How Men and Women Keep Resolutions Differently
By Cheryl Harbour

Most people look at the beginning of a new year as a chance for self-improvement – getting healthier, sticking to a budget, taking on new challenges. While all people have high hopes for their resolutions, more than half of them will fail within 12 days and more than 80% will fail by February. While it varies from study to study, only about 9% will achieve their resolution. Most interestingly, new research shows that your gender actually affects what resolutions you will make and keep.

A study led by Dr. Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire, tracked more than 3,000 people and their approach to achieving their New Year’s Resolutions, as well as what success they achieved over the course of a year.

The results showed “men were 22% more likely to succeed when they set goals for themselves, such as losing a pound a week rather than losing weight in general. In addition, men tended to succeed when they focused on rewards, such as losing weight to become more attractive to the opposite sex.”

On the other hand, women were “more successful at keeping their New Year’s resolutions when they shared their goals with close family and friends. Telling others about their resolutions increased women’s chance of keeping resolutions by 10%.”

In addition to gender, age also has a major impact on how people make and keep resolutions. To start, millennials are nearly twice as likely than baby boomers to even make a New Year's resolution in the first place. Also, younger men are more likely than younger women to make resolutions, while older women are more likely than older men to make them.

According to Reader's Digest, the most popular New Year's resolutions, regardless of gender, are getting in shape, losing weight, enjoying life more, saving more money, spending more time with family, getting organized, and learning something new. Here are five resolutions we suggest specifically for baby boomers:

  1. Hire a financial advisor
  2. Write down what your "dream retirement" looks like
  3. Revisit your investment allocation
  4. Determine your social security strategy
  5. Learn how retirement income impacts your taxes

If you’re still searching for a few resolutions worth keeping:

Women: An article in Prevention magazine highlights seven women and the best New Year’s Resolutions they ever stuck with. First on the list is “Starting the day with ‘me’ time.”

Men: In agreement  with the idea that men succeed if their goals are more specific, offers advice on ways to change broad general goals, such as “I’m going to take control of my health” to more achievable goals, such as “I’m going to make an appointment with my doctor. “

Everyone: As Stephen Covey, the author of 7 Daily Habits of Highly Effective People, said, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

Best wishes for a successful New Year!


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