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Top 50 New Year's resolution ideas for 2017 and how to achieve them

Based on search term data, we've pulled together the UK's most popular New Year resolutions for 2017 and shared some tips for success

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By Benedict Adam

Co-founder, GOAT

New Year, fresh start. New Year’s resolutions offer hope for us all for the next 12 months. Choosing a resolution is the easy part, seeing it through for the whole year is the challenge. We’ve analysed historic search data to identify the most common ways the UK population wants to improve, while offering a few pointers to set you off in the right direction.

New Year’s resolutions: ideas & inspiration

If you’re struggling to think of a resolution, why not look to the rest of the UK for inspiration? Using end of the year 2016 search volume data of how people search on Google in the UK, we’ve pulled together the most popular ways in which people are looking to make a change for 2017.

First position: ‘how to lose weight’

In at number one as you might expect following the festive period of over indulgence, is [how to lose weight]. A 2013 study labelled the UK the ‘Fat Man of Europe’, reporting one in four people are obese, so it’s no real surprise there were 33,100 searches for [how to lose weight]. Try the NHS ‘Lose Weight’ page as a good place to start.

= Second position: ‘how to save money / how to be happy’

In joint second place, with 12,100 searches, is [how to save money] and [how to be happy], focusing on the age old question, can money make you happy? The two are often intrinsically linked, with a Guardian study in 2015 finding money the greatest source of anxiety for Britons.

For money saving advice try the Money Advice Service ‘How to Save Money’ page; free independent finance advice from the Government.

If in your pursuit of happiness you’ve already spent some time looking inward, why not try looking outward for advice on how to be happy with the book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.

Fourth position: ‘how to write a book’

In fourth place, a jump in search popularity for [how to write a book] with 5,400 searches highlights the common goal for many to complete that elusive first book in the next 12 months. Why not start the year with Shortlist’s collection of 50 inspiring quotes from famous authors, then get back to writing. Failing that hire some scientists and computer programmers to create a program to find the secrets to writing a best-selling novel.

Fifth position: ‘how to sleep better’

In fifth place it’s [how to sleep better], with 4,400 searches. In a 2011 Sleep Council survey, an alarming four out of five people complained of disturbed, inadequate – or ‘toxic’ – sleep. To improve your sleep you may wish to try out Sleepio, a free online tool to build yourself a sleep improvement program based on 35 years of research.

Scroll down to see the rest of the top 50 searches.

Tips for achieving your New Year’s resolution

With 63% of UK adults breaking their New Year’s Resolution, it’s no simple task to chose one and see it through. Here are some tips to make sure you are part of the successful 37%.

Choose carefully – select an achievable New Year’s resolution and focus on just one thing, don’t try and focus on too many changes, you’ll likely end up doing none of them particularly well.

Avoid previous resolutions – you probably failed for a reason and may well be just asking for more frustration and disappointment

Break it down – divide your resolution into small achievable chunks, it’s easier to lose half a kilo a month vs just losing weight

Reward yourself – as you progress plan small rewards to keep you motivated (as long as it’s not doughnuts when you’re trying to lose weight)

Don’t give up – Treat any failure as a temporary setback rather than a reason to give up altogether

Make your goals public – you’re more likely to succeed with a little help and support from your friends and family

Below is the full list, choose carefully and do your best to succeed!


RankKeywordSearches: Oct 2016
1how to lose weight33100
2how to be happy12100
2how to save money12100
4how to write a book5400
5how to sleep better4400
6how to get over an ex3600
7how to be more confident2900
7how to cook2900
9how to eat healthy2400
9how to stop procrastinating2400
9how to meet new people2400
12how to get out of debt1900
13how to reduce stress1600
14how to remember things1000
14how to find love1000
16how to be more positive880
16how to learn a language880
18how to be more social720
19how to reinvent yourself590
19how to give up smoking590
21how to earn more money390
21how to be more organised390
23how to volunteer260
23how to be more creative260
23learn how to cook260
26how to get things done210
27how to control your emotions170
27how to be less stressed170
29how to be more romantic140
29how to start a new career140
31how to be more active90
31how to stop being late90
33how to drink less70
33learn self defense70
33how to be tidy70
36how to eat more healthy50
36how to dress better50
36how to read more books50
36how to eat better50
40how to help charities40
41ways to volunteer30
41how to face fear30
43how to spend more time with family20
43how to spend less time on social media20
43how to be more responsible20
46how not to be late10
46how to travel more10
46how to watch less tv10
46how to get a better work life balance10
46how to be more polite10

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