2020 do-over: Americans confident they’ll finally reach their wellness goals after horrible year

NEW YORK — 2020 was a tough year all around. Between a pandemic, civil unrest, and a contentious Presidential election disputed for months on end, many Americans didn’t have the mental clarity to reach the goals they had set for themselves in 2020. Now, a new survey finds the majority of the country is calling for a “do-over” in the new year.

The OnePoll survey of 2,000 Americans finds that 58 percent have already set new health and wellness goals for 2021. Among that group, 67 percent say their experiences in 2020 have made them more determined than ever to reach those aspirations this time around. On a related note, 66 percent say they failed to attain their 2020 goals.

Put together by The Vitamin Shoppe in partnership with WW (formerly Weight Watchers), the survey also asked respondents why it was so tough to stay on track last year. Predictably, over half the poll (52%) say quarantines and lockdowns made it harder to stay committed (52%). With those answers in mind it isn’t all that surprising that 68 percent of Americans are looking at 2021 as a “do-over” for last year. In fact, 47 percent are taking the very same goals from 2020 and applying them to this year’s agenda.

Americans also say the past 12 months have helped them set more realistic expectations. Three in four people (76%) say their health goals this year are a bit more reasonable than they were in years prior. Thanks to these adjustments, 83 percent are optimistic and 45 percent are “very optimistic” that they’ll reach their 2021 health goals.

Did anything good come out of 2020?

The past year wasn’t all bad. For example, 92 percent of respondents admit that 2020 allowed them to work on certain lifestyle choices such as better sleep and food habits (46%) and spending more time with family (43%).

Other popular resolutions Americans are looking to adopt in 2021 include finding more “me time” (41%), trying more science-verified health and wellness strategies (49%), and attempting to be more present in the moment (37%).

“While last year may be a do-over year for many people, this survey also shows that people are aiming to take the lessons of a very challenging year and turn them into healthier, more positive habits in 2021,” says Sharon Leite, CEO of The Vitamin Shoppe, in a statement. “For example, 77% of respondents are taking a more proactive role in health and wellness decisions for themselves and their families. I believe this pandemic has turned wellness from a trend into a fundamental part of people’s lives and priorities.”

Of course, it’s always nice to have some help and support; 63 percent say they think they’ll need some support from loved ones to reach their new year’s resolutions.

Over half the poll (57%) looked to outside resources in 2020 for help with their goals. Examples include fitness professionals (49%) and technology or apps (49%).

When asked what makes their 2021 goals so different than 2020’s aspirations, 54 percent say they are going to focus more on health related goals instead of materialistic endeavors. Another 44 percent want to work on their mindset, with activities like meditation, more than ever before. Another 41 percent have set smaller goals in general that will take less time to accomplish. Finally, one in three are choosing to only focus on the big picture in terms of overall happiness and wellness.


  • Nutrition 36%
  • Mindset 35%
  • Sleep 34%

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About the Author

John Anderer

Born blue in the face, John has been writing professionally for over a decade and covering the latest scientific research for StudyFinds since 2019. His work has been featured by Business Insider, Eat This Not That!, MSN, Ladders, and Yahoo!

Studies and abstracts can be confusing and awkwardly worded. He prides himself on making such content easy to read, understand, and apply to one’s everyday life.

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