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Move over weight loss, finding a new job gains steam as a New Year's resolution

A quarter of Americans in survey say they'll be looking for new jobs in 2023,

Published: January 1, 2023 11:10am

Updated: January 2, 2023 12:49am

On Christmas Day alone, the average American consumes 5450 calories, more than twice the daily recommended intake. So it comes as no surprise that the world’s most popular New Year's resolution involves weight loss, closely followed by eating cleaner, and exercising more frequently. 

In the United States, specifically, other popular resolutions involve personal improvement and happiness, a desire to travel more frequently (no doubt fueled by the pandemic lockdowns of 2020 and 2021), the improvement of relationships, be they romantic or otherwise, and a goal to enter therapy

But millions of Americans, it seems, also plan on securing a new job over the next twelve months. As the writer and researcher Chris Melore recently noted, citing a survey conducted by market research company OnePoll, a quarter of Americans may find themselves in new jobs in 2023.

One-third of the survey’s 2,000 respondents said they were likely to look for a new job within the same sector that they currently operate in. Roughly a quarter of respondents, however, said they were looking for a complete change of career.

Melore added that the average American “is willing to put themselves through two years of education to make a career switch," with 24% of respondents saying they would be willing to spend more than three years improving their skills.

Driven by a desire for better pay, a more flexible schedule, and a journey down a different career path, many Americans see 2023 as a time for profound change. 

At the same time, Melore cautioned, many of those wanting to switch careers are also concerned about having to start all over again and accept an entry-level position. Considering how difficult it is to actually find a better job in the U.S., some of those looking to switch careers should perhaps reconsider their plans. 

So in the end, are males or females better at making and keeping resolutions?

In 2018, analysts at 23andMe, the biotech company, attempted to answer this very question in a blog post that reported the findings of a survey of 75,000 customers.

The questioners started by asking customers if they had set a New Year's resolution, before following up by asking those who had how well they had been able to follow this resolution.

Only 21% of those surveyed had actually made a resolution, and only 41% of those who had had actually stuck to it. Some 24% of women reported setting a New Year's resolution; on the other hand, only 18% of men had. 

However, when it came to actually sticking with a resolution, men regularly outperformed women, with 51.5% of males meeting their goals, compared to 42.6% of women. 

Although men and women operate in very different ways, they have one thing in common when it comes to failing to keep New Year's resolutions.

February is the month when most resolutions die a swift death. Gym memberships are cast aside, the cookie jar is restocked, and the therapist gets quickly forgotten about.

By the second month of 2023, we should expect 80% of New Year’s resolutions to have been abandoned. That’s because many resolutions lack specificity and revolve around an “all-or-nothing” mindset.

Take losing weight, for example. The claim “I will lose weight” is a vague one. How will you go about losing it? Is there an actual plan? Quite often, it seems, the answer is no. To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, “fail to prepare, prepare to fail.”\

For New Year's resolutions to be successful they must be both highly specific and entirely measurable. It may help to adopt the S.M.A.R.T. acronym from the world of business.

Your goals must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Related (a defined timeframe). Applying this acronym could prove to be the difference between success and failure.