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New year, new focus: top resolutions for 2024 – and why it matters to marketers

By Hoang Nguyen, data journalist

February 21, 2024 | 9 min read

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YouGov’s Hoang Nguyen reveals Brits’ ‘New Year, new you’ resolutions for 2024 to help marketers turn a January trend into a long-lasting engagement with data-driven resolutions-based marketing.

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For some, the arrival of 2024 will be a time for new beginnings, a chance to shed old habits and to embrace fresh possibilities.

As the confetti settles and the good wine glasses are put away, many of us are turning our thoughts to the year ahead. For some, the arrival of 2024 will be a time for new beginnings, a chance to shed old habits and to embrace fresh possibilities.

Our recent YouGov Self-serve survey reveals that more than a quarter (27%) plan on making a New Year’s resolution for 2024. The research looks at several key questions around resolution making, including:

  • Who’s planning to make resolutions in 2024?

  • How many plan to pick up a new hobby, travel more or be more conscious of their environmental impact?

  • Which resolutions do people consider the hardest to keep and most likely to be abandoned?

By understanding who sets goals and what they aspire to achieve, marketers can turn generic “New Year, new you” slogans into campaigns that deeply resonate with their target audiences. A more data-driven approach to resolutions-based marketing can increase the likelihood of advertising success and potentially transform a seasonal opportunity into a year-round win for both your audience and your brand.

Resolution-making: who do you think they are?

The data reveals that while over a quarter (27%) of British adults intend to set New Year’s resolutions, the majority (61%) do not plan to do so. The remaining 12% remain undecided.

Interestingly, the survey identified notable differences in resolution rates across age groups. Young adults aged 18-24 have the highest likelihood of setting resolutions, with 37% expressing their intention to do so.

By contrast, only 22% of individuals aged 55 and over plan to set resolutions for the coming year. Armed with this data, marketers can consider the low-resolution-setting rate and focus more on the resolutions that those over 55 are more likely to be making, such as spending more time exploring the world.

Geographical variations also emerged from the data. Londoners demonstrated the highest rate of resolution-making, with 45% indicating their intention to set goals for 2024. This figure stands in stark contrast to the rates observed in the North (21%) and Wales (18%), where resolution-setting is less prevalent, and is a reminder that London is very often not representative of the rest of the country.

Goals and aspirations

This year, resolutions seem to be particularly focused on self-improvement and wellbeing, with a strong emphasis on physical and mental health. According to YouGov Self-serve research, the top goals and aspirations this year are:

  • Getting fitter: 55% of people say they want to exercise more or improve their overall fitness in the new year. This could be anything from joining a gym to taking up a new sport or simply making time for more walks and outdoor activities.

  • Eating healthier: 52% of people are committed to making changes to their diet in 2024. This could involve eating more fruits and vegetables, cutting back on processed foods, or simply being more mindful of what they’'re putting on their plates.

  • Losing weight: A perennial resolution, 49% of people have weight loss goals for the new year.

  • Focusing on finances: 39% of people want to get a handle on their finances in 2024, including things like creating a budget, tracking spending, or paying off debt.

In addition to these top four resolutions, many people are also hoping to improve their mental health (26%), become more productive or organized (26%), and travel more (20%). Others are looking to connect more with loved ones (16%), pick up new hobbies (15%), and be more conscious of their environmental impact (13%).

Maintaining resolutions

Research indicates that certain resolutions present greater challenges than others in terms of long-term adherence. Dietary and fitness goals are perceived as the most difficult to maintain amongst British adults.

46% of respondents identified food and diet-related resolutions as the most challenging to uphold, while fitness-related resolutions follow closely behind, with 44% of respondents citing them as difficult to sustain.

Financial resolutions (16%) and mental health resolutions (15%) are considered significantly less challenging compared to those focused on health and wellness. Relationship resolutions (10%) and work-related resolutions (9%) are perceived as even easier to maintain, according to the survey data.

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Understanding who sets resolutions and their perceived difficulty across different types of resolutions unlocks opportunities for marketers to craft targeted campaigns that resonate with audiences and their unique goals. These data-driven insights can help brands turn a January trend into long-lasting engagement and brand loyalty throughout the year.

Don’t forget that when it comes to executing a marketing strategy, understanding why your competitors’ customers are choosing them over you can be just as valuable as knowing your own brand’s strengths.

Competitive analysis can help marketers understand exactly how satisfied customers of a rival brand are, as well as what they perceive as its shortcomings, allowing you to position your brand or product in the right place to take advantage.

YouGov’s self-serve survey building platform helps marketers reach their ideal target audience quickly, cheaply and easily to understand exactly what they’re thinking. And, when using YouGov’s ‘Customers of‘ targeting capabilities, marketers are able to speak directly to the customers of one (or more) of 1,500 brands in GB with their survey.

With research results delivered from 1-hour, YouGov’s self-serve survey building platform rapidly provides marketers access to the answers that can make the difference between failure and success for an upcoming product launch, brand campaign or crisis management strategy.

Click here to start your survey today.

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