Top 10 Cities for Keeping New Year's Resolutions

Rock Climbing in Fort Collins, CO
Rock Climbing in Fort Collins, CO

Ranking Criteria

  • Quality of life factors
  • Positive peer pressure
  • Resolution specific amenities

Expect to see a lot of Top 10 or Best New Year's Resolutions list for 2012, as millions of people across the country begin the new year attempting a lifestyle change. Since we at Livability.com are all about great cities and best places to live, we wondered which places would offer the best chances of keeping those resolutions.

Many of us have resolved to eat healthier, strengthen relationships, drop bad habits or learn something new. Unfortunately most New Year's resolutions will be broken, according to many human behavior experts.

Basically, people need all the help they can get in keeping their resolutions, and being in the right place gives them better odds, according to Bruce Stewart, personal development coach and co-author of Your Way Home: The Psychology of Place Inside and Out. Stewart is a master practitioner of neuro-linguistic programming, an approach to personal development centered on organizing learned neurologic processes, language and behavior.

"Our surroundings are integral to our happiness," Stewart says. "Our environments not only influence who we are, they also can help us actualize who we want to be."

Where we live influences our behavior in both conscious and unconscious ways, he says. Those looking to make a change need more than just the willpower to make it happen. They need the support of their peers and a setting that allows them to create the lifestyle they want.

To identify the 10 best places for keeping New Year's resolutions, Livability.com started with our 500 best places to live and ranked them based on residents' health, population growth, financial strength, recreational activities, cultural amenities and general happiness. In some cases we relied on existing lists and data collections, such as the American Fitness Index. We determined which resolutions are most likely to be kept in which cities based on quality-of-life factors, the types of peer pressure you may find there and the temptations that could lead you astray.

"When considering a location, it's essential to make sure the location's resources match your needs and interests," Stewart says. "When you feel aligned with where you live and work, you're much more likely to be successful. If you're not, you'll experience some sort of stress and this will make it more difficult to succeed."

From the exercise fanatics in Fort Collins, CO, to the large network of volunteers in Omaha, NE, these cities give resolution makers an advantage. What better way to start a new year than in a new place that sets you up for success?


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