The Best and Worst Cities for Keeping New Year's Resolutions

By David Cusick
2020 wooden text and New Year's Goals List written on Notebook with alarm clock, pen, coffee over wooden background

New Year’s is a time to reflect on the past and plan for the future — what went well, what went wrong, and what you want to be different next year. Setting resolutions can be a way to make sure you meet your goals to have a better year than the one before. What we’ve found is that where you live can have an impact on your ability to achieve them. 

At House Method, stepped away from our usual in-depth content such as American Home Shield reviews, Choice Home Warranty reviews, and First American reviews to reflect on the past year and what the New Year might bring. We ranked the 100 largest cities in the U.S. on the four most common New Year’s resolutions: exercise, healthy eating, saving money, and reducing stress. We then compiled those rankings to create our list of the Best Cities for Keeping New Year’s Resolutions. Read on for the complete rankings and methodology. 

Main Findings

Best Cities for Keeping New Year's Resolutions

Overall RankCity, StateExercise RankHealthy Eating RankSaving Money RankReducing Stress Rank
1Scottsdale, AZ522618
2Madison, WI2616307
3Jersey City, NJ63713
4Anaheim, CA41851
5Minneapolis, MN1541356
6Denver, CO11355011
7Aurora, CO2023599
8Irving, TX594543
9Irvine, CA216814
10Plano, TX5515142
11Boise, ID50142331
12Glendale, AZ47104912
13Santa Ana, CA1458616
14Chandler, AZ719349
15Atlanta, GA22314636
16Mesa, AZ51113638
17Seattle, WA582418
18Gilbert, AZ698258
19Chula Vista, CA29127329
20St. Petersburg, FL49302539
21Lincoln, NE58572114
22Albuquerque, NM54372634
23San Jose, CA16456327
24Garland, TX7371460
25Saint Paul, MN44583121
26Portland, OR19596215
27Pittsburgh, PA24556413
28Austin, TX35472254
29Long Beach, CA12299226
30Washington, DC13784820
31Richmond, VA36286828
32Durham, NC60255323
33San Diego, CA17508317
34San Francisco, CA395665
35Cincinnati, OH48265844
36Spokane, WA46922910
37Milwaukee, WI27497032
38Orlando, FL43186556
39Anchorage, AK57971019
40Omaha, NE66731133
41El Paso, TX78131679
42Sacramento, CA31518024
43Oakland, CA986902
44Dallas, TX33225481
45Fremont, CA30714050
46Lexington, KY75272467
47Houston, TX42194593
48Henderson, NV9621778
49Phoenix, AZ38433982
50Buffalo, NY32628722
51Virginia Beach, VA70611557
52Nashville, TN79241785
53Riverside, CA45177865
54Wichita, KS8446868
55Hialeah, FL23349852
56Colorado Springs, CO63743240
57Greensboro, NC67406045
58Chicago, IL10817251
59Tampa, FL53365669
60Boston, MA7988230
61Cleveland, OH41429341
62Miami, FL18539947
63Raleigh, NC68772848
64Kansas City, MO72653453
65Chesapeake, VA9732492
66Fort Worth, TX76441889
67St. Louis, MO34896737
68Reno, NV65856125
69Laredo, TX1002020100
70Fort Wayne, IN87671380
71Tucson, AZ61635766
72Philadelphia, PA8948462
73Charlotte, NC74483395
74Honolulu, HI28969135
75Los Angeles, CA2849670
76Newark, NJ255210077
77Baltimore, MD40697673
78Louisville, KY83542794
79Lubbock, TX86793855
80North Las Vegas, NV91335283
81Oklahoma City, OK94701284
82Arlington, TX7788991
83Columbus, OH64874371
84Winston–Salem, NC90385186
85Las Vegas, NV80565575
86Fresno, CA39838859
87Corpus Christi, TX99761976
88Tulsa, OK93753772
89Detroit, MI56669561
90New Orleans, LA37999746
91New York, NY11009488
92San Antonio, TX82644298
93Norfolk, VA81727463
94Indianapolis, IN89684797
95Memphis, TN95397990
96Toledo, OH85807764
97Baton Rouge, LA92606987
98Stockton, CA62908974
99Jacksonville, FL98934499
100Bakersfield, CA88917596

Summary

The best city overall for keeping new year’s resolutions is Scottsdale, Arizona. Scottsdale scored high in three of the categories evaluated. It’s the second best city for healthy eating and the sixth best city for saving money. With all the factors combined, Scottsdale made the top spot.

Right behind Scottsdale is Madison, Wisconsin. Madison is a top contender for a place to live if you want to reduce stress and eat healthy — knockout two new year’s resolutions in one city. Rounding out the top five is Jersey City, NJ, Anaheim, CA, and Minneapolis, MN. 

Landing themselves in the very last spot is Bakersfield, California. When taking all factors into account, Bakersfield just doesn’t add up to the rest of the cities. The city scored in the bottom ten in almost every category evaluated. The other cities that join Bakersfield for the worst cities to live if you want to keep your resolutions are Toledo, OH (96), Baton Rouge, LA (97), Stockton, CA (98), and Jacksonville, FL (99).

Methodology

To find the best and worst cities for keeping New Year’s resolutions, we found the average rank from our city rankings on:

  1. Eating healthy
  2. Exercise
  3. Saving money
  4. Reducing stress

Each ranking category was given equal weight and the cities were stack ranked based on lowest (best) average overall ranking score. Methodology and sources for each ranking category can be found on their report page.

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