New Year’s resolutions have a longstanding history dating back thousands of years. With 2021 in the rear view, some Canadians are setting their sights on 2022, and making resolutions for a better future in the process. This led us to wonder if the tradition is still living strong today. Just how many Canadians are making resolutions? What are their resolutions? Are they setting themselves up for success or failure? We explored all of this and more in our latest survey.
Our survey found that only 12% of Canadians are regularly making New Year’s Resolutions, followed by 30% who occasionally make resolutions, and 58% who rarely do so. Those who regularly make resolutions are significantly more likely to skew younger, but gender and region have little impact on whether or not Canadians are regularly making resolutions.
But how does this year compare? Well, 25% of Canadians have made a resolution in 2022, and only 81% of those who regularly make a New Year’s Resolution did so this year. Interestingly, those who feel that the worst of the pandemic is in the past were significantly more likely to make a New Year’s Resolution (33%), highlighting that opinions may be changing as Canadians begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel and feel motivated to make resolutions. This was also the case for those who feel they are living their life to the fullest (30%), those who wake up most mornings excited to start their day (30%), and those who are very optimistic about the future (31%). Again, younger Canadians (40% among those 18-29) are significantly more likely to make resolutions than their elders (13% among those 60 and over). Are older Canadians stuck in their ways? Are they Losing their drive for self improvement? We can’t say for sure, but the numbers are a little concerning.
As expected, many Canadians (43%) have focused on improving their health and wellness this year, possibly due to the sedentary lifestyle many are facing due to Covid-19, and the ongoing desire to improve upon one’s health and wellness. Those living in BC were among the most likely to focus their resolution on health and wellness (51%), while those living in Quebec were among the least likely (27%). Interestingly, although being the least likely to have made a resolution, those 60 and over were the most likely to focus on their health and wellness (59%) compared to any other age group. Health and wellness was followed by another classic resolution of quitting a bad habit (17%) and not far behind that was working on financial habits (16%), again, possibly related to the pandemic’s impact on the finances of Canadians.
While Canadians make resolutions for a better future, we wanted to make sure that they were setting smart goals for themselves. We found that the vast majority of Canadians considered a multitude of factors before making their resolutions, something that will most likely set them up for success. We specifically asked respondents whether or not they considered if their resolution was achievable, relevant, specific enough, measurable, and time-bound while deciding on their New Year’s resolutions. Turns out, Canadians who made resolutions did think of these factors when deciding what to work on. However, while many considered if their resolution was achievable (92%), relevant (90%), specific (82%) and measurable (81%), far fewer considered whether or not it was time-bound (69%). Still, nearly 7 in 10 of those who made a resolution for 2022 did consider whether or not it was time-bound.
According to Michael Monopoli: Canadians aren’t just making resolutions at will. They’re actively considering whether or not their goals are achievable, relevant, specific, measurable, and time-bound, all of which are factors which lead to smart goal setting. While many may look at their New Year’s Resolution and see it as a challenge, it seems as though those who have made resolutions this year have set themselves up for success!
This survey was conducted with 2200 Canadian adults from January 7th to January 12th 2022. The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of the same size is +/- 2.089%, 19 times out of 20.
The survey was conducted using a random sample of panelists invited to complete the survey from a set of partner panels based on the Lucid exchange platform. These partners are double opt-in survey panels, blended to manage out potential skews in the data from a single source.
The data was weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region.
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