A new research study of 2,000 British adults has revealed one in three Brits threw in the towel on their New Year’s Resolutions by the 10th of January last year – just ten days after setting commitments like hitting the gym, going vegan, or completing Dry January.
A survey conducted by Duolingo, the world’s number one language app, found a third quit their New Year Resolutions even earlier than the famous ‘Quitters Day’ in 2022 – which is typically recognised as the second Friday in January. A further 62% gave up by the end of the month.
The situation is expected to be the same if not worse this year, with the majority admitting it will be harder to keep up their resolutions in 2023. Over a third cited setting a resolution which was ‘too difficult’ as the reason they gave up on goals last year.
When admitting defeat on their New Year’s Resolutions, Brits mostly felt disappointed, frustrated or simply relieved.
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The top five most difficult resolutions to keep were voted as:
- Giving up meat
- Reducing screen time by 10%
- Going to the gym at least twice a week
- Using TikTok for just 10 minutes a day
- Calling family or friends at least once a week
Of those who quit their resolutions last year, over a quarter admitted they were shocked by how hard it was to keep up with their new goal, whilst almost a third wished they’d had someone or something to keep them motivated when things got tough.
When it comes to commitment, Owen Radford, SEO specialist from Pudsey, is one of Duolingo’s number one ‘streakers’ in the UK and knows all too well how challenging it can be to keep up with new goals. Having completed his daily lesson for 3,320 days now (over nine years), Owen has spent over 79,680 hours learning Italian.
Owen says: “Once you become invested in your hobby, keeping up with it becomes a non-negotiable part of your day. This has led to me completing daily lessons in some very impractical situations – like while hungover in a tent at a festival on low battery with poor signal, at an airport, at work, and particularly as a new parent. But I’m now a frequent Italian speaker in real life scenarios, so the commitment has totally been worth it. Learning a language isn’t always easy, but it gave me structure, and Duolingo’s gamified techniques kept me coming back for more.”
So why are we all still setting resolutions, despite quitting them more quickly than ever before? The majority of Brits (84%) say having personal goals helps them feel grounded when it’s all doom and gloom on the news, and even more (88%) say goal setting at the start of the year makes them feel accountable to their future self.
Duolingo’s senior learning scientist, Dr. Cindy Blanco said: “The trouble with goal setting in January is that we typically choose resolutions that are too ambitious and too difficult to keep. A more effective approach is to break new habits down into mini-goals: think of personally meaningful goals that you can achieve in a few weeks or months, and then repeat that process all year.
This is a great way to build in a ‘reward’ element to keep you engaged, see your progress more easily, and build connections between your study habits and the reward. The Duolingo streak is one way we help learners get that reward, by seeing steady, incremental progress when they study! Think of Duo as your personal trainer, motivating and pushing you each day to reach your next mini-goal.”