Exercising and sticking to a healthy diet are the most common 2021 New Year’s resolutions

Jamie BallardData Journalist
December 23, 2020, 4:00 PM UTC

As 2020 draws to a close, many people are all too happy to bid the year farewell and set their goals for what will hopefully be a less tumultuous year.  

About one in four Americans (27%) say they made New Year’s resolutions for 2020. The most common commitments people made for this year were exercising more (46% said this was one of their resolutions), improving their diet (45%), losing weight (44%) and saving money (41%).   

But did Americans stick to their resolutions during this unusual year? Surprisingly, many say they did. About half (49%) of those who made 2020 resolutions say that they kept some but not all of their resolutions from last year, while just over one-third (35%) say they kept all of their resolutions. Only 16% say they did not keep any of the resolutions they made for 2020.  

Looking forward to the new year, 31% say that they intend to make resolutions for 2021.  

For the most part, resolutions among Americans haven’t changed too much in the past year. The most common resolutions for US adults as we head into 2021 are doing more exercise (50%), losing weight (48%), saving more money (44%), improving diet (39%), and pursuing a career ambition (21%).  

There are some slight generational differences when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. Millennials (38%) are more likely than Gen X’ers (29%) or Baby Boomers (24%) to make resolutions in the first place. Among Millennials who intend to make resolutions, the most common one is saving more money (55%). For members of Generation X who are making new committments, losing weight (49%) is the most popular resolution heading into 2021, while Baby Boomers are especially focused on exercising more (67%).  

See full results here.  

Related: Many Americans say 2020 has been terrible, but they think 2021 will be better 

Methodology: 1,500 US adults were surveyed through YouGov Direct on December 1, 2020. Data is weighted on age, gender, education level, political affiliation, and ethnicity to be nationally representative of adults in the United States. The margin of error is approximately 2.5% for the overall sample.