Health, faith and finances are the three most common topics of New Year’s Resolutions, according to a new Lifeway Research survey that examined what Americans focus on when the calendar turns.
The poll found that 44 percent of U.S. adults say they’ve made a resolution about their health in the past, while 29 percent say they’ve made a resolution about their relationship with God, and another 29 percent have made a resolution about their finances. About one in four adults (26 percent) say they’ve made a resolution about relationships with a family member.
“New Year’s resolutions reflect the changes people aspire to make,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research. “The COVID-19 pandemic may have forced or encouraged more people to make changes outside of the annual reminder a new year brings. But a New Year’s resolution is still something most Americans have made at some point in their lives.”
About half (48 percent) of Christians who attend a worship service at least four times a month say they’ve made a resolution about their relationship with God, while 20 percent of those who attend less than once a month have done so. Such a resolution about God is more popular among those ages 18-34 (35 percent) and 35-49 (35 percent) than those 50-64 (25 percent) and over 65 (17 percent). Among the religiously unaffiliated, 14 percent say they’ve made a resolution about their relationship with God in the past.
Meanwhile, about half of Christians (48 percent) who attend a worship service at least four or more times a month say they’ve made a resolution about their health – a percentage that is higher than those who attend church less than once a month (38 percent).
Among all Americans, other popular resolution topics include the use of time (22 percent), work (18 percent) and relationships with a friend (15 percent).
“Making a New Year’s resolution doesn’t reveal who or what a person is relying on to make that change in their life, nor how successful such resolutions are,” McConnell said. “But higher numbers seen among younger adults, those who attended at least some college, and church-going Christians indicate they have higher motivation to make such changes at least in the form of New Year’s resolutions.”
The poll involved questions with 1,005 U.S. adults.