Exercising more and eating healthier are this year’s most popular New Year’s resolutions

Jamie BallardData Journalist
December 13, 2018, 3:00 PM GMT+0

Women (46%) are more likely than men (31%) to say “reducing stress” is one of their New Year’s resolutions

As the year draws to a close, many people are reflecting on everything they did in 2018 before looking forward. Many are optimistic about the start of a new year and making changes in 2019, but new data from YouGov Omnibus shows that about one-third (31%) of Americans who made New Year’s Resolutions last year say they didn't stick to any of their resolutions. A plurality (38%) say they stuck to "some" of their resolutions. Over half of Americans (54%) say they didn't make a 2018 resolution in the first place.

But that’s in the past. Looking forward to next year, about one quarter (26%) of people say that they plan to make New Year’s Resolutions for 2019. Americans between 18 and 34 years old (33%) are more likely than 35-54-year-olds (30%) and 55+ Americans (17%) to say they plan on making resolutions. As for the specific resolutions people are making, the most popular one is “exercise more,” with 59%. Other popular resolutions include “eat healthier” (54%), “save money” (51%), “lose weight” (48%) and “reduce stress” (38%). Interestingly, women (46%) are far more likely than men (31%) to say reducing stress is one of their resolutions.

“Stick to a budget” (35%), “get more sleep” (31%), “spend more time with family” (30%), “learn a new skill” (27%) and “travel more” (24%) round out the top 10 resolutions. And some are looking to “Get a better job” (22%), “improve my relationship with my partner (22%), and “make more friends” (22%).

Nine out of ten (90%) Americans who are making resolutions are somewhat or very confident that they’ll be able to stick to their resolutions for this year. Many are making a go of their 2018 resolutions once more – 22% say their 2019 resolutions are exactly the same as their 2018 ones, while more than two-thirds (68%) say that they’re making some of the same resolutions as last year, but also adding some new ones. Only 11% say their 2019 resolutions are completely different than their 2018 ones.

Overall, Americans aren’t terribly optimistic about New Year’s resolutions: 80% agree “Most people probably don’t stick to their New Year’s resolutions,” while 48% say New Year’s resolutions are “pointless.” Only one in five (22%) agreed with the statement “Making New Year’s resolutions has helped me improve my life,” while 42% disagreed.

Editor's Note: The first chart in this article was changed on December 17, 2018 to more clearly reflect the available data.

See full results here.

Learn more about YouGov Omnibus.

Image: Getty