Americans who plan to make New Year’s resolutions are more optimistic about better things in 2022

Linley SandersSenior Data Journalist
December 23, 2021, 9:46 PM GMT+0

Nearly one in four Americans say they are making a New Year’s resolution, according to the latest Economist/YouGov Poll. Younger Americans are far more likely than older ones to say they will make a commitment in 2022. 

And what kind of resolution are people making? The most popular resolutions overall are to become healthier (sometimes through exercise), personal improvement or happiness, and the perennial favorite of losing weight. One in five of those making a New Year’s resolution this year have made each of those three categories their priority for the new year, with some choosing more than one in an open-ended question. 

Men and women are equally likely to say they’ll resolve to lose weight next year, though women are more likely to make a resolution to live healthier (28% to 18%).

Can people really achieve their goals? Nearly four in five of Americans making resolutions say they are very or somewhat confident they will be able to stick to them.

When it comes to their own lives, Americans are looking forward to a 2022 that’s better than 2021 – or at least one that isn’t worse. Just 14% expect 2022 to be worse than 2021. Americans who say they are making resolutions are especially confident that their lives will be better next year: 57% say so, and just 7% say things will get worse.

Democrats are more optimistic than Republicans about 2022, and younger Americans are more confident than older ones that their own lives will change for the better.

See the toplines and crosstabs from this Economist/YouGov Poll

Related: A majority of U.S. adults say 2021 was one of the worst years in American historyExercising and sticking to a healthy diet are the most common 2021 New Year’s resolutions

Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 U.S. adult citizens interviewed online between December 12 and December 14, 2021. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the 2018 American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, as well as 2016 and 2020 Presidential votes (or non-votes). Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all U.S. citizens. The margin of error is approximately 3% for the overall sample. 

Image: Photo by Andre Furtado from Pexels