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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!


Rank Keyword Searches: Oct 2016
1 how to lose weight 33100
2 how to be happy 12100
2 how to save money 12100
4 how to write a book 5400
5 how to sleep better 4400
6 how to get over an ex 3600
7 how to be more confident 2900
7 how to cook 2900
9 how to eat healthy 2400
9 how to stop procrastinating 2400
9 how to meet new people 2400
12 how to get out of debt 1900
13 how to reduce stress 1600
14 how to remember things 1000
14 how to find love 1000
16 how to be more positive 880
16 how to learn a language 880
18 how to be more social 720
19 how to reinvent yourself 590
19 how to give up smoking 590
21 how to earn more money 390
21 how to be more organised 390
23 how to volunteer 260
23 how to be more creative 260
23 learn how to cook 260
26 how to get things done 210
27 how to control your emotions 170
27 how to be less stressed 170
29 how to be more romantic 140
29 how to start a new career 140
31 how to be more active 90
31 how to stop being late 90
33 how to drink less 70
33 learn self defense 70
33 how to be tidy 70
36 how to eat more healthy 50
36 how to dress better 50
36 how to read more books 50
36 how to eat better 50
40 how to help charities 40
41 ways to volunteer 30
41 how to face fear 30
43 how to spend more time with family 20
43 how to spend less time on social media 20
43 how to be more responsible 20
46 how not to be late 10
46 how to travel more 10
46 how to watch less tv 10
46 how to get a better work life balance 10
46 how to be more polite 10

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