Don't let the party hats, champagne toasts, and midnight face-sucking sessions fool you. New Year's resolutions—or, at least, making them stick—is an act of war. After all, you've got overcrowded gyms, after-Christmas designer sales, and winter's trademark lack of willpower to contend with.
So this year, if you want to come out on top, you've got to know your enemy. To help, we rounded up the top stats you need to know heading into 2014—plus some pointers on sticking to your guns.
45: Percentage of Americans who usually make New Year's resolutions
10: Amount by which people who fully commit to making resolutions are more successful at keeping them.
1 in 3: Number of people who ditch their vows by the end of January. Top reasons include being too busy or not being committed to their goals in the first place.
66: Percentage of resolvers who set fitness goals as part of their resolutions.73: Percentage of those who gave up before meeting their goal. 4: The number of times those same people have given up on their fitness resolutions in the past.
7: Percentage by which men are more successful than women at resolving to exercise.
38: Percentage of people who don't make resolutions in the first place.
The Top American Resolutions:
21% Weight loss
14% Improve finances
10% Get a new job
7% Healthier eating
5% Manage stress better
5% Stop/reduce smoking
5% Improve a relationship
3% Stop procrastinating
3% Set time aside for self
3% Start a new activity/hobby
2% Improve my work habits
2% Stop/reduce drinking alcohol
1% Assertion/learn to say no
Want to beat the odds? Tell others your goal, says John C. Norcross, Ph.D., ABPP, a distinguished professor of psychology at the University of Scranton and author of Changeology: 5 Steps to Realizing your Goals and Resolutions. "Going public increases accountability and allows for more support," he says.
So post your resolution in the comments below and get ready for January 1.
Stats from Harris Interactive, research in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, FranklinCovey, Bodybuilding.com, University of Scranton, and Wall Street Journal Online/Harris Interactive Health-Care Poll.