Surevy Results: What You Said About New Year’s Resolutions!

On December 29, 2012, On the Willows launched a survey about New Year’s resolutions! We wanted to know if you made resolutions, what they are, and how you go about fulfilling them, if at all! Finally, here are the results! Please share your thoughts in the comments section . . .

Q: Do you typically make New Year’s resolutions of some kind?


The overwhelming majority of respondents do make resolutions. Do you think New Year’s resolutions are just a trendy tradition for when the calendar moves ahead a year, or can they be a genuine, personal decision to “start fresh”?

Q: What answer best describes your follow-through with resolutions?

I follow through with most of my resolutions
I follow through with some of my resolutions
I follow through with very few of my resolutions
I follow through with none of my resolutions

The mere fact that only 2% of respondents follow through with absolutely no resolutions is an indication that making a New Year’s resolution is likely a helpful practice and more than just an empty tradition.

Q: Do you make resolutions about improving your diet and/or exercise routine?


76% of respondents make resolutions about how active they will be and how they want to change their eating habits!

Q: Here is a list of popular resolutions (taken from other surveys). Check all that apply to your list of 2013 resolutions!

Read my Bible more
Pray more
Journal more
Lose Weight
Work out more
Cook Healthier
Spend less time on social media sites
Spend more time with family
Organize finances / financial planning
Save more
Get out of debt
Get organized
Organize all of my digital photos online
Take a Dream Vacation
Date my spouse more
Work on my marriage

Throughout the survey period (about 10 days), we saw “Read my Bible more” and “Work out more” battle for 1st place in the responses. It’s pretty safe to say these two are the top priorities of our readers/respondents for the new year.

Q: What are some of your New Year’s resolutions that you would like to share that were not listed in the last question? (about 50% of respondents answered this open-ended question)

The top trending response was to memorize scripture! The rest were varied responses such as: climb a mountain, floss more, buy a home, more sex with spouse, read more, investing in friendships, become a more godly woman, have a baby, stop gossiping, etc.

Q: What is the obstacle that typically keeps you from reaching your goals? (percentages do not add up to 100% because respondents were allowed to select more than one answer)

Lack of Discipline (including lack of motivation and time management)
Lack of Time (there is no time for myself)
Lack of Resources (I don’t have the money to do these things)

Sometimes, having no time for oneself is a matter of self-discipline. We encourage you to make time for yourself so that you can enjoy hobbies and healthy lifestyle activities. Part of making resolutions is to rearrange priorities in your life! Ask a friend to help you list your priorities and to help you budget your time for these personal activities.

Q: In the past when you have accomplished a goal like this, did it require the help of others?

Yes, I needed accountability from my spouse or a friend
Sometimes, I can do it all on my own
No, I never need help from others once I decide to do something

There is no right answer to this question. Being honest with yourself and making sure you have what you need to be successful in your goals is what’s important.

Here is a list of recommendations to help you accomplish your goals:

1) Start by making a personal list of general priorities in your life (i.e. God, family, church, work, finances, fitness, healthy eating, blogging, reading).

2) Based on those priorities, make your list of resolutions. This can include both things that you want to add to your life and things you’d like to get rid of or do less of.

3) Pray over your list. Search your heart and motives and remove resolutions that may be there for the wrong reasons. Ask yourself which goals are realistic and which ones are superfluous. Keep the resolutions that come with conviction and are in line with a biblical lifestyle. Then, edit your list!

4) Make your goals attainable. If your goal is to “lose weight”, then come up with a specific exercise plan (i.e. three mornings of cardio and strength training at the gym, Pilates twice a week with a friend, switch to the Paleo diet [joking!?]).

5) Make your goals measurable. Again, if your goal is to lose weight, how many pounds do you want to lose and by when? If your goal is to read your Bible more, how often exactly? (Don’t get overly ambitious or you may sabotage yourself with unrealistic expectations and give up.)

4) Meet with a friend or your spouse and share your priorities and resolutions. Talk about any roadblocks you may foresee and allow them to help you come up with ways you can reach these goals. Also, ask them to follow up with you regularly to make sure you are staying strong! If you are married, we encourage you to get your spouse on the “same page” so he can help you and encourage you to accomplish these goals!

6) Get started on your new lifestyle! Remember that you are not doing these things to become superwoman! Keep your heart and motives in check regularly.


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