This year, the first wave of Millennials will enter their 40s, and many Gen Z will up their adulting. So, as 2023 kicks off, 81% of young people tell YPulse they have New Year’s resolutions or plan to have one. From the looks of social media, they’re as determined as ever to start the new year right. The hashtag #2023Goals on TikTok already has over 360M views, sharing their plans to travel more, eat healthier, make more money, take care of their mental health, and more.
Whether their resolutions begin with an aesthetic vision board to guide their way, making content to hold themselves accountable, or a simple journal page (or notes app list), they’re planning for a year of improvement. To find out what goals the most young people are focusing on, YPulse asks them to choose from a list of 32 options ranging from spending less time on social media to falling in love to managing debt, and these are their top New Year’s resolutions:
Eating healthier is their top priority
Both Gen Z and Millennials name eating healthier as their top new year’s resolution in 2023. YPulse’s The End of Foodie Culture (As We Know It) trend report shows one of the top kinds of food content young people are interested in is how-tos for healthy recipes of generally unhealthy meals. Social media certainly has no shortage of healthy food content for them, with everything from making meatless dupes of comfort food favorites to a diet that will help balance their #GutHealth (which was a huge trend in 2022).
But we know that for young people, eating “healthier” doesn’t necessarily mean counting calories and macros, and that they prioritize how they feel to determine how good something is for them. It’s of note that “eating healthier” outranks “losing weight” as a resolution for both gens, showing healthy is not so much about the numbers for them. YPulse’s What is Wellness? trend report shows 55% of young people say they measure how healthy they are by how they feel mentally, versus 35% who say by how healthy / nutritious their diet is. And only 33% of young people say they have a structured / deliberate routine for nutrition / healthy eating; so while this New Year’s resolution could mean more of them creating a routine for healthy eating, for many others it may mean more listening to their body for advice. After all, Gen Z and Millennials say the fourth top source they get wellness information from is their own knowledge / intuition.
Gen Z are wanting to become more financially responsible as they get older
Two of Gen Z’s top three resolutions are finance-focused: to earn more money (45%) and save more money (43%). By the end of this year, the oldest of Gen Z will have reached 22-years-old (according to YPulse’s definition of the gen) marking them as college graduates and financially independent adults. As it is, 33% of Gen Z tell YPulse they’re financially independent from their parents, and 58% say they manage their own finances.
YPulse data also shows that as workers, Gen Z are determined to earn what they think they deserve, and trends on social media guide and encourage them to make more money from their jobs. Between “working their wage” and now “rage-applying,” Gen Z is learning that they don’t have to give up their personal lives for their job, and that if they aren’t earning what they want, there’s plenty of other jobs who will offer them more.
Millennials are putting a focus on mental health this year
While both gens are equally likely to say “be happier” is a top resolution for them, Millennials are significantly more likely than Gen Z to say improving their mental health is one of their New Year’s resolutions. YPulse’s recent Mental Health report shows 51% of Millennials say they have felt mentally exhausted in the last year, and 44% have felt emotionally drained—and as these feelings have carried on for the past few years, they’re wanting a change. YPulse’s What is Wellness? trend report also shows 48% of Millennials say mental health is the most important part of their wellness, above physical health (33%).
And while Gen Z certainly agrees, with 50% saying mental health is the most important part of their wellness, New Year’s resolutions like “get / stay physically fit” and “lose weight” rank higher on their list (though are about as popular as they are with Millennials). But for Millennials, these physical goals, and financial goals, rank behind being happier and improving their mental health—showing their concerns are more about feeling good than looking conventionally successful this year.