Published On: Tue, Jan 10th, 2023

A third of Brits who set New Year’s resolutions will give up on them today, study finds


And a poll of 2,000 adults found that almost two-thirds (61 percent) believe keeping their new year’s pledges will be even harder this year.

Even those who do make it through today without giving up need to stay strong in the coming days, as “Quitters Day” – traditionally the second Friday of January – is fast approaching, and falls on unlucky Friday the 13th this year.

Based on last year’s performance, just 38 percent of adults will stay on track with their resolutions until the end of the month – although 2023’s numbers may well be less than that.

And the study, conducted by the world’s number one language app, DuoLingo, also revealed the hardest New Year’s resolutions to stick to – with over a third (36 percent) failing at their vow to give up meat.

This was closely followed by “cutting phone screen time by a tenth” (34 percent), and “going to the gym at least twice a week” (33 percent).

“Using Tik Tok for just 10 minutes a day” came in fourth place, with 25 percent reckoning that would be a tricky challenge to meet – while 22 percent struggle to “call friends or family at least once a week”.

But the problem might not all be down to a lack of willpower, according to Duolingo’s senior learning scientist, Dr Cindy Blanco.

She 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.”

One man who has shown true commitment and stuck to his goals is Owen Radcliffe, an SEO specialist from Pudsey, West Yorkshire, who has completed a daily Italian lesson on Duolingo for 3,321 days – that’s nine years solid.

For him, the secret to success is not letting any excuse get in his way – including the day he became a new dad.

He said: “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 even just as my new son was born.”

Luckily, his efforts have been worth it, and he said: “I’m now a frequent Italian speaker in real life scenarios, so hey ho.”

And despite our habit of dropping New Year’s resolutions early, plenty of Brits do still feel they are worth making.

As many as seven in ten Brits have set one this year, according to the study – and 84 percent say having personal goals helps them feel grounded when there’s so much doom and gloom in the news.

Meanwhile, a whopping 88 percent say New Year goal setting makes them feel accountable to their future self.

But first, we need to get through today and Quitters Day – and, to help new learners get past the January 10 sticking point, Duolingo is providing you with an incentive.

To be in with a chance of winning the infamous Duo the owl plushie, along with loads of other Duolingo goodies, just head to the @DuolingoUK Twitter and state your 2023 motivation for learning, before the end of January.



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