READER POLL: More Exercise, Less Stress Top 2019 Resolutions

This week marks not only the end of 2018, but the beginning of a new year. So, in this week’s NAPA Net Reader Poll, it’s your chance to weigh in on New Year’s resolutions past and present.

There are any number of surveys about New Year’s resolutions. A recent one says that (only) about a quarter (26%) of people say that they plan to make New Year’s Resolutions for 2019, though Americans between 18 and 34 years old (33%) are more likely than 35-54-year-olds (30%) and 55+ Americans (17%) to say they plan on making resolutions.

As for NAPA Net readers, nearly two-thirds (62%) of this week’s respondents say they have made a New Year’s resolution for 2019 — and another 14% say they haven’t decided yet. “I pick ‘themes’ instead of resolutions,” noted one reader.  Another “Decided to take ongoing actions instead of making resolutions I rarely keep….” Still another commented, “If I’m going to make a resolution, I’m not going to wait for a certain date to start it. I’m going to begin the day I make it.”

2019 Resolutions

As for those resolutions, those results mirrored the YouGov Omnibus findings; the top resolution, cited by half (51%) of our respondents, was to exercise more. Other resolutions (more than one could be selected):

37.5% – less stress
31.25% – eat better
31.25% – save more (of course!)
25% – more time with family
25% – more kind words/appreciation
24% – read more
23% – volunteer/give back
19% – work better/more productivity
17% – better work/life balance
13% – lose weight
12% – watch less TV
7% – work less
6% – less cursing
6% – develop a hobby

One reader had resolved to “Give at least $50 to anyone that asks me, and whom I know personally, toward their fundraising event. You know, like “run for this” or “walk for that” or whatever. But they have to ask (I’m not on Facecrack, but an email would suffice) and then I have to give.”

Another “resolved” to “Exercise aggressively for two weeks then give up and return to sedentary lifestyle. ;-)”

2018 Resolutions

There may have been a lot of enthusiasm for 2019 resolutions, but 2018? Not so much. Just over half (53%) said they hadn’t made a resolution last year (though another 1 in 10 said it “depends on what you mean by “resolutions”).

Though there were fewer, the resolution focus was pretty consistent: 42% wanted to exercise more, a third resolved to lose weight, another third to pursue less stress, a quarter each to work less, eat better, achieve a better work/life balance and save more. Did they manage to keep them? Well, it was a (very) mixed bag. Roughly 1 in 5 each split between “no,” “most of them” and “some of them.” About 1 in 8 had and the rest fell into “a few of them.”

Big Things

While we were looking back, we asked readers what, overall, they saw as the big thing for their plan sponsor clients in 2018:

28% – payroll problems
26% – outcomes orientations
21% – fiduciary focus
15% – fee fears
11% – competing for talent

As for the biggest thing for their practice(s), readers cited:

33% – recordkeeper roulette
17% – consolidation concerns
11% – fiduciary focus
11% – outcomes orientations
6% – fee fears
6% – payroll problems

We did get some additional comments about New Year’s resolutions – here’s a sampling:

“Prefer to call it goal setting vs. New Year’s resolutions. I set goals in each major area of my life – family, business, health, personal, spiritual, etc.”

“I’ve never really done New Year’s resolutions. I figure if something is a good idea at the beginning of the year, it is a good idea to start doing in April, July or October. What’s magical about the new year? Still, I can see why some people might choose it. If that’s how they need to do it, more power to them. I do like to reflect on the year that was and the year coming up. I wrote down some thoughts at the beginning of 2018 and will go back tomorrow and see if the issues that were important then were the ones that remained important throughout the year.”

“2019 will be…interesting.”

“In some ways I say ‘whatever – just try to live your best life,’ but on the other hand New Year’s seems like a good time to think about changes you could implement to help make that happen!”

“Why wait until the calendar changes? Be intentional every day. I’ve found I’m much more likely to make a change permanent if I do it today instead of waiting until the proverbial ‘tomorrow.’”

“At least these resolutions don’t have to be dated timely and filed appropriately with the Plan Documents.”

But my personal favorite was the reader who commented, “With organizations like NAPA to support us, life is good!”

Thanks to everyone who participated in our weekly NAPA Net Reader Poll – and Happy New Year!

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