Barna Reveals American’s 2011 New Year’s Resolutions

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Jennifer LeClaire

What’s your New Year’s resolution? Getting closer to God? Losing weight? Earning more money? Barna Group set out to discover the New Year’s resolutions of Americans in a survey of more than 1,000 adults.

Not surprisingly, at the top of the list are resolutions related to weight, diet and health (30 percent), followed by money, debt and finances (15 percent) and personal improvement (13 percent). Other Americans listed overcoming an addiction (12 percent), job and career (5 percent) and educational (4 percent).

Only 5 percent of respondents cited a church-related resolution for 2011. Improving relationships, giving more, and having a better life didn’t even garner 5 percent. And God hardly ranked at all.

“Only 9 out of more than 1,000 survey respondents—that’s not quite 1 percent—mentioned that one of their objectives for next year was getting closer to God in some way,” says David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group. “Even in the rare instance when people mention spiritual goals, it is often about activity undertaken for God, rather than a personal pursuit of God or an experience with God.”

As Kinnaman sees it, perhaps the most problematic trend in the resolutions survey is the finding that Americans hinge their efforts at personal change by focusing almost exclusively on themselves, rather than realizing that lasting change often comes by serving and sacrificing for others.

“Churches and faith communities have a significant opportunity to help people identify what makes for transformational change and how to best achieve those objectives—especially by relying on goals and resources beyond their individualism,” he concludes.

What are your New Year’s resolutions? I’d love to hear about your goals, visions and dreams for 2011. Please share with me in the comment box below.


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