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Seven in 10 Americans are tossing out their materialistic New Year’s resolutions for 2021, according to new research.

The survey asked 2,000 nationally-represented Americans about their plans for the new year in light of the stress from 2020 overall and found 71% shared they’ll be focusing on learning life skills or practical goals.

In fact, top planned New Year’s resolutions for 2021 aren’t focused on going to the gym or losing weight, but rather saving money for the future (62%) and learning a new skill (50%).

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Affirm , the survey also found that over half of respondents (54%) are planning to better budget in 2021 and another 49% are hoping to pay down debt.

Sixty-eight percent of respondents shared they want to move away from “traditional” resolutions to focus more on experiences – like spending more time with their family (53%) and traveling more (49%).

In fact, respondents plan to take an average of two road trips in the new year.

Nearly six in 10 (58%) of respondents also said their 2021 resolution will be having a more positive outlook at life.

Reflecting on such a difficult year, it makes sense that respondents are approaching their 2021 resolutions differently – in fact, 65% don’t even plan on looking at these as “resolutions” but rather “intentions” for the new year.

Seven in 10 respondents also shared they don’t plan on setting harsh deadlines to achieve their new goals, but they’ll rather be checking in with themselves throughout 2021.

Sixty-two percent of those polled also said they can’t wait to tackle the new year with a fresh mindset and renewed motivation after feeling stagnant all throughout 2020.

And with this renewed motivation, 63% of those polled believe their personal finances will be better off in 2021 than they were at the end of 2020.

This also may be connected to the 43% of respondents who shared they learned to be more intentional about their purchases in 2020 and plan to take these experiences with them in 2021.

It is no surprise that people are focusing their upcoming New Year’s resolutions on taking control of their finances in 2021 given all the experiences that they had to put on hold in 2020,” said Silvija Martincevic, Chief Commercial Officer at Affirm. “We expect to see much more intentional spending in 2021 as people attempt to make up for what they missed out on this year!” 

Even though respondents are feeling optimistic about 2021, 53% of respondents are worried they won’t be able to afford to pursue all of their new goals and resolutions.

However, the majority (58%) agreed that pay-over-time solutions allow them to better budget and one third (32%) plan on using one to fund their goals.

“We eliminate complexity, uncertainty, and hidden fees, and empower consumers to confidently buy the things they want and need while staying within their budgets. With Affirm, consumers know exactly how much they’ll pay and when they’ll be done making payments, enabling them to achieve their budgeting goals on their own timeline.” said Martincevic.

In order to stay committed to their goals for 2021, 45% of respondents plan to set checkpoints throughout the year to measure their progress and 44% will create a game plan of specific steps for each of their new goals.

The majority of those polled (70%) also shared they don’t plan on setting harsh deadlines to achieve their new goals, but they’ll rather be checking in with themselves throughout 2021.

TOP WAYS AMERICANS PLAN TO STAY COMMITTED TO THEIR 2021 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

  1. Check in throughout the year to measure their progress – 45%
  2. Create specific steps for each one – 44%
  3. Tell a friend or family member about them – 41%
  4. Write them down – 38%
  5. Download an app to help them track their progress – 37%
  6. Post about them publicly on social media –33%

 TOP WAYS AMERICANS WILL PAY FOR THEIR 2021 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

  1. Debit card – 47%
  2. Cash – 45%
  3. Credit card – 40%
  4. Pay-over-time solution – 32%
  5. Using money that was gifted during the holidays – 21%
  6. Gift cards gifted during the holidays – 15%

TOP PLANNED NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR 2021

  1. Improve their overall wellness – 63%
  2. Save more money for future expenses – 62%
  3. Have a more positive outlook – 58%
  4. Get in better physical shape – 56%
  5. Better budget their finances or create a monthly budget – 54%
  6. Create a new good habit – 53%
  7. Spend more time with family – 53%
  8. Improve their relationship with their family – 51%
  9. Learn a new skill – 50%
  10. Improve their relationship with their significant other – 49%
  11. Improve their relationships with their friends – 49%
  12. Pay down debt – 49%
  13. Read more – 49%
  14. Travel more – 49%
  15. Quit a harmful habit – 45%
  16. Less screen time – 43%
  17. Volunteer – 43%
  18. Create connections with people who have different views – 41%
  19. Get a new job – 38%

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