If you’re already worried about breaking a New Year’s resolution, take some solace from the fact that you are not alone.
A survey has revealed that Friday 24 January is the day when the UK’s collective willpower is most likely to be broken – and has been dubbed “Fail Friday” as a result.
According to responses from 750 participants who said they would be making resolutions this year and had made them in the past, the average length of time a person can expect to keep to their promise is around three and a half weeks, or 24 days.
One participant in the poll said: “The New Year’s Eve party I went to last year was particularly heavy so one of my resolutions was to cut down the amount I drank.
“I managed to cut down for about three weeks before a friend’s birthday party well and truly broke the resolution.”
The survey, conducted with online shoppers on the website FreeDeliveryLand.co.uk, revealed the sobering statistic that only three per cent of us are likely to keep strictly to a resolution for the full 12 months.
One man, however, has come up with a solution to assist those who want to be an exception to that rule this year.
The Free Help Guy, who in October began a campaign to improve people’s lives by introducing the “Smilebomb”, has set up a website where users can pledge to do something good if their resolve runs out.
The site, theresolutionrevolution.org, allows people to pick from a selection of standard resolutions (or make their own custom one), and then promise to donate money to charity, volunteer their time, sign up to become an organ donor and so on.
The anonymous Free Help Guy said he was shocked to learn that more than nine in 10 of us fail to keep to our resolutions, so set out to do something about it.
He said: “Make yourself a pledge that you’ll go do something good if your resolution attempt fails. That way there’s a win both ways. A success is a success and a failure’s becomes a success too. So you can’t really fail.”
The Free Help Guy added that he would send tailored advice and “surprises” to anyone who set up a pledge on the site, so that even if people do succumb to the Fail Friday curse, “there’s no such thing as a failure”.
New Year's celebrations around the world
New Year's celebrations around the world
London staged what was billed as 'the world's first multi-sensory fireworks display', when flavoured snow and scented bubbles descended on revellers
The London Eye is illuminated by fireworks as 2014 arrives
Fireworks explode over Edinburgh Castle during the Hogmanay street party celebrations
Indonesian people set up fireworks to celebrate 2014 New Years
Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images
Fireworks explode near Malaysia's landmark Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur during the New Year 2014 celebrations
6/23 New Zealand
Fireworks explode over the heads of tourists and locals as the clock hits midnight to celebrate the New Year on the waterfront in the New Zealand town of Queenstown
Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images
7/23 North Korea
Fireworks explode over Juche Tower and the Taedong River in Pyongyang, North Korea to celebrate the New Year
Kim Kwang Hyon/AP
8/23 South Korea
Buddhists light candles during New Year's Eve celebrations at Bongeun Buddhist temple in Seoul
Performers at the New Year's eve Winter Carnival in Newcastle city centre
10/23 Hong Kong
Fireworks explode over Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong
Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Images
Indian sports players from the Madan Mohan Malviya Stadium light candles during an event to welcome the New Year in Allahabad on December 31, 2013
Fireworks explode from Taiwan's tallest skyscraper, the Taipei 101 during New Year celebrations
New Year's Fireworks on Sydney Harbour at Mrs Macquarie's Chair in Sydney, Australia
People dressed in traditional costumes play drums during a performance to celebrate the new year at the Great wall in Beijing
Shinto priests walk under a 'torii' (Japanese gate located at the entrance of a Shinto shrine) after they participated to a shinto ritual in preparation for the New Year at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo
16/23 The Netherlands
An explosion during a carbide shooting, a Dutch New Year's Eve tradition to scare off evil spirits, in Aarle-Rixtel
Lanterns are released into the sky for the 2014 New Year on December 31, 2013 in Bintan Island, Indonesia
Yuli Seperi/Getty Images
Fireworks light up the sky as Filipinos welcome the New Year, Wednesday Jan .1, 2014 in Manila. Traditionally, Filipinos welcome the New Year with fireworks and firecrackers and making the loudest noise possible, including indiscriminate firing of their guns which sometimes result in injuries and deaths
Pyrotechnic show company 'Group F' performs with fireworks in the Vieux Port (Old Port) of Marseille, southern France, on December 31, 2013, as part of New Year celebrations on the last day of the Marseille-Provence 2013 European Capital of Culture
Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images
Fireworks explode in the sky during New Year celebrations in Moscow's Red Square
21/23 United Arab Emirates
Fireworks explode over Palm Jumeirah in Dubai on January 1, 2014 to celebrate the new year. Dubai kicked off New Year with a dazzling bid for a new world record to cap those the Gulf city state already holds for its mammoth property developments. The glittering fireworks display that lasted around six minutes spanned over 60 miles of the Dubai coast
Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images
22/23 United Arab Emirates
Fireworks explode in the sky over Dubai
Fireworks over Edinburgh to celebrate the New Year's Eve Edinburgh Hogmanay street party, Scotland