2019 New Year's Resolutions: Health, Happiness & Financial Well-being

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Posted Dec 27, 2018

The New Year is upon us. Time to reflect on the year that was and think ahead to the year to come. New Year’s -- a time to celebrate with friends and family, drink champagne, and make some resolutions. How are people planning to spend New Year’s Eve this year? Who is making resolutions? What is the best way to keep the resolutions you make? To answer these questions (and many more), AYTM surveyed 1,000 US consumers. Read on for the results.

New Year’s Plans

Attending a New Year’s party, dressing up for a black-tie event, heading to an outdoor celebration with fireworks, putting on your running shoes for a midnight 5K -- all are fun options for celebrating the New Year, but it looks like this year our respondents are opting for a quiet night at home! Those choosing to stay at home are more likely to be female or ages 55+. And one-fifth of consumers don’t even plan to stay awake until midnight. Consumers hosting and/or attending parties were more likely to be ages 25-34 and males were more likely to be attending outdoor events.Responses to the question of what they plan to do for New Year’s:

  • 47% - Spend a quiet night at home watching the ball drop on TV
  • 20% - Going to bed early
  • 17% - Attending a party at a friend or relative’s home
  • 16% - Making resolutions
  • 10% - Hosting a party at their home
  • 9% - Chose “Other” with the most popular write-in response being “going to church”
  • 8% - Celebrating at a restaurant or club
  • 4% - Attending an outdoor event
  • 2% - Attending a black-tie event
  • 1% - Running in a midnight race

New Year’s Resolutions Past

The tradition of making New Year’s resolutions is thought to date back to the Babylonians over 4,000 years ago. As part of a religious festival, they made promises to their gods and if the promises were kept, the gods would reward them with bountiful crops. Over time, the making of New Year’s resolutions became a secular activity and one focused on personal development. With only themselves to answer to, many people make resolutions, but most do not keep them. When asked if they had made New Year’s resolutions in the past, 27% of consumers said they had AND had successfully achieved them. Those achieving their resolutions were more likely to be female or have an annual income of $100,000-$200,000. Another 35% made resolutions in the past but failed to achieve them, while 43% did not make resolutions at all.

2018 Resolutions - Yay or Nay?

Looking back on 2018, 20% of respondents made resolutions and successfully achieved them over the past year, while 18% made resolutions but were unsuccessful in achieving them, and 63% made no resolutions at all.The 18% of resolution makers who were unable to keep their resolutions thought the following were the top five reasons for their downfall:

  1. 32% - Gave up too easily. Females were more likely to choose this reason.
  2. 22% - Other things in life took priority
  3. 15% - Didn’t make a plan with concrete steps
  4. 9% - Aimed too high/resolution was unrealistic
  5. 8% - Didn’t have the time to commit to the resolution

The 20% who achieved their resolutions credit the following reasons with their success:

  1. 36% - Resolutions were realistic
  2. 13% - Rewarded themselves for progress
  3. 10% - Set aside time to work on resolutions
  4. 9% - Only made one resolution
  5. 9% - Broke resolutions down into smaller, more attainable steps

Resolutions for 2019 - This Is the Year

Looking forward to 2019, 38% of consumers are planning to make resolutions for the year ahead, while 36% won’t be making any resolutions, and 26% are undecided. Among those who won’t be making resolutions, these are their reasons:

  • 47% - Set goals throughout the year, not just on New Year’s
  • 28% - Think it is a silly tradition. Males were more likely to choose this reason.
  • 24% - Never keep them anyway, so why make them
  • 2% - Other, including for religious reasons

Among the 38% of resolution makers, the idea of "new year, new you" was popular with health-related resolutions topping the list, although actually joining a gym was down toward the bottom. Getting financially healthy was also near the top along with enjoying life in general. Approximately, one-third of resolution makers want to get organized, spend more time with family/friends, and read more books. Toward the bottom of the list were resolutions to spend less time on social media and devices such as phone, TV, etc and surprisingly, work less was the least chosen resolution.

Resolutions that will be made for 2019 include:

The Takeaways

The majority of our respondents will be spending a quiet night at home on New Year’s Eve, with 20% heading to bed before midnight. Looks like consumers want to rest and rejuvenate in preparation for 2019 rather than bringing in the new year with a bang. Close to 40% of consumers plan to make resolutions this year. Among the resolution makers, health (both personal and financial) is the top priority. No matter how you choose to spend it, AYTM wishes you a Happy New Year filled with all you desire.

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