New Year’s Resolutions that actually succeeded

February 9, 2023

It’s inevitable for most of us to bail on our New Year’s resolutions early in the year — say, February.

But there must be some folks who succeed, right? With that in mind Save with SPP took a look around to find a few New Year’s Resolution success stories.

An article from a while ago in Canadian Living found a few.

34-year-old Steven of Saint John’s, NL resolved to “get a training plan together, and try to do it.” The “it” he was referring to was running a marathon — and by the fall, he had succeeded, the article reports.

“I just created a very long-range plan, which built up my running times bit by bit, so that it seemed more manageable,” he tells Canadian Living.

A second testimonial in the same article comes from Jenn, 27, of Kitsilano. She had long resolved to start saving, aiming to get a condo one day.

“Last January I made a resolution to actually set up automatic withdrawal from my paycheque straight to a savings account each month. I don’t have enough yet for a down payment, but I’m doing OK. I think I have been successful because the money comes out as soon as I get paid so I don’t really see it or feel it,” she tells Canadian Living.

An article in the New Hampshire Bulletin offers up a couple more successes.

Ann Patchett, the article notes, successfully gave up shopping for an entire year.

“Patchett’s resolution was actually an effort to understand what was driving her to buy things she didn’t need. By the end of the year, after a thousand little decisions not to buy this or that, she had fundamentally changed,” the article notes.

It’s not easy to find a lot of “kept resolution” success stories, and perhaps some stats courtesy of the Discover Happy Habits blog explain why.

A 2016 study, the blog reveals, of Americans found that of the 41 per cent who made New Year’s Resolutions, only “nine per cent feel they are successful in keeping them.” And an earlier 2007 research project found only “12 per cent of participants who set resolutions were successful,” despite the fact that 52 per cent were “confident of success at the beginning.”

The three little successes covered off in this post are interesting. The marathon runner “had a long-range plan” broken up into easy little steps. Our Kitsilano saver made her savings plan automatic — removing temptation to spend from the equation. Our New Hampshire non-shopper found her willpower increased the longer she stuck to her plan.

Taken together, these steps should work whatever your resolution is — a long-term plan, made automatic, that you stick with.

If saving for retirement is your objective, the Saskatchewan Pension Plan can make it automatic for you. Members can have regular deposits made to their bank accounts through SPP’s pre-authorized contribution program. That way, your contributions are made regularly, perhaps each payday, meaning you’re filling your nest egg before you have a chance to spend the coins at the mall. Check out SPP today!

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Written by Martin Biefer

Martin Biefer is Senior Pension Writer at Avery & Kerr Communications in Nepean, Ontario. A veteran reporter, editor and pension communicator, he’s now a freelancer. Interests include golf, line dancing and classic rock, and playing guitar. Got a story idea? Let Martin know via LinkedIn.

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