2020 visions: Improving mental health, quitting social media among top New Year’s resolutions

LONDON — It’s that time again. A new year means new resolutions. As you’re pondering how to improve your own life in 2020, you may want to consider the resolutions of others. A recent survey asked 2,000 British citizens about their goals in the new year, and some of the top responses included improving mental health, quitting social media, and achieving a Kardashian-esque posterior.

All in all, the number one goal for 2020 among survey participants was, of course, to lose weight.

The poll, commissioned by Healthspan, also showed that about 10% of respondents wish to completely overhaul their diet, while 30% say they feel low on energy too often. Traveling was another high priority for many Brits in the survey, with 33% making vacations a goal for 2020. Additionally, 45% want to cut down on their phone use in order to feel more connected to their friends and family.

Other popular goals included getting a better handle on personal finances, joining a gym, and improving sleep quality. The top 30 goals also included finding a better job, making improvements at home, a more active sex life, and having a baby.

“The year to come is set to see a move away from debates about mindfulness and mindlessness,” says Healthspan psychologist Dr. Med Arroll in a statement. “2020 is the year of self-awareness – we’ve survived a year of turmoil and now is a time for action, no more sleep-walking through life. People want to make this year the time to figure out what’s holding them back and then take definitive action to make their goals a reality.”

According to the survey’s results, three-quarters of those surveyed set at least one goal for themselves in 2020, with the average respondent setting five. That’s actually up from the U.K. average in 2019 (three goals). Interestingly, the research also found that a mere tenth of respondents had actually achieved all the resolutions they had set for themselves over the past decade. Perhaps that’s why more than a third of the survey’s participants say they avoid setting goals for themselves — that way, there is no fear of failure.

On the bright side, one in three respondents are optimistic that 2020 is the year they finally reach their goals.

Participants also had some tips for achieving goals. The vast majority — eight in ten — say that maintaining a positive outlook is crucial, and most say that it takes at least three attempts at an endeavor to be successful.

“Sometimes we are simply too hard on ourselves and set unattainable goals, particularly when it comes to health and well-being,” says Dr. Arroll. “When we don’t reach these unrealistic goals, we berate ourselves and fall back into our old, self-destructive habits. So even by taking a more self-compassionate approach, we’re much more likely to develop a positive mindset, which results in positive outcomes.”

Top 30 goals for 2020

1. Lose weight
2. Travel the world/go on holiday
3. Pay off debt/get back on track financially
4. Home improvements
5. Improve your sleep
6. Make some dietary changes
7. Look after your mental health more
8. Move/buy a house
9. Buy a car
10. Change your job
11. Cut down on alcohol
12. Study/do a course
13. Take up a new hobby
14. Say no more often
15. Cut down on meat
16. Learn a new language
17. Cut down on phone use
18. Pursue a business venture
19. Take supplements to support your health
20. Improve your sex life
21. Overhaul your diet entirely
22. Join a gym
23. Get into swimming
24. Learn an instrument
25. Have a baby
26. Get engaged
27. Get married/have a wedding
28. Opt out of social media
29. Become a toned Adonis
30. Go vegan/plant-based

The survey was conducted by OnePoll.

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