New Year's resolutions about a relationship with God are popular among young Americans: Poll

Olivia Snow/Unsplash
Olivia Snow/Unsplash

A relationship with God is among the three most common subjects of New Year’s resolutions, particularly among younger Americans, according to a new Lifeway Research survey.

The online survey, released Tuesday, questioned 1,005 Americans about the topics they have “addressed with a New Year’s Resolution in the past.” The survey, conducted between Sept. 3 and 14, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.

The Lifeway Research poll found that 44% of respondents said they’ve made a resolution about their health in the past. Additionally, 29% said they’ve made a resolution about their relationship with God, and another 29% have made a resolution about their finances. 

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Those ages 18-34 (35%) and 35-49 (35%) were more likely to make faith the subject of their New Year’s resolutions than those 50-64 (25%) and 65 and older (17%).

About half (48%) of Christians who attend a worship service at least four times a month said they’ve made a resolution about their relationship with God. By contrast, just 20% of those who attend less than once a month have done so.

Black Americans (41%) are more likely to have made a resolution about God than white Americans (27%), and the religiously unaffiliated were much more likely to have made a resolution about money (36%), time (29%) or work (22%) than about God (14%).

“New Year’s resolutions reflect the changes people aspire to make,” asserted Lifeway Research Executive Director Scott McConnell in a statement. “The COVID-19 pandemic may have forced or encouraged more people to make changes outside of the annual reminder a new year brings. But a New Year’s resolution is still something most Americans have made at some point in their lives.”

“Making a New Year’s resolution doesn’t reveal who or what a person is relying on to make that change in their life, nor how successful such resolutions are,” McConnell added. “But higher numbers seen among younger adults, those who attended at least some college, and church-going Christians indicate they have higher motivation to make such changes at least in the form of New Year’s resolutions.”

Among all Americans, other popular resolution topics include those about relationships with a family member (26%), use of time (22%), work (18%) and relationships with a friend (15%).

The Lifeway Survey comes on the heels of an earlier study conducted this year by Evangelical pollster George Barna and the Family Research Council, which found that only 6% of Americans have a “biblical worldview.”

A previous study conducted last year revealed that the most common religious identity among young adults in the U.S. is “none,” and that the majority of Americans do not see a belief in God as necessary for someone to be moral and have good values.

However, amid the pandemic, more Americans were likely to say that the outbreak “bolstered” their religious faith, Pew Research found. Nearly three in 10 Americans (28%) reported stronger personal faith because of the pandemic. Bible sales also increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Lifeway Christian Resources.

David Jeremiah, senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California, and host of the radio program “Turning Point,” told The Christian Post in a previous interview that amid the pandemic, the Church is “more responsive now than I can ever remember except for the possible exception of 9/11.”

“What we’ve learned from all of this is God doesn’t need a building for there to be a church,” he said. 

‘“When everything in which we have trusted is taken away and we are left with ourselves, we have to ask the hard questions. ‘If this is it, what happens to me now?’ There’s a renewed interest in the Gospel and a desire to know what the Bible has to say.”

Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at:

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