For those of us living in eastern/southcentral Montana, it's pretty easy to give Missoula residents a hard time about their "Missoula-ness". You're certainly familiar with the stereotypes... liberal, tree-hugging, granola-eating, Subaru-driving, weed-smoking, mountain-biking Missoula. I suspect that some of our projected disdain for Missoula is actually thinly veiled jealousy.

Look, I love Billings. But if I was offered a job similar to what I do now with a paycheck big enough to afford to live in Missoula, it would be tempting. For many (including this author), those big, beautiful mountains of western Montana are a mighty powerful draw. However, if you're planning on keeping your New Year Resolutions, experts say you actually have a better chance of success if you stay in Billings.

man drinking and smoking
Smithore, GettyStock/ThinkStock

Setting yourself up for resolution failure.

Forbes wrote that 80% of New Year's resolutions fail. I've never really been a big fan of picking one day a year to try and make yourself better somehow. Why not strive for change every day? For example, quitting smoking. Pick a day that works for you! Want to get healthier or hit the gym? There are 364 other great days throughout the year that would be a good time to start. Why put all that pressure on the first day of the year?

Odds are better in Billings than Missoula for keeping that resolution.

So, despite overwhelming odds of failure, you decided to make a New Year's resolution anyway. Good for you. According to the folks at, Billings is a (slightly) better place to be than Missoula when it comes to keeping your resolution. They ranked 182 US cities from best to worst for sticking to your "New Year, New You" plan. Billings came in at 103 and ZooTown was ranked at 114.

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Source: WalletHub
Credit: staff TSM Billings
Credit: staff TSM Billings

A number of factors can determine your resolution success.

Wallethub included a variety of details in their study, including local obesity rates, alcohol use/binge drinking, proximity to gyms and health food stores, etc. They also used five key dimensions in their data to rank the best and worst cities for keeping your New Year's resolution:

1) Health Resolutions, 2) Financial Resolutions, 3) School & Work Resolutions, 4) Bad-Habit Resolutions, and 5) Relationship Resolutions.

Crunching the numbers allowed them to determine you have the best chance for success in Scottdale, AZ, and the least chance of keeping your resolution(s)  if you live in Newark, NJ. You can see all the results HERE.

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