MCLEAN, Va. - A national survey* released today by Hampton Hotels revealed Americans are very optimistic about keeping their 2013 New Year's resolutions, with more than three quarters of respondents (76 percent) noting their dedication will lend them a more positive outlook for the entire year.  Not only do Americans believe resolution loyalty will bring them greater life satisfaction in the New Year, but the majority also identified volunteerism (81 percent) and being surrounded by other happy individuals (87 percent) as having the greatest effect on overall happiness.

Dr. Christine Carter, a sociologist and happiness expert at UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center, helps people realize how to best make their resolution goals a reality.  Hampton Hotels partnered with Dr. Carter to develop this survey and corresponding tips for a happier, healthier 2013.

"Happiness is often tied to one's sense of accomplishment, but what people sometimes forget is that the little things count - and in a very big way - towards feeling good," said Dr. Carter.  "When you start to give yourself credit for small wins, you'll find more satisfaction in everyday life."

According to Hampton's survey, many people think they have a better chance of winning the lottery (17 percent) or getting struck by lightning (14 percent) than keeping their resolutions. However, to help ward off these negative feelings, Dr. Carter offers the following simple tips to help people make and effectively keep resolutions.

Pick a resolution that will bring you greater happiness in 2013.  Not surprisingly, 73 percent of survey respondents want to exercise more often; 65 percent want to volunteer or give back to others; and 66 percent want to maintain better communication with friends or family.  All of these elements are proven contributors to a more joyful life and can be a source of unexpected delight throughout the year. As such, success in keeping such goals will lead to a more fulfilling and happier 2013.

Focus on just one resolution at a time. It's always better to make small, steady progress than to make an overly ambitious list of resolutions that can't be kept. Willpower is a limited resource that needs to be conserved, especially since a portion of survey respondents (38 percent) believe "poor willpower" is a top obstacle to their success in keeping their resolutions.  You can either work to improve your willpower, or you make it easier on yourself by conserving self-control and only applying it to one behavior at a time.

Get social support.  According to Hampton Hotels' recent survey, 21 percent of people felt that not having someone else holding them accountable was a major obstacle to their success.  Blogging or socializing your 2013 goals via Facebook or Twitter can help you feel personal responsibility and motivation.  By joining a network of like-minded, empathetic goal setters, you're more likely to stay on track.  Not ready to go public?  Enlist a trusted friend or confidant.

Choose a positive habit.  While 38 percent of people believe deeply ingrained habits are obstacles to their success, the opposite can also be true: when something becomes a habit, you no longer have to exert effort to make it happen.  Instead of resolving to quit something, stay positive and compliment yourself on your strengths; then choose a behavior you'd like to start.  For example, instead of vowing to lose weight, make a commitment to habitually choose a healthy, high-protein breakfast.

Break your resolution down.  Sixteen percent of respondents to Hampton Hotels' survey believed the largest factor for being able to keep their resolutions would be focusing on small successes, and 84 percent found that focusing on small triumphs had a greater impact on one's overall well-being.  Breaking resolutions into small, manageable steps can help make something a habit, and can keep you from feeling overwhelmed.  If your resolution is ultimately to exercise for an hour a day, start small by committing to exercise just 5 minutes a day and add to it as time goes on.

"At Hampton Hotels, each of our team members is committed to anticipating and fulfilling guests' needs.  It's that dedication to sharing positivity through meaningful moments that makes up our brand culture - what we call our 'Hamptonality,'" said Judy Christa-Cathey, VP of Global Brand Marketing for Hampton Hotels.  "We understand that a small gesture, such as a compliment or empathy, can make a big difference in helping our guests enjoy their stay.  It's our hope that positive spirit can even stay with our guests after they leave and resume their everyday."

To share your New Year's resolutions and see real guest stories brought to life in the "Hamptonality Moments" video series, visit Hampton's Facebook community at www.Facebook.com/Hampton or use the Twitter hashtag #HamptonalityMoments.

Additional survey results include:

  • Older Americans are more hopeful than their younger counterparts when it comes to their resolutions. Sixty-eight percent of those ages 55 and older plan on keeping their resolutions for six months or longer, compared to just 51 percent of those 18-54 years old.
  • Respondents report feeling optimistic (42 percent), positive (41 percent) and excited (21 percent) about making goals for 2013 New Year's resolutions.
  • Donating their time towards a cause or charitable effort is the most important way respondents plan to give back in 2013 (56 percent).

To view the results of the survey in an infographic, go to news.hampton.com/gethappyin2013. For more information about Hampton Hotels, visit www.news.hampton.com or www.hampton.com.

*Edelman Berland fielded a ten-minute online survey December 5 - 7, 2012 among a total sample of n=1,000 U.S. adults that was regionally and demographically representative of the latest U.S. Census data.

Contacts: Jaime Derbyshire
Edelman Public Relations
+1 212 729 2185
jaime.derbyshire@edelman.com

John Walls
Director, Global Brand Public Relations, Hampton Hotels
901 374 6383
John.Walls@hilton.com

About Hampton Hotels The Hampton Hotels brand, including Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites and Hampton by Hilton, is Hilton Worldwide’s award-winning leader in the mid-priced hotel segment, serving value-conscious and quality-driven travelers. With over 1,900 properties totaling more than 188,000 rooms in 14 countries and territories, Hampton Hotels is part of Hilton Worldwide, a leading global hospitality company. All Hampton hotels offer comfortable surroundings and a friendly service culture, defined as "Hamptonality," delivered by over 50,000 Team Members and supported by the 100% Hampton Guarantee®, reinforcing its commitment to providing excellent service to both business and leisure travelers alike. High-quality and consistent accommodations and amenities, such as free Wi-Fi and free hot breakfast, and the latest technology and innovations, such as multi-unit Power Cubes and the brand’s signature Clean and Fresh Hampton Bed®, combined with numerous locations globally have made Hampton a leader in its segment and one of the fastest growing hotel brands worldwide. Please visit www.hampton.com, http://news.hampton.com or www.hamptonoffers.com for more information and connect with Hampton Hotels online at www.faceboook.com/Hampton, http://twitter.com/Hampton or www.youtube.com/Hampton.

About Hilton Worldwide Hilton Worldwide (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, spanning the lodging sector from luxury and full-service hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and focused-service hotels. For 94 years, Hilton Worldwide has been dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences. The company’s portfolio of ten world-class global brands is comprised of more than 4,000 managed, franchised, owned and leased hotels and timeshare properties, with more than 678,000 rooms in 91 countries and territories, including Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton HHonors®.