where there are ads or commercials that appear, you’ll see ads for gyms, dieting programs, or weight loss apps that say things like, "Do you want to lose weight in 2024? Now’s your chance to commit!" 

The funny thing about these ads is that we all know that such companies and gyms are banking on people setting goals to increase their sales. By banking on, I mean, they’re depending on or relying on in a very hopeful way. They’re banking on people, like you and me, signing up for memberships and subscriptions so that we can get fit in the upcoming year.

In fact, according to the Forbes Health/OnePoll survey, the number one priority for people living in the United States in 2024 is to improve their physical health. People want to get fit. They want to get in shape. 48% of people listed improved fitness as a top resolution.

Mentioned in the Audio 

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That’s it for the free part of this transcript. For the vocabulary, definitions, quiz, full transcript and more, be sure to sign up to Season 4.