Trying to quit smoking in 2014? You’re not alone: ditching the nicotine-fueled coffin nail is #1 vice people are talking about giving up in 2014.

Happy 2014, people of the interwebs!

On this 3rd day of the new year, I figured I’d do a little social listening to what the social media world is saying about New Year’s resolutions.

There weren’t a whole lot of huge surprises on this year’s New Year’s resolutions list, with the main theme being one of fitness.  But when you have access to a social media monitoring tool that scours the gozillions of conversations, there’s almost always some weird little piece of data that shows up that you didn’t expect.

This year, that word was “government.”

It would seem that the citizenry of the tweeting world isn’t just thinking about the things that we as individuals should improve; there are a lot of you using Twitter to give your local and federal governments some tips as to what they can do better in the New Year.  (Are you listening, local government bodies?  You should be: it’s really as easy as having a social listening tool.  Your voters are talking.)

Here’s the word cloud:

A lot of you are talking about the holiday food fest as the reason you need to hit the gym.


The mention of Christmas was somewhat of a surprise to me; it would seem that, at this point, Christmas and the surrounding season is inexorably linked to New Year’s resolutions, particularly as people chat about the various holiday festivities that led them to put on a few pounds.  The word “gym” is also in there because there are a lot of people complaining about the inevitable early January crush on the gym floor.

The “children” result is varied: some of you want to help children abroad, some of you want children to have better schooling.  The overall theme there is that we want a better world for our children.  As far as resolutions go, I suppose that’s up to you individually to determine what action you might take on behalf of the children.

You might also notice the word “camera” in the word cloud – this is an extraneous result that has to do with technical resolution, but I left it in here to show y’all the sort of results that you might get from this kind of social search initially. I could very easily modify my search to simply exclude the word “camera” from this result to get a more accurate snapshot of the actual New Year’s resolutions, or require that the terms “New Year” be in the search itself. “Timeline photos” is the same issue – it has to do with screen resolutions.

Most people talk about how easy it is to break their New Year’s resolutions, and it’s easy to see that: their lofty top-of-mind residency is sort-lived.  Here’s the conversation volume since Christmas:


And it would seem that America doesn’t have a complete monopoly over this New Year’s Resolution business:


2/3 of New Year’s Resolutions chatter was American this year.


As for me, my New Year’s resolution is to make more lists.  So, as promised, here are the Top 5 2014 New Year’s Resolutions, as mentioned on social media sites:

Top 6 2014 New Year’s Resolutions

1) Get to the gym

2) Eat better

3) Stop smoking

4) Do better in school

5) Be more diligent about religious practice

6) Make the world a better place for its children

So, there you have it: the top 6 New Year’s Resolutions of 2014, as mentioned on social media sites.  For my part, I’ll hold hope that 2014 has some awesome surprises in store.  Hope to see y’all when we head back to work on Monday.

Happy New Year!