Top New Year’s Resolution Is No Longer Healthy Lifestyle: Why ‘Living Life To Its Fullest’ Is This Year’s New Priority

New Years Resolutions
New Years Resolutions reflect a change in Americans' priorities this upcoming year. Photo courtesy of Flickr, Carol Vanhook

Every year, New Year’s Resolutions are ranked and this time around Americans surprised us with a new yearly promise — it’s not weight loss. “Enjoy life to the fullest” is the newest number one resolution in America for 2016, according to a financial data institution GO Banking Rates. Why did health drop down a rung on the proverbial priority list?

In past years, the top resolutions have been historically typical and predictable. They range from weight loss, quit smoking, cut down on drinking, find love, happiness, and better money management. But this year was different. Out of the more than 5,000 people who took the survey, over 45 percent said living life to the fullest was their number one priority in the upcoming year. The resolution was consistent in 30 different states throughout the country, and most of them were women (47.6 percent of women vs. 41.4 percent of men).  Women were also more focused on losing weight than men were (40.3 percent of women vs. 36.7 percent of men).

Americans' 2016 New Year's Resolutions:

  • Enjoy life to the fullest (45.7%)
  • Live a healthier lifestyle (41.1%)
  • Lose weight (39.6%)
  • Spend more time with family and friends (33.2%)
  • Save more, spend less (30.1%)
  • Pay down debt (27.5%)

When analysts looked at how the ratings’ demographics broke down, they found millennials are more focused on spending less and saving more money in 2016 compared to any other age group.  Meanwhile, older generations were more concerned with paying off their debt.

But spending more time with friends and family still beat out financial concerns, revealing an overarching shift towards quality of life and less focus on weight and money problems. Still, 57.6 percent of Americans reported they’re setting a money goal for the upcoming year, but the act of achieving that goal isn’t prioritized as highly as it once was.

As far as weight loss is concerned, for the first time in 25 years, less than half of Americans want to diet. The irony is unavoidable in a country with nearly 70 percent of its citizens overweight or obese—the highest it’s ever been.

Last year, the top resolutions were to stay fit and healthy, lose weight, and then enjoy life to the fullest. The shift in carrying about the numbers on your scale could come from body positivity campaigns, or the fact that if everyone around you is overweight or obese, it changes the perception of “normal weight.” While in reality, normal is a healthy weight without excessive fat percentage.

An unbreakable trend that has transcended throughout all years is broken New Years Resolutions. Despite efforts, roughly 76 percent did not follow through with their weight loss or diet resolution in the recent years. But we won’t know until the years end if Americans will carry through with their personal promise to live life to the fullest in 2016. 

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