Don't "Drop the Ball" on These New Year's Resolutions!

NEW YORK, Dec. 22, 2011 — With 2012 rapidly approaching, many Americans will be making New Year’s Resolutions to improve upon themselves in the coming year. A new study from local market consumer research firm Scarborough reveals some of the likely New Year’sResolution topics for the over 235 million American adults age 18+. There are six major categories for New Year’s Resolutions as determined by Scarborough: Voting, Financial, Technology, Fitness, Education and Eco-friendliness.

2012 is not only a new year – it is an election year. Since 19% of American adults assert that they never vote in presidential elections, 2012 is a prime year for Voting Resolutions to be made. Generationally speaking, Gen Y* and Gen X* represent the biggest opportunities for a change in voting behavior as 34% and 21% respectively say they never vote in presidential elections. For comparison, 72% of all American adults say they always vote in presidential elections.

Financial Resolutions are also popular. Only 22% of American adults say they live in a household that has a 401K plan and 20% have an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Additionally, 67% have a savings account and 86% have a checking account. There is ample opportunity for the 14% of American adults who have none of these financial services for their household to set a Financial Resolution. 57% of the Silent Generation* say they have a savings account for their household while Baby Boomers* ranked highest for having a checking account (84%) or an IRA (23%).

How about becoming more technologically savvy as a resolution? 13% of American adults live in a household that plans to purchase an eReader, HDTV or smartphone in the next 12 months. A Technology Resolution, with a focus on commitment to learning new platforms, would bring the two older generations up-to-speed with their younger counterparts. Baby Boomers are 13% less likely than all American adults to plan to purchase an eReader, HDTV or smartphone in the next 12 months and the Silent Generation is 61% less likely to do the same.

Fitness is an area that is revisited annually by resolution-makers. Despite this enthusiasm for fitness, only 20% of American adults belong to a gym. In the past 12 months, 77% of adults said they were not runners or joggers and 91% did not do yoga or Pilates.

When it comes to education, 6% of American adults plan on returning to school in the next 12 months and 26% hold a college degree or higher. Gen Y was the generation most interested in returning to school in the next 12 months (17%). Additionally, Gen X had the highest percentage with a college degree or higher (34%).

Another area in which American adults may want to challenge themselves in 2012 is in eco-friendly activities. 34% of American adults do not recycle glass, plastic or paper on a regular basis and 83% do not buy organic food.

Adults across the U.S. may consider embracing these resolutions, but there are many local markets that already have a head start:

  • Voting (Minneapolis and Detroit – 80% of adults always vote in presidential elections)
  • Financial (Seattle, WA and Green Bay, WI – 93% of adults have a savings, checking or 401K in the household)
  • Technology (San Diego – 17% of adults live in a household that plans to purchase an eReader, HDTV, or smartphone)
  • Fitness (San Francisco – 27% of adults belong to a health club)
  • Education (El Paso, TX – 12% of adults have plans to return to school in the next year)
  • Eco-friendliness (Green Bay, WI – 97% of adults engage in at least one eco-friendly activity on a regular basis)

*Scarborough defines the different American generations as Generation Y (age 18-29), Generation X (30-44), Baby Boomers (45-64) and the Silent Generation (65+).