New Year resolutions – Are they a thing of the past?

Well, this year has gone pretty quickly, hasn’t it?

It seems only a couple of months ago when we were discussing summer wear, and how to stay safe in the sultry climate afforded to us by a warm spring. But here we are focusing on the New Year (granted, at the publication, this is still in a few weeks’ time…)

That said, it’s now time when thousands of people think about New Year’s resolutions. The aim is for a person to consider the year that’s just passed, and to change a little part of their life for the greater good. Usually this involves best practices, a change of behaviour or to succeed at a personal goal.

It’s thought that New Year’s resolutions originated in ancient times (as do a lot of traditions!) The Romans often began each year by making promises to their gods, and over time various groups of people perceived the start of a year to be the best time to think about self-improvement. These days, the concept of self-improvement is still seen in society, with millions of people altering their behaviour for a few weeks.

Uh, hang on! Did we say “for a few weeks”? Well, though the intentions of millions are justified, it’s a fact that resolutions are most usually seen in January and February, by which they tend to slacken off and some of them are completely forgotten by the end of spring. To highlight this, here are the most common resolutions observed by Brits according to YouGov in 2020 in order of popularity:

·       Doing more exercise / improving fitness.

·       Losing weight.

·       Improving diet.

·       Saving more money.

·       Pursuing a career ambition.

·       Giving up smoking.

·       Decorating / renovating part of a house.

·       Taking up a new hobby.

·       Cutting down on drinking.

·       Participating in more charity work.

·       Spending more time with family.

·       Spending less time on social media.

·       Raising money for charity.

Now, though admirable, the top three resolutions relate to personal health and appearance. That’s probably / definitely why gyms and fitness centres see a considerable influx in membership in the early months. Good intentions, see? How many of those new members visit said gyms as regularly by the summer? Not all, that’s for sure.

Are resolutions a thing of the past – a quaint idea losing its credibility? Well, that survey in 2020 revealed that a whopping 79% of people interviewed said they didn’t make any resolutions at all. Only 12% did, whilst the remaining 9% didn’t recall making any.

When asked if they would make resolutions in 2021, a slight increase (19%) said they would. 67% said they wouldn’t, and 14% said they didn’t know. Though an increase, this only concerns intentions (after all, are YouGov going to check up on everybody surveyed?!) Either way, the vast majority (two thirds) of the survey said they wouldn’t make any resolutions.  

There’s no reason to believe that more Brits will make resolutions in the next few years than Brits who won’t. The trend may suggest that resolutions are not as popular as they’ve been. A dying trend? Possibly.

What we can advise to our models and other readers is that if you do make a New Year’s resolution, don’t be one of the many clichéd statistics that give up early in the year. Models have will power and determination in bundles, so you should be better suited to sticking to resolutions than most! And here’s a thought – why not begin a resolution at any other time of the year instead of the 1st January. Mid Year resolutions…now there’s a novel idea!