Fifty-five per cent of Kiwis make New Year resolutions, but more than 33 per cent do not keep them, a poll has found.

The Herald-DigiPoll survey found that just 21.6 per cent of those who made resolutions kept them and the top Kiwi resolution for the New Year is to lose weight.

The wish to spend less was next, on 21 per cent, then came being kinder (17.7) and eating less (14.6).

Life coach Dairne Kirton said many Kiwis had difficulties letting go of the past, and that stopped them achieving their New Year goals.


"Often it's their past issues that get in the way, hindering people from keeping their New Year resolutions," Ms Kirton said.

"People tend to do the same thing over and over again expecting to get a different result, but it doesn't work that way in real life."

A slightly higher number of men (22.6 per cent) managed to keep the resolutions they made for 2011, compared with 20.5 per cent women.

Ms Kirton said she used to make New Year resolutions before she became a life coach, but now believes in "more strategic life plans".

"I have made concrete plans about things like where I want to be with my work career and my family life in the new year, but I wouldn't call them New Year resolutions as such," she said.

"If a person doesn't have some steps in place on how they are going to achieve their resolutions, then the resolution is just a thought that wouldn't transpire into anything."

Women formed the majority of those wishing to lose weight (29.2 per cent) and eat less (18.1 per cent), compared with men who made up only 20.9 per cent and 10.7 per cent.

However, the top wish for the New Zealand man was to spend less (27.5 per cent) - something that 15 per cent of women had as their resolution.


Ms Kirton, who runs Life Abilities, said the findings were "not at all surprising".

"For women, the weight issue is always the top, but I would think that for men, it's either less spending or to curb their wives' spending on their card.'

She said, however, that people would likely look at relationships and career as more serious life goals.

The poll was taken between December 9 and 16, with a sample size of 500 respondents.

Did you keep last year's New Year resolutions?
Yes 21.6%
No 33.4%
I didn't have any 45.0%
Top resolutions
Lose weight 29.2%
Eat less 18.1%
Be kinder 17.7%
Spend less 27.5%
Lose weight 20.9%
Be kinder 17.6%