By Astrid Hall

Travelling more, getting out of debt and writing a will are among the things Brits intend to do – but never get around to, according to research.

A study of 1,300 adults found millions have to-do lists, but busy lives and hectic work schedules get in the way, leaving them struggling to tick things off.

A large proportion kid themselves they’ll write a book one day, some dream of learning to ski, while others are adamant they’ll stop picking their nose.

But despite good intentions, eight in 10 have failed previous attempts to achieve their aims.

One in five did not succeed because they simply couldn’t motivate themselves enough and 20 per cent soon fell back into old habits.

However one in five were successful, sticking with their pledge for five years or more.

A large number of Brits have lost weight, managed to read more or even cleared their debt, according to the poll.

Others have mastered a new language, bought their second home, and changed their maiden name.

Richard Evans, of webuyanycar.com, who commissioned the survey, said: “Our new research shows that millions of Brits are determined to do and be better people as we move into 2018, even if it’s a struggle to find the time or muster the effort to fully achieve this.

“Interestingly, the research showed that we’re a country who believe bettering ourselves is a year-round endeavour and not just something for January, since over 40% of people concentrate on self-improvement 365 days a year.

“Like much of the population, at webuyanycar we strive to offer the best service 52 weeks a year, by providing a quicker sale, opening branches seven days a week and generally being more Phil.”

According to the poll, nearly half the nation will set goals in a bid to be healthier this year, while three in 10 hope to make themselves happier.

Some have attempted to forge a new habit this year including writing a book, revamping their wardrobe and landing a dream job.

Others are attempting to learn an instrument, while some are having a go at sticking with a new fitness regime.

But those polled expect to last just 16 days on average before falling off the wagon.

Six per cent said committing to a new habit is too expensive, which is no wonder with adults spending an average of £504 a year on achieving their aspirations.

In fact, almost one in 10 UK adults have splurged £2,000 or more on a new hobby or makeover in a bid to improve themselves.

And they estimate they whittle away five hours and 32 minutes every month trying to achieve goals or quit habits – regardless of whether they succeed.

Half struggle to quit even the smallest of habits, such as biting their nails and 45 per cent seek the help of friends or family when trying to reach a goal or better themselves.

Richard Evans added: “Setting goals to self-improve, learn a new hobby or change an old habit is a positive starting point, especially at the beginning of the year, even if it takes some time to accomplish them.”


1. Lose weight
2. Walk more
3. Eat healthier foods
4. Read more
5. Learn a language
6. Manage my finances better
7. Drink less
8. Spend less
9. Go to bed an hour earlier
10. Eat less foods
11. Socialise more
12. Join a gym
13. Re-vamp your wardrobe (throwing out clothes you don’t wear)
14. Unsubscribe from emails
15. Eat your five-a-day
16. Actually stick to a fitness plan
17. Travel the world
18. Clear my debt
19. Spend time or more time with my family
20. Write your will
21. Help/volunteer with a charity
22. Wake-up 10 minutes earlier
23. Quit smoking
24. Write a book
25. Clean the house properly
26. Re-decorate the house
27. Actually go to the gym I’ve joined
28. Buy a home
29. Visit relatives who live far away
30. Learn/practice an instrument


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