New Year’s Resolutions

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NEW YORK — Fifty-five percent of Americans believe it’s time to ditch New Year’s resolutions. A survey of 2,000 adults who typically make resolutions found that millennials, in particular, are the generation that’s especially done with the classic “resolution” (66%).

It could be pessimism over keeping their resolutions that is leading so many to give up the popular goal-setting tradition. Over half of those surveyed admit they wind up giving up on their resolutions by March (52%). Just five percent of Americans who typically have resolutions stick to them for the full year.

The survey also looked at why resolutions don’t seem to work and found that respondents feel too pressured by them (40%), feel that they don’t create lasting change (34%), and feel like a chore (34%).

It’s no surprise, then, that 43 percent admit to purposefully breaking a resolution in the past, with millennials being the most likely to admit to this (57%). The top reasons that people have not been able to stick to their resolutions are because they don’t feel motivated (38%), their priorities changed (25%), or they just forgot about them (23%).

Smaller goals the new year’s norm?

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Almond Breeze, the survey finds that although respondents find resolutions unrealistic, they’re still interested in setting goals for themselves in 2024 (52%).

Infographic about New Year's resolutions and how to achieve them.

Gen Z (67%) and millennials (71%) are most interested in giving these goals another go.

Across generations, the most common kinds of resolutions Americans set are related to general health (54%) and food (51%). Interestingly, results show that these are also the most difficult kinds of resolutions to stick to (46%, each), surpassing resolutions related to finance (42%) or social-related goals (27%).

However, respondents from Gen Z are more likely to prioritize resolutions about money (55%), while millennials are most focused on food-related resolutions (60%). Gen Xers (52%) and baby boomers (53%), on the other hand, are most keen on resolutions that will help their general health.

‘Taking a different approach’

When it comes to the difficulty of these goals, Gen Zers (46%) and millennials (52%) have the hardest time with finance-related resolutions, while Gen Xers (47%) and baby boomers (46%) struggle with sticking to food-related resolutions.

This year, half of all of those surveyed will be setting food-related resolutions for 2024 (51%), with 73 percent sharing that they currently feel motivated to improve their diet in the next year. But they won’t make the same mistakes this time around — seven in 10 are interested in taking a different approach to New Year’s resolutions (71%).

This starts with being more realistic about their goals, as more respondents agree that it’s easier to make incremental lifestyle changes (48%) as opposed to one large change (29%).

“New Year’s resolutions may be a thing of the past. People still want to set goals for themselves, but they are taking a different approach,” says spokesperson Bonnie Taub-Dix, Registered Dietitian, in a statement. “In my experience as a dietitian nutritionist, I know people of all generations struggle with keeping diet resolutions, so it makes sense to choose smaller and more realistic goals that don’t add unnecessary pressure yet create lasting change.”

Those surveyed are interested in eating healthier (48%), consuming less sugar (35%), and incorporating more vitamins and nutrients (28%). To improve their current diet, Americans guess that they need more vitamin C (45%), vitamin D (44%) and protein (42%).

Respondents say they’d make healthier decisions if they were able to find options within their budget (47%), ones that taste good (45%), and that are easy to factor into their lifestyle (38%). Further, nearly a quarter of those surveyed say that it’s difficult to find healthy options that their entire household enjoys (24%).

“Simple food swaps are an easy way to help reach diet and nutrition goals. One easy swap is using alternative milks, like almond milk, instead of dairy milk,” says Taub-Dix. “Almond milk, specifically, is a great milk alternative that is free of gluten, dairy, and lactose. It can also help up the intake of certain nutrients like calcium more than dairy milk.”

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 Americans who are interested in New Year’s resolutions evenly split by generation was commissioned by Almond Breeze between October 23 and October 25, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

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