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What Your Age Says About Your New Year's Resolutions

new years resolution market researchWe had a notion here at TRC that by the middle of March most New Year’s Resolutions would have been tossed by the wayside, either in favor of giving up something meaningful for Lent, or the simple acknowledgement that this just isn’t the year to lose 25 pounds. Would folks who made a resolution at the beginning of the year still be keeping that resolution 3 months later?

We kicked around a few hypotheses, and then went about testing them using our online panel of consumers:

  • Younger consumers would be more likely to make resolutions than older ones (we figured they hadn’t become jaded by their resolutions not working out over time)
  •  People would be more focused on issues relating to their health (losing weight, exercising more) than other types of resolutions.
  • Most folks who made a resolution would have dropped it by the 3-month mark

So how did our predictions fare?

We were right about who resolves to change things in the New Year. Younger folks – especially those with kids in the house – are the most likely to make a resolution. While half of our panelists say they made at least one resolution, two-thirds of those 18-34 made one, while only one in three age 55 or older did so. And the middle age group? They’re in the middle, of course.

We were also right about the types of resolutions being made. Health & wellness-related resolutions topped the list for all three age groups. But we found something else: the prevalence of different types of resolutions varies by age. The younger group was significantly more likely to make a health & wellness resolution compared to the older group. Those 35-54 were roughly twice as likely as either the younger or older groups to say their resolution focused on their family or their social life. And the older age group chose self-improvement resolutions more so than either of the younger groups.

So far so good. But we were wrong when it comes to resolve. We found that no matter the age, roughly three-quarters of panelists who made resolutions this year are still keeping them as of mid- March. Are you keeping yours?

VP / Research Management

Michele likes to hijack TRC's online consumer panel to get relevant answers to her burning research questions. She loves asking questions relating to her favorite hobbies - TV and movies, golf, casino gambling and travel - and more often than not the answers can be generalized across industries.

Contact Michele


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Guest Tuesday, 22 September 2020

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