New Year’s 2019: Most Plan for a Not-So-Rockin’ Eve at Home

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Posted Dec 20, 2019

2019 is coming to a close. Time to think about the year that has passed and the year yet to come. Around the world, New Year’s is celebrated in many ways that symbolize a lucky year ahead and banish bad spirits. These traditions include wearing special underwear, eating 12 grapes at midnight, breaking plates, fortune telling, and bringing gifts to friends. How do people plan to celebrate this year? Will resolutions be made? In our annual New Year’s survey, AYTM asked 1,000 US consumers about their New Year’s plans. Here is what they told us.

Home Is Where the Celebration Is

Once again this year pajamas beat out tuxedos as the outfit of choice for New Year’s Eve. The number one answer to the question about this year’s New Year’s plans was spending a quiet night at home watching the ball drop on TV -- chosen by 38% of respondents. This is down from 47% in our 2018 survey. If we break it down by gender, 43% of women said they would be at home, while just 30% of men said the same. (Ever wonder how the ball drop tradition got started - find the answer here.) 24% of consumers don’t even plan to celebrate and 17% said they would be going to bed early. Other responses included:

  • 17% - Attending a party at a friend’s or relative’s home
  • 15% - Making new year’s resolutions (read on for more on this)
  • 9% - Hosting a party at my home
  • 8% - Celebrating at a restaurant or club
  • 8% - Going to church/temple/mosque
  • 3% - Attending an outdoor event (e.g., Times Square, fireworks show, etc.)
  • 1% - Attending a black tie event
  • 1% - Running in a midnight race
  • 5% - Other

One tradition says that what you do on New Year’s Eve is a prelude to how your entire year will be spent. If that is the case, looks like 2020 will be a good year for introverts.

I Hereby Resolve to...

Ah, those pesky New Year’s resolutions. On the one hand, what better time than this to set some goals and make some plans. On the other hand, memory tells us that keeping resolutions is hard and who wants to set themselves up to fail. How did this whole angst-ridden tradition get started, click here to find out who to blame (spoiler alert - it was those darn ancient Babylonians). As for ever making resolutions in the past, 30% of respondents said they had AND they successfully achieved them. 40% said they had made resolutions AND failed to achieve them. When it came to 2019 specifically - 62% said they did not make resolutions. Among those who made resolutions for 2019:

Top 5 Reasons for KEEPING 2019 Resolutions

  1. Resolutions were realistic (31%)
  2. Rewarded myself for progress (17%)
  3. Only made one resolution (11%)
  4. Support from family and friends (9%)
  5. Tracked my progress using planner or online app (9%)

Top 5 Reasons for NOT KEEPING 2019 Resolutions

  1. Gave up too easily (32%)
  2. Other things in my life took priority (19%)
  3. Didn’t make a plan with concrete steps (16%)
  4. Didn’t have the time to commit to the resolution (9%)
  5. Aimed too high/resolution was unrealistic (9%)

One way 2019 resolution makers were able to keep those resolutions was by tracking their progress, which 52% said they did. The most popular way they did their tracking was using a paper planner (50%), followed by a to-do list app (28%), wall calendar (27%), spreadsheet (18%), whiteboard (14%), project management software (7%), and other (8%).

20/20 Vision

Aside: I resolve to not overuse vision puns in 2020. If you’ve had your eye on this blog, you know turning a blind eye to these witticisms will likely cause me to lose sight of my goals.

This year, 39% of respondents said they plan to make resolutions for 2020. 37% said they won’t be making resolutions for the coming year and 27% aren’t sure. Among those who said they are not planning to make resolutions for 2020, here is why:

  • 37% - I set goals throughout the year, not just on New Year’s
  • 28% - I think it is a silly tradition
  • 28% - I never keep them anyway, so why make them
  • 4% - Religious reasons
  • 3% - Other

Among those who do plan to make resolutions for 2020, here’s the top 10 things they are planning:

  1. 55% - Eat healthier
  2. 55% - Lose weight/get in shape
  3. 53% - Enjoy life more
  4. 42% - Get out of debt/get financially healthy
  5. 34% - Get organized
  6. 32% - Spend more time with family and friends
  7. 30% - Read more books
  8. 29% - Quit a bad habit
  9. 29% - Learn a new skill/hobby
  10. 26% - Travel more

It is interesting to note that the first nine responses were exactly the same in our 2018 survey. When it comes to resolutions, looks like people are creatures of habit. Plus, health is always at the top of the list.

The Takeaways

There you have it. Many people see New Year’s as just another day and have no celebrations planned. Most people celebrating will be doing so from the comfort of their own couch. Making resolutions is still a somewhat popular tradition. The best way to keep your resolutions is to make them realistic. And finally, resolutions about health are the most popular.

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