After a rough 2020, many are starting fresh in 2021 – 57% of U.S. adults say they’ll make a New Year’s Resolution this year

As people set priorities and goals for a better year, CivicScience also checked in on how Americans define happiness and success – especially during turbulent times amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Among the top ways people are measuring their happiness, family and home life are the most important – likely due to spending nearly a year following social distancing and isolation guidelines. Friendships and health are in a close third and fourth.

It makes sense that going into 2021, family relationships and health at large are all an even more predominant focus than they were pre-pandemic. In fact, CivicScience tracking data show an increase in both as metrics for happiness year-over-year.

The story changes a bit when asking specifically how people are defining success right now. Family and home life are of top importance, but career is the third most popular response. Perhaps the extreme stress of living through a pandemic results in Americans being less focused on being happy at work, but still consider it a metric for personal success.

However, this isn’t the case for everyone. Younger Americans (those between 18 and 25) are significantly more likely than their older counterparts to say their career and friendships are major contributors to their happiness during the pandemic.

This group is even more likely to say their career is the most important part of identifying success now. It also seems a general focus on career declines with age.

When researching how the pandemic plays a role in how people are defining success and happiness right now, we find that those not working say health is more important than those still employed. This could imply that while being unemployed is not ideal, staying healthy is a priority given the circumstances of the pandemic.

Of course, how people look for success and happiness will continue to evolve. We’ll be tracking all of it.