The Most Popular New Year’s Resolutions for 2024

Graphic with the words "2024 is my year to..."

Another year in the books – almost.

As we head into the December holidays and start thinking about the New Year ahead, millions of people in the U.S. engage in the time-honored tradition of making New Year’s Resolutions. At Pinnacle Treatment Centers, our primary goal as an organization – and as individuals – is to offer the best possible professional support for people with substance use disorder, alcohol use disorder, and co-occurring disorders. We can consider that goal our yearly resolution: in 2024 we resolve to redouble our efforts to support people in need with lifesaving, life-changing addiction and mental health treatment.

We’ll prioritize efforts to expand access to medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) for people with opioid use disorder (OUD), and advocate for compassionate, comprehensive care for all, including new approaches supported by the federal government, such as harm reduction and initiatives that address the social determinants of health (SDOH).

Those are our plans for the year to come. If you make New Year’s resolutions, or something similar, you’re not alone: surveys show that around three out of every four adults in the U.S. make resolutions every year.

We’ll share the results of a new survey on the most popular resolutions for 2024 below. First, let’s review the top five resolutions for the past two years, according to surveys conducted by Forbes and Statista.

First up, 2023:

2023: Top Five Resolutions

  1. 52% resolved to exercise more
  2. 50% resolved to eat healthier
  3. 40% resolved to lose weight
  4. 39% resolved to save more money
  5. 37% resolved to save spend more time with family and friends

Next, 2022:

2022: Top Five Resolutions

  1. 48% resolved to exercise more
  2. 44% resolved to eat healthier
  3. 41% resolved to lose weight
  4. 34% resolved to spend more time with friends and family
  5. 24% resolved to save or be more careful with their money

Now we’ll take a look at how things went for people in 2023, how they feel about their plans for 2024, and how they plan to stick to their resolutions in 2024.

New Year’s Resolutions: Results From 2023

This year, Forbes partnered with polling professionals One Poll to learn about last year’s resolutions and collect details on resolutions for 2024. One funny thing about resolutions: many people have high hopes going in, but most people don’t keep their resolutions the entire year. Here’s the data on that particular aspect of New Year’s resolutions.

In 2023, 87 percent of people thought they had a good chance of keeping their resolutions the entire year. Here’s how that worked out.

New Year’s Resolutions 2023: Success Rates

  • 23% kept their resolutions for three months
  • 22% kept their resolutions for two months
  • 13% kept them for four months
  • 9% kept them for 5 months
  • 8% kept them for one month

At this point in 2023, 6 percent of people report they’ve kept their resolutions all year long. That’s a long way from the 87 percent who thought they had a good shot at keeping them. The polls don’t cite reasons people gave for giving up on their resolutions, but we can help you make resolutions that have a good chance of lasting. To learn how to increase your chances of making a robust, durable resolution, please navigate to the blog section of our website and read this article:

If You’re in Recovery, Can You Make New Year’s Resolutions That Stick?

That article is specifically for people in recovery, and the tips are tailored to support the overall recovery process. In addition to the helpful pointers in that article, a study conducted in 2020 shows there are two primary types of resolutions – and one has more chance of success than the other.

  1. Approach-oriented resolutions: I will…
    • 58.99% of people in the survey who made approach-oriented resolutions kept them for a year or more
  1. Avoidance-oriented resolutions: I won’t…
    • 47.1% of people in the survey who made avoidance-related kept them for a year or more

That doesn’t surprise us: when we frame thing positively and affirmatively, it increases our likelihood of engagement. Why? Perhaps it’s because “I will” statements imply hope and optimism, while “I won’t” statements imply limits or restrictions.

How People Feel About Resolutions Going Into 2024

Now let’s take a look at some of the details about how people feel about and plan to keep their resolutions in 2024, based on the Forbes/One Poll survey we link to above.

New Year’s Resolutions 2024: Feelings and Plans

  • 62% felt pressured to make resolutions
    • Women: 64%
    • Men: 60%
  • 55% say physical and mental health are equally important for 2024
  • Women and men prioritized mental health equally for 2024
  • Women are more likely than men to prioritize fitness in 2024
  • 20% plan to keep themselves accountable
    • That’s a huge drop: in 2023, 77% planned to keep themselves accountable.
  • 80% think they can keep their resolutions all year
    • 82% of men
    • 79% of women
  • 49% plan to use an app to stay accountable. Popular app types include:
    • Diet: 46%
    • Gym membership app: 43%
    • Habit trackers: 40%
    • Diet app: 33%
    • Meditation app: 33%
  • 86% think their resolution will improve their lives past 2024
  • 29% think they’ll improve life for 1-2 years
  • 57% think they’ll improve life for 3 or more years

This data encourages us. Despite the low overall success rate of keeping resolutions, historically speaking, people are still confident about their ability to keep their resolutions, generally speaking. This confidence is admirable in the face of cynicism and skepticism about resolutions. There are actually two unofficial dates related to abandoned resolutions: one places “Ditch Your Resolution Day” on January 17th, while another places “Quitter’s Day” on the second Friday of January.

If you’re an optimist, then congratulations: that’s what it takes to make and stick to plans for positive future change.

2024: What’s on Deck?

Now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: the top resolutions for 2024. Here’s what the Forbes/One Poll survey reports.

Drumroll please…

2024: Top Five Resolutions

  1. 48% resolved to exercise more
  2. 38% resolved to improve finances
  3. 36% resolved to improve their mental health
  4. 34% resolved to lose weight
  5. 32% resolved to eat healthier

Compared to the past two years, this list is remarkably consistent. The resolution to improve finances made a comeback, jumping up two spots from #4 to #2. Losing weight dropped one spot, from #3 to #4. Spending more time with family and friends dropped out of the top five, supplanted by the upward movement of the financial resolution and the appearance of the improve mental health resolution in the top five.

When we look over this list, we’re encouraged. When people resolve to exercise more, they can expect more than physical benefits. More exercise means improved sleep, reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression, and improved overall wellbeing. The same goes for losing weight and eating healthier. When approach correctly, losing weight and eating healthier lead to overall improvements in wellness. In addition, making more money has an impact, too: while money can’t buy happiness, improving finances can certainly reduce anxiety.

Finally, what we see here is that all five of these resolutions are friendly for people in addiction treatment: improvements in any of these areas can bolster overall health and wellbeing, which support and increase the likelihood of sustainable, lifelong recovery.

If you’re still on the fence about resolutions, then we suggest choosing one of the above, and reading our article on how to make resolutions that stick.

Good luck – and Happy New Year!

The materials provided on the Pinnacle Blog are for information and educational purposes only. No behavioral health or any other professional services are provided through the Blog and the information obtained through the Blog is not a substitute for consultation with a qualified health professional. If you are in need of medical or behavioral health treatment, please contact a qualified health professional directly, and if you are in need of emergency help, please go to your nearest emergency room or dial 911.