New Year's Resolutions: Trends in the UK

New Year's Resolutions: Trends in the UK

The new year is often considered to be a period when people decide to look at various things they would like to achieve this year, and one of the ways this is approached is through New Year’s resolutions. These range from kicking bad habits like smoking, to taking control of their spending to name just a few.

New year’s resolutions often get a bad reputation for being a waste of time, and there is even a day dedicated to ditching your resolutions, too. With studies showing that less than a quarter of people keep up with their resolutions, it has been dubbed as something of a farce.

We’re going to be taking you through the state of New Year's resolutions in the UK in 2020, looking at how you can hold on to your resolutions, what the data says when it comes to the most cost-effective ones you could make, and finally, finding out about which cities are searching for each resolution the most.


How to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions


Now that we know some of the reasons that people might decide to set themselves resolutions for the new year, let’s find out how to help them stick well past Ditch Your Resolution Day:

  • Don’t be vague - set specific targets over more generic ones. Instead of saying that you want to exercise more, say that you are going to commit to going to the gym at least twice a week.

  • Don’t be extreme - try to avoid setting unrealistic targets for yourself, as doing so will only serve to put you off and will make you want to drop the resolution quicker.

  • Tell everyone about it - chances are, telling people around you will make you feel accountable to see yourself through your resolutions. Knowing that you have told your friends that you’ll be committing to a 6k run every Saturday might make you want to save face and keep going!


Most Common Resolutions

In 2020, according to Statista the top three resolutions for Brits are all related to physical wellbeing: these include committing to more exercise, weight loss and improving their diet. 


  • Exercise more - 47%

  • Lose weight - 44%

  • Improve diet - 41%

  • Save more money - 31% 

  • Learn a new hobby/skill - 18%

  • Drink less alcohol - 16%

  • Quit smoking - 14%

  • Pursue a career ambition - 12%

  • Take an active approach to health - 11%

(Source: Infographic: The most common New Year's resolutions for Brits)

Most Cost-Effective Resolutions

The other side of New Year’s resolutions that people usually miss, is how cost-effective some actually can be. Looking at the list of the most popular resolutions, we can definitely see that there are a number of financial benefits that some commonly found resolutions can have:

Quitting smoking

Although Stoptober has already been and gone, many people make a renewed commitment to ditch smoking, which includes the use of cigarettes and/or vapes.

Based on the average smoked per day by Brits (around 10), and the average cost of a pack of cigarettes (£10.79), you could save:

£37.73 per week
£163.95 per month

£1967.35 per year


(Source: Cost calculator | Smokefree)


Want to eat more healthily and save money? Try going vegetarian!

On average, the yearly cost per person for a normal balanced diet adds up to £2,002, compared to £1,545 for a vegetarian shop. 

Switching to a vegetarian diet could see you saving around £457 per year - that’s £29.71 a week!


(Source: UK diet trends 2020)


Reducing drinking

Average household expenditure on alcohol in the UK per year = £787

Saving:

If you were to do Dry January you could save around £66 in that month alone.

(Source: Average Briton spends £50,000 on alcohol over course of lifetime)


Being more active - cycling to work


Cost of maintaining a cycle per year - £396
Cost of maintaining a car per year - £2000

Cycling to work could save you around £1604 a year.


Search Trends by City

We’ve taken some of the most popular resolutions listed above and have found which city searches for them the most. Take a look at what we found below:

Healthy eating


Improving your diet is a resolution that we hear a lot of people making at this time of year, and places in the UK that googled “healthy eating” the most were:


  1. Farnborough

  2. Belfast

  3. Wolverhampton

  4. Plymouth

  5. Kingston upon Thames

  6. Cardiff

  7. Bradford

  8. Bolton

  9. Leicester

  10. Luton


Go vegan

Veganuary is also another popular trend where people challenge themselves to go meat-free for the whole month. Here are the cities that searched for “vegan” the most:


  1. Brighton

  2. Bristol

  3. Cardiff

  4. Edinburgh

  5. Manchester

  6. Sheffield

  7. Dudley

  8. London

  9. Leeds

Get more sleep

People also make renewed commitments to taking care of themselves more and being much more proactive when it comes to their health. For example, improving sleep quality is something a lot of people want to work on. Here is a list of the top 10 locations that searched for “getting more sleep”:

  1. Liverpool

  2. Cardiff

  3. Bristol

  4. Leeds

  5. Glasgow

  6. Sheffield

  7. London

  8. Newcastle upon Tyne

  9. Birmingham

  10. Manchester


Gym memberships

Did you know that 12% of new members join a gym January? This ties in with a number of popular resolutions, like improving fitness and losing weight. The cities that searched for “gym memberships” the most in this period were:


  1. Manchester

  2. Cardiff

  3. Glasgow

  4. Nottingham

  5. Newcastle upon Tyne

  6. Derby

  7. Dudley

  8. Leeds

  9. Liverpool

  10. Portsmouth

Quit smoking

 


  1. Essex

  2. Guildford

  3. Leicester

  4. Birmingham

  5. Plymouth

  6. Cardiff

  7. Dudley

  8. Manchester

  9. Bristol

  10. Liverpool



Dry January

Cutting back on alcohol is also another common resolution. Many people choose to participate in Dry January, where they completely cut out drinking for the entire month. Here are the top 3 cities that searched for “Dry January” the most:


  1. Liverpool

  2. London

  3. Manchester


Save money

Chances are that your wallet has taken a hit from Black Friday, Christmas shopping and the holiday season in general, which is why budgeting and being more financially conscious is a popular resolution that people make at this time of year.


Here is where “save money” was googled the most in the UK:


  1. Cardiff

  2. Portsmouth

  3. Dudley

  4. Derby

  5. Leeds

  6. Bristol

  7. Birmingham

  8. Bournemouth

  9. Belfast

  10. Sheffield

Methodology

Taking some of the most popular resolutions, we typed in common Google searches related to them. For example, exercise more or lose weight could correspond to someone searching for gym memberships. We then took the top 10 locations in order the most popular according to data from Google Search Trends. The date range for the data starts from December 1st 2019, to January 1st 2020, which is typically when most people start to think about what their new year’s resolutions might be for the year ahead.


Want to see the entire infographic? Take a look below!

Geaves-NY-Resolutions-Infographic-1