As we bid farewell to 2019, more than four in ten Americans (42%) say they are making New Year’s resolutions for 2020. Eating healthier (12%) and exercising more (11%) are atop the list for those who are likely to make a resolution. Being a better person (10%) and losing weight (10%) follow. Improving one’s health (9%), self-improvement and personal growth (9%), and spending less money and saving more (8%) round out the list of top resolutions. About one in three Americans who are likely to make a resolution say they are resolving to do something else.
Last year, exercising more (13%) and quitting smoking (12%) were the top resolutions. Losing weight (10%), eating healthier (9%), being a better person (9%), and spending less money (8%) followed. Improving one’s health, and self-improvement and personal growth each received 6%.
“Many Americans, especially those under 45 years of age, perceive the New Year to be a chance to make a positive change in their lives,” says Mary Griffith, Director of Media Initiatives and Polling News at The Marist Poll. “And, Americans are getting pretty good at keeping their resolutions. The proportion who say they kept their resolution last year is the highest it’s been in nearly 25 years.”
Exercising more (13%) and self-improvement and personal growth (13%) are the leading resolutions for those under 45 years of age likely to make a resolution. Weight loss (13%), eating healthier (12%), being a better person (12%), and improving one’s health (12%) are the top resolutions for those 45 or older. Of note, older resolution makers are nearly twice as likely as younger ones to mention weight loss and improving one’s health. Younger resolution makers are about three times as likely to mention self-improvement and personal growth and spending less money and saving more.
While the resolutions of men and women are fairly in-step, women (12%) are nearly twice as likely as men (7%) to say they are resolving to be a better person.
Half of Americans under the age of 45 (50%) say they are very likely or somewhat likely to make a New Year’s resolution compared with 36% of older Americans.
Nearly three in four Americans who made a New Year’s resolution for 2019 say they kept the resolution for, at least part, of the year (73%). This is the highest proportion to do so since this question was first asked in 1995 and is up from 68% the previous year. Men (79%) are more likely than women (67%) to report success in keeping their 2019 resolution.
Six in ten Americans (60%) report they are more optimistic about the world in 2020 than pessimistic. 35% are more pessimistic. These proportions are nearly identical to those reported last year.
Republicans (76%) and independents (57%) are more optimistic. Democrats divide. 50% are more optimistic, and 46% are more pessimistic. Men (62%) are slightly more optimistic than women (58%). Americans age 45 or older (62%) are slightly more optimistic about the world in 2020 than younger Americans (58%).