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New Survey Reveals How Americans Are Approaching 2021 New Year’s Resolutions

Health-related resolutions top the list while career-related resolutions fall in importance during a time changed by COVID-19, according to a new YouGov survey for Evernote

Redwood City, Calif., December 15, 2020 – COVID-19 has impacted nearly everything about Americans’ lives in 2020—and that includes goal setting for the 2021 New Year. A new survey* from YouGov conducted for the productivity app creator Evernote finds that Americans are approaching their New Year’s resolutions differently this year.  

The data looks at Americans’ intentions toward making resolutions for 2021, the most common types of resolutions, and how they’re planning to achieve those goals. 

Key findings include:

  • More Americans plan to make resolutions this year—and are approaching them more seriously. Nearly one-third of Americans (32 percent) plan to make New Year’s resolutions for 2021, compared to only 28 percent from a December 2019 survey** about 2020 resolutions. Furthermore, more than three-quarters of Americans (76 percent) who intend to make resolutions are thinking about them more seriously this year compared to previous years.
  • Health-related goals are the top priority. Roughly two-thirds (66 percent) of Americans who plan on making resolutions in 2021 intend to make health-related resolutions (e.g., mental health, healthy eating, etc.); This is no surprise; in an August 2020 poll***, 31 percent of American adults reported that their mental health has worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fitness goals ranked the second most common (54 percent), followed by personal finance goals (52 percent), and productivity and organization goals (41 percent).
  • With economic uncertainty, career-related goals may be on hold. Of those who plan on making resolutions, only 35 percent reported them being career-related. Career-related goals were the sixth most popular resolution type behind health (66 percent), fitness (54 percent), personal finance (52 percent), productivity/organization (41 percent), and relationships (40 percent). Career-related goals are more likely to be set by Gen Z and Millennials (46 percent) compared to Gen X and Baby Boomers (21 percent).
  • Productivity apps will be a popular way to achieve 2021 goals. Roughly two-thirds (66 percent) of Americans who intend to make resolutions would consider using a productivity app to stay on track with their 2021 New Year’s resolutions. Productivity tools have been popular throughout the COVID-19 pandemic; from a June 2020 survey****, nearly half (46 percent) of Americans reported using a productivity tool since social-distancing guidelines began, to stay on top of their day-to-day at home and at work. 

“It’s no stretch to say that 2020 has been a challenging year. Yet, it’s heartening to see that people are still optimistic about what they can accomplish in 2021—even more so than in previous years,” said Michele Don Durbin, Evernote’s Senior VP of Marketing. “As resolutions and approaches to them shift, Evernote is easy to adapt to fit whatever unique work style you need. It’s a pleasure to support our customers’ goals for achieving more in 2021.”

*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Fieldwork was undertaken between November 19-20, 2020 of 1335 adults in the United States, which included 417 intending to have a New Year’s resolution for 2021. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all U.S. adults (aged 18+).

**December 2019 YouGov survey of 1,174 US adults, which included 332 U.S. adults who intended to make New Year’s resolutions in 2020. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all U.S. adults (ages 18+). Interviews were conducted online between December 18-19, 2019.

***August 2020 YouGov poll of 6,173 U.S. adults. Interviews were conducted online between August 17-18, 2020, and results have been weighted to be nationally representative.

****June 2020 YouGov survey of adults in the United States. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,283 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between June 11-12, 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all U.S. adults (aged 18+).


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Evernote’s mission is to help you remember everything and accomplish anything. Our apps allow you to collect and organize everything that matters, to keep you productive, and to be available all day and in every context. Serving more than 250 million customers around the world in just about every country and 25+ languages, Evernote is an independent, privately-held global company headquartered in Redwood City, California. For more information, visit: https://evernote.com/about-us.

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