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Top 50 New Year’s resolution ideas for 2020 and how to achieve them

Based on search term data, we've pulled together the UK's most popular New Year resolutions for 2020 and shared some tips for success

By Ben Robson
Co-founder, GOAT

Avid readers may well remember the 2016 New Year’s resolution research. Well after a four year hiatous we’re back with an update on the search data for 2020.
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 2019 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 2019.

First position: ‘how to lose weight’

In at number one and mainting the top spot from 2016 is [how to lose weight].  Following the festive period of over indulgence this may be as you might expect!  

Past studies have labelled the UK the ‘Fat Man of Europe’, reporting one in four people are obese, so it’s no real surprise there were 49,500 searches, (up 49.5% on 2016) for [how to lose weight].

Try the NHS ‘Lose Weight’ page as a good place to start.

Second and Third position: ‘how to save money’ and ‘how to be happy’

In second place, with 14,800 searches (up 22.3%) is [how to save money] and in third with 12,100 searches, is [how to be happy], focusing on the age old question, can money make you happy? The two are often intrinsically linked, with a past Guardian study 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 this list of top ten books about happiness.

Fourth position: ‘how to write a book’

Remaining in fourth place, and increasing in search popularity by 83% is [how to write a book] with 5,400 searches. Highlighting the common goal for many to complete that elusive first book in the next 12 months.

Why not start the year with everything you need to know in 20 steps from Jerry Jenkins, then get back to writing.

Failing that hire some scientists and computer programmers to create a program to identify the algorithm to writing a best-selling novel!

Fifth position: ‘how to sleep better’

In fifth place it’s [how to sleep better], with 5,400 searches (up 22.7%). The average Briton gets just six hours and 19 minutes sleep a night a recent survey found.

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 and how they compare in position to the last study of 2016.

Tips for achieving your New Year’s resolution

With 6 out of 10 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 40%.

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 2019 Change
1 how to lose weight 49500 0
2 how to be happy 14800 0
3 how to save money 12100 -1
4 how to write a book 9900 0
5 how to sleep better 5400 0
6 how to be more confident 2900 1
6 how to cook 2900 1
6 how to get out of debt 2900 6
6 how to reduce stress 2900 7
6 how to stop procrastinating 2900 3
7 how to eat healthy 2400 2
8 how to meet new people 2400 1
9 how to get over an ex 1600 -3
10 how to be more positive 1300 6
11 how to remember things 1000 3
11 learn to cook 1000 #N/A
12 how to find love 880 2
12 how to give up smoking 880 7
12 how to learn a language 880 4
13 how to be more social 590 5
13 how to earn more money 590 8
13 how to reinvent yourself 590 6
14 how to be less stressed 390 13
14 how to be more organised 390 7
14 how to control your emotions 390 13
14 how to volunteer 390 9
15 how to be more creative 320 8
16 how to be more romantic 210 13
17 how to be tidy 170 16
17 how to get things done 170 9
17 how to start a new career 170 12
18 how to eat better 140 18
18 how to read more books 140 18
19 how to dress better 110 17
19 learn self defense 110 14
20 how to be more active 90 11
20 how to stop being late 90 11
21 how to drink less 70 12
21 how to eat more healthy 70 15
21 ways to volunteer 70 20
22 how to help charities 40 18
22 how to not be late 40 #N/A
22 how to spend less time on social media 40 21
23 how to be more polite 30 23
23 how to be more responsible 30 20
23 how to face fear 30 18
24 how to travel more 30 22
25 how to get a better work life balance 20 21
25 how to spend more time with family 20 18
26 how to watch less tv 10 20

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