It’s officially that time of the year – the time when Americans take stock of where they are now, and where they’d like to be in the future. Anecdotally, this is also the time of year when New Year’s resolutions become top of mind.
But, current CivicScience data suggest that fewer Americans are making resolutions for 2023. Sixty-one percent report their intention to do so, which is down 3% from this time last year. That does mean, however, that the majority of Americans still plan to make resolutions.
Of those who are planning to make resolutions, improving food and diet is still the top priority – which has increased one percentage point to 27% this year – followed by better fitness and exercise. However, one of the biggest differences between 2022 and 2023 resolutions is a noticeable increase of Americans resolving to better manage their finances and spending (from 8% to 10%), as well as to improve their relationships (from 5% to 8%) and help others (from 6% to 7%), and a decrease in those resolving to quit drinking or smoking (from 12% to 9%).
Given increased inflation and the state of the economy, it seems that more Americans are not only interested in improving themselves, but in reaching out to help those who need it.
Of course, making resolutions and sticking to them are two different conversations. This is reflected in the data, as just 15% strongly stuck to their resolutions and 29% stuck to theirs somewhat in 2022.
Who’s making resolutions in 2023?
Among those polled, women and adults aged 18-24 are the most likely to make resolutions. And when they do, their first priority is improving their food/diet.
U.S. adults with a hybrid or fully remote work environment are also more likely to make a resolution in 2023. This suggests that being at home may have some impact on how much agency Americans feel they have with regards to making changes in their lives. These two groups of people are also the most likely to want to improve their food/diet choices – which may, again, be somewhat related to the amount of time they spend at home – close to the kitchen with endless opportunity for snacking.
However, one interesting insight revealed that those who are the most stressed are also the most likely to make resolutions. And when they do, they’re focusing on their food and diet choices as well. Stress has been linked to poor food choices, after all.
Additionally, those who are financially worse off than before the Covid-19 pandemic are the most likely to make a resolution and the most likely to resolve to manage their finances better.
So while overall resolution intent may be down this year, it’s clear that the majority of Americans with some level of location flexibility will still resolve to overhaul their lives in 2023, primarily through food and diet choices, but increasingly through non-physical ways as well – such as managing finances. And while everyone has their own reasons for setting resolutions, this year in particular, Americans may be resolving to take actions that combat the perennial stress they’ve been navigating, with the hope for a better 2023 and beyond.
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