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The Majority of Gen Z & Millennials Have A New Year Resolution—Here’s What They Are

We asked Gen Z and Millennials all about their resolutions for 2021 to find out what’s on their minds, and their goals for the much-anticipated new year…


Gen Z and Millennials have probably never been as excited for a new year to begin. In fact, 72% told us they were more excited than usual to celebrate this New Year’s because it meant that 2020 is over. And though some may believe the new year might be an arbitrary time to make changes, we found that New Year’s resolutions are more popular with young people than ever this year. The idea of 2021 as a fresh start is strong, with 75% of 13-39-year-olds telling YPulse that they have or planned to have a resolution this year when we asked in November. That’s an increase from the 66% who had or planned to have one in 2020, and a serious spike from the 53% who had or planned to have one in 2019. After the events of the last 12 months, young consumers are looking for changes, and apparently more likely to commit themselves to strive for those changes.

When we asked young people what exactly these 2021 resolutions are, we found that finances are a top focus:

Usually, health and fitness is a top New Year’s resolution theme. When we asked this same question in 2018, “Get/Stay Physically fit,” “Eat healthier,” and “Be happier” were the top three responses. This year, “Earn more money” and “Save more money” are the top picks by far, with half of young people saying that these best describe their New Year’s resolutions. After the financial setbacks that many experienced in 2020, creating more economic stability for themselves has become a more important goal. Brands should understand how much their financial goals will be impacting their decisions—saving with be a major priority for both generations this year.

We found that this is especially true among Gen Z:

Gen Z is more likely to have a variety of New Year’s resolutions, with the younger generation more likely than Millennials to choose each resolution nearly across the board. Earning and saving money are two resolutions that are notably higher for this group—as is “Be happier.” The latter is yet another indication that mental health will continue to be a vital priority for Gen Z consumers. In fact, Gen Z is more likely to say that their resolution is to “Be happier” than they are to be focused on diet, physical fitness, or weight loss.

But of course, a significant number of young consumers overall do have their physical health as a part of their resolution, with half of Gen Z and two in five Millennials resolving to eat healthier in 2021. Though YPulse’s Comfort in the Kitchen trend research found that comfort food (and stress eating) helped get young consumers through 2020, that doesn’t mean they threw away their desires to eat well and be active—and we also found that 83% of 13-39-year-olds say they want to start 2021 with a healthier body and mind. Brands should just understand that the “healthier mind” part of that statement is likely even more important to young consumers than the “body” part.