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New Year resolutions losing appeal for Americans


At the dawn of every new year, there is one question that does the rounds besides “How was the holiday?” And that has to do with New Year resolutions. It is almost a tradition to take stock of the year coming to a close and make a promise to oneself to improve certain areas of one’s life in the coming year.

In the Golden/TIPP Poll conducted in the first week of January we asked, we asked 1,356 American adults, “Did you make any New Year resolutions?” The answer:

  • 39% Yes
  • 61% No

New Year Resolutions Losing Appeal For Americans

Despite New Year resolutions being considered a ‘tradition,’ it is interesting to note that the majority did not make any resolutions this year. But, more than a third had resolved to improve at least one or more facets of their lives.

The number among men and women also did not show much variation with

  • 60% Men
  • 63% Women

…saying they had made a promise to themselves to do better in the coming year.

The Golden/TIPP Poll data shows that the young are far less inclined to make such pledge.

The practice of making resolutions around the holidays seems to have stuck with folks who have likely been doing so for many years.

Those who have made New Year resolutions according to age brackets read:

  • 30% 18-24 years
  • 48% 25-44 years
  • 73% 45-64 years
  • 81% 65+ years

While people can focus on any aspect they wish to change or improve, resolutions can be broadly clubbed under various heads. We asked those who had made new year resolutions, “What was it (your resolution) based on?”The respondents were given the freedom to choose as many as options as necessary.  The data reads:

  • 59% Self-improvement
  • 53% Health
  • 46% Lifestyle changes
  • 43% Personal finance
  • 34% Weight loss
  • 27% Personal relationships
  • 23% Time management
  • 12% Reducing carbon footprint
  • 3% Other

New Year Resolutions Losing Appeal For Americans

It is not surprising that ‘self-improvement’ was the top choice, given that the New Year resolutions are an attempt to shake off undesirable traits in oneself. It is also interesting to note that though a small minority, 12% of those who took the survey listed ‘reducing carbon footprint’ as one of their goals.

Health and self-improvement scored high across the board. Lifestyle changes , personal finance and relationships were also the focus for many. For instance, among the seniors the top three picks were

  • 60% Health
  • 46% Self-improvement
  • 30% Weight loss

In the 45-64 age category, the focus was on

  • 52% Health
  • 51% Self-improvement
  • 44% Weight loss

Lifestyle changes (42%) and personal finance (39%) also had a significant number of takers.

Among the 25-44 year olds

  • 59% Self-improvement
  • 51% Personal finance
  • 50% Health

47% of them were interested in making lifestyle changes and 31% wanted to focus on personal relationships.

Among the youth,

  • 71% Self-improvement
  • 61% Lifestyle changes
  • 59% Health

The young also wanted to improve their personal finances, 42%, and 38% of them were also paying attention to personal relationships and weight loss.

While the practice of making New Year resolutions may have fewer takers among the young, it’s too early to say the tradition is on its way out. It is true that it is easy to make a resolution than to find the motivation throughout the next 364 days to stick to it. But, a New Year resolution implies hope, in oneself and in the possibility of a better tomorrow.

Here’s wishing everyone good luck with seeing their resolutions through.

TIPP Takes

Geopolitics And Geoeconomics

#1. Pressure Mounts On Germany As Ukraine Urges Faster Arms Supplies – Al Jazeera

Western and Ukrainian officials are piling pressure on Germany to approve the transfer of heavy battle tanks to Ukraine.

New Year Resolutions Losing Appeal For Americans

United Kingdom Defense Minister Ben Wallace said the move could unlock support from other nations ahead of a US-hosted meeting later this week to discuss further military aid to Kyiv.

The appeals came as Ukrainian President Zelensky also insisted on the need for faster weapons deliveries in the wake of a Russian missile attack that killed at least 40 people in an apartment block in the east-central city of Dnipro.

Ukraine has primarily relied on Soviet-era T-72 tank variants, and defense analysts say Western-made battle tanks would provide Ukrainian forces with better protection and more accurate firepower.

Some of Kyiv’s allies have so far resisted sending heavier weaponry to Ukraine amid concerns such moves could drag them more directly into the war with Russia.

#2. E.U. Says Deadly Missile Attack In Dnipro Constitutes A ‘War Crime’ – RFI

The toll from a weekend missile strike on the central Ukrainian city of Dnipro rose to 40 as more bodies were pulled from the debris of a multi-story building.

New Year Resolutions Losing Appeal For Americans

E.U. presidency holder Sweden condemned the attack, saying it constituted a war crime. Russia has denied responsibility.

The Kremlin told a press conference that its forces were not responsible. An unsubstantiated theory on social media suggests that Ukrainian air defense systems had caused the damage.

“The Russian armed forces do not strike residential buildings or social infrastructure. They strike military targets,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

More than 7,000 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since Russia invaded its neighbor last February, according to the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

#3. Ukraine War: Russia’s Wagner Group Commander Requests Norway Asylum – BBC

A former commander with the Russian paramilitary Wagner Group has claimed asylum in Norway after deserting from the mercenary outfit.

New Year Resolutions Losing Appeal For Americans
Andrey Medvedev in uniform before defecting from Wagner

Andrey Medvedev, 26, crossed the border into Norway last Friday, where border guards detained him.

He is currently being held in the Oslo area where he faces charges of illegal entry to Norway, his lawyer Brynjulf Risnes told the BBC. Mr. Risnes said his client left Wagner after witnessing war crimes in Ukraine.

The Norwegian Border Guard confirmed that a Russian man had been detained after crossing the border with Russia but said it could not comment further for “reasons of security and privacy.”

But the Russian human rights group Gulagu, who helped Mr. Medvedev leave Russia, confirmed his identity.

Gulagu’s founder Vladimir Osechkin told the BBC that Mr. Medvedev had joined the paramilitary group in July 2022 on a four-month contract but had deserted after witnessing a host of human rights abuses and war crimes while serving in Ukraine.

In a video posted to its social media channels, Mr. Medvedev said he fled Ukraine in November after being informed that the group intended to extend his contract indefinitely.

#4. Europe Buys Up Diesel Ahead Of Russian Import Ban – Tippinsights

The E.U. imported about 220 million barrels of diesel-type products from Russia last year. The fuel is vital to the bloc’s economy, powering cars, trucks, ships, construction and manufacturing equipment, and more.

New Year Resolutions Losing Appeal For Americans

From February 5, almost all those imports will be banned to punish Moscow for the war in Ukraine. Replacing that much Russian fuel – imagine about 14,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools all brimming with diesel – is a mighty challenge.

In 2021, more than half of all seaborne shipments into the E.U. and U.K. – which already has a ban– came from Russia. Bloomberg said that that proportion had fallen by December last year to about 40 percent, partly thanks to increases from Saudi Arabia and India.

#5. China’s 2022 GDP Growth Among Worst In Decades On COVID Impact – Kyodo News

China’s economy in 2022 expanded by 3% from a year earlier, with the pace being one of the slowest in several decades, due to the nation’s stringent “zero-COVID” policy and a subsequent explosion of infections later in the year.

New Year Resolutions Losing Appeal For Americans

The world’s second-largest economy decelerated significantly from an 8.4 percent expansion in 2021 and failed to achieve its growth target of around 5.5 percent for 2022. In 2020, China saw its GDP increase by only 2.2 percent amid the initial shock of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 3.0 percent GDP growth was the second lowest annual expansion since the Asian economy contracted in 1976, the final year of the decade-long Cultural Revolution initiated by Mao Zedong that historians say killed tens of millions of people.

The draconian antivirus steps involving lockdowns had stifled economic activities, as they restricted people’s movements and disrupted supply chains. A weakening property sector has also overshadowed the Asian country’s economy.

#6. China’s Population Falls For First Time Since 1961 – BBC

China’s population has fallen for the first time in 60 years, with the national birth rate hitting a record low – 6.77 births per 1,000 women. The population in 2022 – 1.4118 billion – fell by 850,000 from 2021.

New Year Resolutions Losing Appeal For Americans

China’s birth rate has been declining for years, prompting a slew of policies to slow the trend. But seven years after scrapping the one-child policy, it has entered what one official described as an “era of negative population growth.”

The birth rate in 2022 was also down from 7.52 in 2021, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, which released the figures on Tuesday. Deaths also outnumbered births for the first time last year – China logged its highest death rate since 1976 – 7.37 deaths per 1,000 people, up from 7.18 the previous year.

Earlier government data had heralded a demographic crisis, which would, in the long run, shrink China’s labor force and increase the burden on healthcare and other social security costs.

#7. Taiwan Still I.C. Leader As Exports Rise – Bloomberg

Taiwan’s exports of integrated circuit (I.C.) chips last year rose for a seventh consecutive year.

New Year Resolutions Losing Appeal For Americans

Exports of I.C. chips — which are pivotal components of electronic appliances, computers, and smartphones — rose 18.4 percent year-on-year, the Ministry of Finance said. It was also the third consecutive year of double-digit percentage growth.

“We believe Taiwan is irreplaceable in the near-term in the semiconductor industry,” Barclays PLC economist Bum Ki Son told Bloomberg News.

Taiwan’s significance in the industry rests on the output of giants such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), which has more than half of the market share in global semiconductor manufacturing, Son said — especially in the manufacturing of the world’s most cutting-edge chips.

#8. Europe Awakens To The Threat Of Sabotage By Russian Agents – Al Jazeera

Suspicion has fallen on Russia over a series of confirmed or apparent acts of sabotage and espionage late last year in Western Europe with European countries increasingly taking measures in response.

New Year Resolutions Losing Appeal For Americans

The acts came after two events that hurt Russian interests. In September, explosions in the Baltic Sea put Russia’s Nord Stream gas pipelines to Germany out of use. Then, on October 7, the Kerch Strait Bridge was bombed, interrupting Moscow’s ability to supply Russian-annexed Crimea, an attack Russia blamed on Ukraine’s military intelligence.

It may have been a coincidence, but the day after the bombing trains across northern Germany ground to a halt after cables that enabled train drivers to communicate were sabotaged.

Two days later, the Danish island of Bornholm was plunged into darkness after the undersea cable that supplies it with electricity from Sweden was severed. On October 19, internet cables were severed in the south of France at three locations simultaneously.

Experts say that attacks on critical infrastructure from France to Denmark are the hallmark of Russian operatives.

#9. U.K. Escalates Feud With Scotland After Gender Equality Law Veto – Bloomberg

A new battlefront has opened up in the standoff between pro-independence forces in Scotland and the British government after PM Rishi Sunak vetoed a contentious new law on gender recognition.

New Year Resolutions Losing Appeal For Americans

The U.K. will block legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament last month that would make it simpler for people in Scotland to legally change their gender. The historic move marks an escalation in tension over the future of the union with England and Wales, coming as the administration in Edinburgh pushes for a referendum on full autonomy that London is refusing to permit.

Alister Jack, who is responsible for Scotland in Sunak’s Conservative government, said that stopping the legislation was necessary because it would have a “significant impact” on equality issues elsewhere in the U.K.

Shona Robison, Scotland’s social justice secretary, called it “a dark day for trans rights and a dark day for democracy in the U.K.”

#10. Europe May Avoid Recession In 2023, Economic Chiefs Say – D.W.

Economic officials from the European Union offered a rosier vision for the bloc’s economic future, with the latest data showing Europe may avoid a recession that had been predicted several months ago.

New Year Resolutions Losing Appeal For Americans

E.U. Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said that although the bloc’s economic situation “is still uncertain … we had some encouraging news.”

“We managed to reduce our energy dependence, energy prices went down significantly, and inflation peaked last year in Europe,” Gentiloni said ahead of monthly talks with Eurozone finance ministers in Brussels.

“So, there is a chance to avoid a deep recession and maybe to enter a more limited, shallow contraction,” he added.

The remarks come from a report earlier this month highlighting that business activity in the Eurozone’s private sector shrank less than expected.

#11. Senior U.S. Officials Make Quiet Stops In Iraq, Jordan – Al Arabiya

President Joe Biden’s top White House adviser on the Middle East is in the region as part of a trip to patch up widening rifts between traditional allies of Washington.

New Year Resolutions Losing Appeal For Americans

Brett McGurk, the White House National Security Council’s Middle East policy coordinator, has made stops in Iraq and Jordan over the last 24 hours. He is also expected to head the delegation to Israel in the coming days.

Jordan’s Royal Hashemite Court said that McGurk met with King Abdullah II to discuss “means of enhancing strategic partnership” between Washington and Amman.

#12. Sweden, Finland Must Send Up To 130 “Terrorists” To Turkey For NATO Bid – Reuters

Sweden and Finland must deport or extradite up to 130 “terrorists” to Turkey before the Turkish parliament approves their bids to join NATO, President Tayyip Erdogan said.

New Year Resolutions Losing Appeal For Americans

The two Nordic states applied last year to join NATO following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but all 30 NATO member states must approve their bids. Turkey and Hungary have yet to endorse the applications.

Turkey has said Sweden, in particular, must first take a clearer stance against what it sees as terrorists, mainly Kurdish militants and a group it blames for a 2016 coup attempt.

Finnish politicians interpreted Erdogan’s demand as an angry response to an incident in Stockholm last week in which an effigy of the Turkish leader was strung up during what appeared to be a small protest.

#13. Over 90 Countries Urge Israel To Lift Sanctions Put On Palestinians After U.N. Vote – The Times Of Israel

More than 90 countries called on Israel to reverse steps taken against the Palestinian Authority over its push for an investigation into Israel at the United Nations.

New Year Resolutions Losing Appeal For Americans

Late last month, the U.N. General Assembly approved a resolution by the Palestinians requesting the International Court of Justice weigh in on the Israel-Palestinian conflict, Israeli “annexation,” and the “legal status of the occupation.”

After the resolution passed, Israel decided to deduct funds from the Palestinian Authority for the benefit of Israeli terror victims, revoked the P.A. foreign minister’s special travel permit, and denied benefits to certain Palestinian officials, among other measures.

The statement released Monday was signed by representatives of Arab nations, the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and 37 other countries, including Germany, France, and Italy, as well as Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, and South Africa.

#14. Taliban Make Use Of Elon Musk’s Twitter Paid Verification – WION

Taliban officials now have verified Twitter accounts. According to the BBC, two prominent officials and four supporters got their accounts verified using a blue tick subscription.

New Year Resolutions Losing Appeal For Americans

This includes the head of the Taliban department for access to information, Hedayatullah Hedayat. He has around 187,000 followers and regularly posts information about the Taliban administration. He acquired the tick by paying the subscription charge, local media reported. The tick has now been removed.

The head of the media watchdog in the Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture, Abdul Haq Hammad, also has a verified account with almost 170,000 followers. Many prominent Taliban supporters now have verified accounts.

Initially, the company had said that its blue tick service would indicate only “noble, active and authentic accounts of public interest,” which would be verified by it and could not be purchased. However, soon after Elon Musk’s takeover, the microblogging site announced its paid “verification tick” available at $8 for android users and $11 for people using the app on Apple devices.

The presence of these hard-line Islamists on Twitter has long been controversial.

#15. UNESCO: Killings Of Journalists On The Rise – D.W.

The number of journalists killed worldwide significantly increased in 2022 after recording a decline over the previous three years, the U.N.’s cultural body, UNESCO, said in a report.

New Year Resolutions Losing Appeal For Americans

The U.N.’s cultural body said 86 journalists were killed worldwide in 2022, as opposed to 55 in 2021. Mexico, Ukraine, and Haiti were among the deadliest countries for reporters.

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said in a statement that 2022’s toll was “alarming.”

“The authorities must redouble their efforts to put an end to these crimes and ensure that perpetrators are convicted because indifference is a major factor in this climate of violence,” Azoulay said.

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Republished with permission from TIPP Insights

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