New Year’s resolutions — yes or no?

Published 2:57 pm Friday, January 18, 2019

We are past the half-way point in this new month of January 2019. If you made a New Year’s resolution at the start of the month, are your good intentions still in place? Are you among the small percentage of Americans who achieve their New Year’s goals?

A few days ago, I read the results of a survey by Vitagene that covered more than 1,450 people across every state and the District of Columbia. The company is focused on helping people live a healthy life by providing information about their unique genetic makeup.

Although I did not recognize the Vitagene name, I was fascinated with the survey results. The headline was “Most Popular 2019 New Year’s Resolutions in Each State.” Nationally, the five most popular resolutions are “exercise to get in shape,” diet to lose weight,” “save money,” “eat healthier in general,” and “something for self-care.”

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All appear to be worthy goals. Disappointing is the fact that many of us have difficulty achieving those goals.

For example, five years ago, writer Dan Diamond reported in a healthcare newsletter that about 40 percent of us make New Year’s resolutions but only about eight percent actually follow their resolutions through to a successful conclusion.

Diamond noted that many people use the New Year as an opportunity to make large bucket lists or attempt extreme makeovers, whether personal or professional.

All of this led to an informal, personal survey of a few people I know. Included were a total of 16 personal and professional acquaintances who were each asked the simple question: “Did you make New Year’s resolutions this year?”

Surprisingly, almost all answered “no.” One respondent said that he made only one resolution this year and that was he would make no resolutions. A management professional who first said “no,” went on to explain that she did determine to work every day at improving her professional abilities and enhancing her spiritual growth. A third one hedged a bit, saying no resolution buy that he was committed to do more about his health care.

Far from being a major study, the results of my local effort fall short of the numbers Diamond reported. He said that about 40 percent of us make resolutions. If we accept the three responses noted in the paragraph above, only about 20 percent of the total group made New Year’s resolutions in 2019.

Did you and members of your family make New Year’s resolutions and will you follow through to success?

William H. Baker, native of Claiborne County and former resident of Middlesboro, may be contacted at