Health and wealth: The top New Year’s resolutions and challenges for Brits in 2024
December 20th, 2023, Hoang Nguyen

Health and wealth: The top New Year’s resolutions and challenges for Brits in 2024

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The New Year is nearly here, and with it comes promises to make changes to how we think and live. The long-standing tradition of setting New Year’s resolutions doesn’t just have an impact at the individual level; these decisions can wield considerable influence across various sectors, presenting marketers with opportunities to engage consumers as they strive for new goals. They can also pose challenges to those offering the goods and services people vow to forgo.

We used YouGov Self-serve – our fast-turnaround, fully self-serve survey platform – to find out more about Brits’ mindsets regarding resolutions. The survey addresses several key questions around resolution making in the coming year, including:

  • Who’s planning to make resolutions in 2024 and what are some key themes?
  • How long do consumers expect to keep up with their resolutions based on past experiences?
  • Which resolutions are the hardest to keep and most likely to be abandoned?

Young people, Londoners more likely to set a 2024 resolution

Research from YouGov reveals that more than a quarter (27%) of British adults say they plan on making New Year’s resolutions for 2024. Most (61%) say they will not be setting any resolutions and 12% are undecided.

At 37%, young adults aged 18 to 24 are the most likely of any age group to say they will set a 2024 resolution while those 55 and over are the least likely to say so (22%).

By region, those who live in London (45%) are more likely than those living in any other region to make resolutions especially when compared to those who live in the North (21%) and Wales (18%).

What types of New Year’s resolutions will people set for the coming year?

Health and financial aspirations are two dominant themes surrounding the resolutions Brits are making in 2024. About half or more of British adults planning to make a 2024 resolution say they want become fitter (55%), eat healthier (52%) and lose weight (49%).

Roughly two in five (39%) of resolution-makers want to focus more on their finances such as saving, tracking expenses and clearing debts. Meanwhile, a quarter (26%) want to be more productive or organised.

Mental health is another key area of focus, with 26% saying they want to prioritise their mental wellbeing next year. A fifth (20%) of resolution-makers are looking to explore more of what the world has to offer by travelling more.

The other resolutions that a tenth or more of resolution-makers say they’ll make include becoming closer with friends and family (16%), picking up a new hobby (15%), being more conscious of their impact on the environment (13%) and focusing more on their careers (11%).

How long can people uphold their resolutions?

As the calendar turns from one year to the next, millions will resolve to reinvent themselves. But how many keep it up for more than a few weeks?

YouGov draws back the curtains to reveal that 17% of Brits give up on their resolutions within a month or less. The most common response is 2 to 3 months at 21%. One in 10 (10%) say they usually stick to their resolutions for 4 to 6 months and 2% say they usually can uphold their resolutions for 7 to 11 months. One in nine (11%) say they’re usually successful at keeping their resolution all year round.

Many perceive resolutions centred around diet and fitness to be the most challenging to keep

Certain resolutions can be more daunting than others to uphold. At the top of the list are food or diet-related resolutions (46% of Brits say this type of resolution is the hardest to keep up with), followed by fitness-related resolutions (44%).

Behind those health-related resolutions by a wide margin are finance-related resolutions, which are viewed as hardest to keep up with by 16% of Brits, followed by mental health resolutions at 15%. Roughly a tenth of people say relationship resolutions (10%) and work-related resolutions (9%) are challenging to uphold.