HomeBlogMarket ResearchNew Year’s Resolutions Trends To Know For 2023

New Year’s Resolutions Trends To Know For 2023

Some interesting and unfamiliar resolutions have made the headlines in 2023. A number of consumers are taking the focus off themselves by making resolutions for their pets or the planet, while others are being kind to themselves or performing daily acts of joy.

The resolution mindset is always changing. People are increasingly aware of the pressures they’re facing, with many choosing to cut themselves some slack and chase progress rather than perfection.

We’ve asked consumers about their resolutions for a few years now, and with good reason. Mapping out people’s goals over time offers us insight into how their priorities have changed, and hint at how they might think and act in the year ahead.

So, what are consumers looking to change this year and what should you know?

1. Resolution making is on the rise

It seems many of us have finally processed 2020 and have the motivation to get going again. 

In the US and UK, resolution making took a bit of a dip in 2021 compared to 2020, but it’s climbing back up again. And across 9 markets, we’ve seen a significant rise in the number planning to take part in 2023. 

When we asked if consumers were making resolutions this year, over two thirds said they were.

More importantly there’s been a 22% rise in those saying they don’t usually make resolutions but I will for 2023, and a 45% drop in those saying they never make resolutions.

Even though people poke fun at them – the January 1st gym memes being a great example – brands should still take notice of them. They’re clearly either an important tradition or source of inspiration for a large number of consumers. 

2. How consumers did in 2022

Past research shows that many people give up on some of their resolutions in January, but we have the full update on how people did across 2022.

And it’s a mixed bag. Nearly 9 in 10 achieved their resolutions to varying degrees; 23% achieved all or a good amount, while 65% achieved some or very few. More importantly, our data shows which resolutions consumers need additional support with.

In 2022, consumers were most likely to achieve resolutions like watching less TV, eating less meat/animal products, volunteering, and drinking less alcohol. Those that didn’t fare so well were losing weight, and starting a new job or career. The least successful? Saving more money.

Some of these changes reflect a more general change in lifestyle choices. Since Q3 2021, the number of consumers drinking alcohol more than once a week declined in nearly 60% of our tracked markets, with the biggest declines seen in Denmark (-18%), Turkey (-18%), Greece (-15%), and Romania (-12%). It’s a similar story for eating less animal products; consumers are increasingly keen to make swaps to improve their health, so these kinds of resolutions are often more of a reminder than a big lifestyle change.

It’s goals like losing weight, starting a new job, or saving money that require more effort. The fact that saving money was a struggle may not come as much of a surprise given the rollercoaster of a year that was 2022. The figures are striking, with the number of consumers who say their personal finances will get worse in the next six months growing in nearly 80% of our tracked markets over the last year, with 10 markets more than doubling – all in Europe.

Various health-focused food and drink brands take advantage of the buzz surrounding New Year’s resolutions, and finance companies should also take the opportunity to highlight their saving tools at a time when optimism is at its highest. To keep them on board, the focus should be on helping consumers make goals that are realistic and attainable.

3. What people are prioritizing in 2023

If you want a sign of how hard consumer behavior is to predict right now, look no further than the New Year’s resolutions growing most from last year. Traveling more (+16%) and saving  (+16%) money are the biggest trends, a tricky balancing act if ever there was one.

This is part of a revenge travel trend that we’ve been keeping an eye on in the post-pandemic world, and was covered in our annual trends report Connecting the dots. Expedia actually labeled 2022 the year of the GOAT, which stands for greatest of all trips, and this looks like it’ll continue on as a trend in 2023, so travel providers should seek to put once-in-a-lifetime experiences in the spotlight. 

In Italy, traveling more this year is an even greater priority than saving money. Italy had some of the toughest lockdown measures on the planet, and even after relaxing them, was still incredibly cautious about travel. Clearly, a shift has taken place; consumers across markets are ready to get back outdoors, and Italy is one of various countries where we expect travel to rebound. 

4. Mental health has held its own, while work has slipped

Mental health has become more of a priority in recent years, and for 2023’s resolutions, it holds its standing. In 2020-21, we started to see a shift toward more self-focus, as consumers started putting their welfare front and center. And a “work less, live more” attitude has been catching on, with finding a new job or career falling down the resolution ladder.

Recently, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that she no longer has “have enough in the tank” to do her role justice, joining the likes of Simone Biles and Noami Osaka – role models who feel comfortable saying enough is enough. And with the spring of tech layoffs weighing on people’s minds, many don’t want work to be as much of a priority anymore. 

In 2023, employers that cater to workers’ demand for more flexibility in hours and realize that ‘hours worked’ isn’t always the best measure of productivity stand a better chance of hiring and retaining top talent.  

5. Gen Z are keener than others

On the whole, we’ve established that saving more money, eating more healthy food, and learning a new skill or hobby are top of the list, a sign that consumers are more keen to start something than avoid it. 

But as ever, each generation has its preferences that tell us a lot about their current life status and wellbeing. As usual, the most interest comes from among Gen Z and millennials, which in part is due to them being more likely to describe themselves as ambitious, career-focused, and concerned about their mental health. They’re more invested in making resolutions, meaning campaigns that reference these goals, especially in a humorous or culturally relevant way, are likely to resonate with them.

Gen Z have stepped into adult life, with starting a new job or career and finding love being the resolutions that they stand out for making. They’ve missed out on various experiences during the pandemic, and sky-high housing prices have made getting on the housing ladder harder than ever; they’re therefore settling down later than the generations before them. Brands that want to get their attention need to focus on the unique challenges they’re facing when it comes to work and relationships.

Tracking yearly changes can help us to get a sense of their moods too. Of the 17 resolutions we’ve tracked, 15 have increased in interest among Gen Z since last year, compared to only 11 among baby boomers, 10 among Gen X, and 9 among millennials. Gen Z have really felt the pressure of the last 12 months, especially those worried about falling behind, and they have an increasing number of goals they’re keen to make a reality.

More than any other generation, it’s important to make Gen Z feel empowered and demonstrate what digital finance and planning tools can do for them in language that’ll resonate. 

What to look out for in 2023?

2022 had its unique challenges. Back in 2020, mental health and self-care stole the headlines, but this year, saving money and living life to the fullest are the new priority. There’s clearly a split between trying to balance these two desires, so brands need to offer ways for consumers to experience new things while on a budget.

For employers, they need to understand that while work and careers are important, especially to Gen Z, it’s less of a priority for some of their employees. The key is balance – fitting work around their lifestyle in 2023.

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