New Year’s Resolutions Focus on More Time With Loved Ones, Fitness Goals

New Year’s Resolutions Focus on More Time With Loved Ones, Fitness Goals

Survey: 13% also cite more travel as their top goal for 2021
A father and daughter

After a year of social distancing and coping with fears about sickness and disease, Americans are resolving to make time with friends and family and stay healthy as their top goals for 2021.

A new survey by online marketing platform What If Media Group found that more than 2 in 5 respondents (45%) hope to spend more time on fitness in the coming year, making it one of the top New Year’s resolutions surveyed.

But while the overall consensus among Americans appears to be moving away from the challenges of 2020, different regions may be taking varying approaches.

Midwest and South put top focus on relationships

While no region of the country was spared from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, some areas were hit harder than others. As a result, those living in different regions likely had different experiences and perceptions of the pandemic’s impact.

For those who live in the Midwest and the South, social distancing may have been a more bitter pill to swallow, as respondents in those states were most likely to say spending time with family and friends was their top goal for 2021.

Nebraska and West Virginia had the largest percentage of residents (36%) naming more time with loved ones as their top resolution. They were followed by…

  • Wyoming (35%)
  • North Dakota (35%)
  • Arkansas (34%)
  • Oklahoma (32%)

Many consumers may be feeling disappointment over being away from their families during the Thanksgiving and December holiday seasons. For example, an earlier survey by ValuePenguin showed that only 3% of Americans had made plans to fly over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Fitness drives Northeasterners

The Northeast and New England held more than half of the top 10 states where people cited exercising more and/or losing weight as their top resolution for 2021.

Specifically, New Hampshire topped the list with 37% vowing to get in better shape, followed by...

  • Rhode Island (36%)
  • Delaware (36%)
  • Hawaii (32%)
  • Maine (31%)
  • New York (31%)

Survey respondents also had ideas about how they planned to achieve those fitness goals, with some consumers looking for ways to get fit without putting a dent in their budget.

For example, more than half of Alaskans (55%) said they didn’t plan to spend more money on fitness in 2021. However, a larger percentage of Alaska residents (62%) said they would be spending more time getting fit next year.

Consumers want to travel

Another activity many Americans are looking forward to in 2021 is travel. Throughout the past year, consumers cancelled or postponed their vacations — now, as vaccines are beginning to be deployed, more people may start planning to venture away from home.

While only 13% of respondents said more travel was their No. 1 resolution for 2021, a higher percentage did expect to travel more next year, particularly those in certain states.

South Dakotans were the most likely to say they were planning to travel more in 2021, with 41% indicating so, followed by…

  • 39% in Montana
  • 37% in Nevada
  • 37% in New Hampshire
  • 37% in Idaho

Methodology: What If Media Group surveyed 18,048 adults online on Dec. 7, 2020 and Dec. 8, 2020. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5%.