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Happiness Is Young Europeans’ Top New Year’s Resolution for 2023

Many young Europeans have made New Year’s resolutions for 2023, and they look quite different from last year…

TL;DR

  • European Gen Z and Millennials’ top resolution for 2023 is to be happier
  • Young Europeans also have money on their mind when it comes to what they want to change this year
  • Millennials are eager to see the world again, and “travel” is their top resolution for 2023, while Gen Z wants to prioritize their mental health

It’s the start of a new year, which means it’s time for young Europeans to decide what their New Year’s resolutions are going to be. The vast majority of Gen Z and Millennials in Western Europe seem to like the traditional experience of challenging themselves, and setting up goals for the next 12 months. In fact, YPulse’s data shows that 85% of them were planning to have New Year’s resolutions this year.

In our recent survey, YPulse surveyed 13-39-year-olds in the U.K., France, Germany, Spain, and Italy, to better understand their expectations for the new year. We asked young people to tell us their New Year’s resolutions and here are their top answers out of 32 options that ranged from spending less time on social media to falling in love to managing debt:

Their Top 2023 New Year’s Resolutions

among 13-39-year-olds in WE

  1. Be happier (43%)
  2. Travel (41%)
  3. Get / Stay physically fit (41%)
  4. Reduce stress (40%)
  5. Save more money (39%)
  6. Earn more money (38%)
  7. Eat healthier (37%)
  8. Be more confident (35%)
  9. Improve my mental health (35%)
  10. Lose weight (30%)
  11. Spend more time with my family (29%)
  12. Read more (26%)
  13. Get organized (26%)
  14. Spend less money (22%)
  15. Better work-life balance (22%)

 

Happiness is young Europeans’ top resolution for 2023

With more than two in five young Europeans saying “be happier” is what best describes their personal resolution for 2023, happiness is Gen Z and Millennials’ top New Year’s resolution for 2023. Last year, happiness only ranked fourth on young Europeans’ resolution list, and the top resolution was “getting / staying physically fit.” Young Europeans have shifted their goals away from physical wellbeing, to focus on happiness, and personal fulfilment. It might be that these gens went through a lot this year: from the many visible effects of climate change, looming inflation, and the cost-of-living crisis intensifying in the region. As a result, instead of setting themselves tangible physical goals, Gen Z and Millennials believe that in 2023 they should aim “to have more fun, stress less and to have a happier life,” as one of our respondents described their New Year’s resolution.

Young Europeans are thinking about money as they enter 2023

Looking more closely at the list of young Europeans’ top New Year’s resolutions reveals that three of them have to do with money: saving more money (39%), earning more money (38%), and spending less money (22%). YPulse has informed you of the extent of the cost-of-living crisis that unravelled in Western Europe in the past months, and which explains why money is so much on their mind at the moment. Our Life Milestones & Future Plans survey also found 85% of young Europeans say “Pay off debt / Be debt free” is important for them in 2023, underscoring how money is a current issue for these gens.

Physical health is not as much of a priority for young Europeans as it was last year

Three types of resolutions among the top 15 have to do with physical health: getting / staying physically fit (41%), eating healthier (37%), and losing weight (30%). In 2022, these three resolutions were topping the chart, but this year, they are lower down the list—respectively #3, #7, and #10. Our What Is Wellness? Trend Report informed you that young consumers are turning away from unrealistic wellness trends that promote perfection as a norm, and are instead increasingly turning to holistic wellbeing that takes mental health into account.

Gen Z is more interested in becoming more confident this year, compared to Millennials

There are differences between the way Gen Z and Millennials set themselves challenges for the new year:

Two in five European Gen Z say “be more confident” best describes their New Year’s resolution, making it their third top resolution. Gen Z grew up on social media, and has endured the pressure associated with having an online presence from a young age, which explains why this generation wants to build confidence. Living their life as a “main character” is one of the techniques Gen Z does to take care of their mental health, and YPulse’s data shows that doing so helps them to gain more confidence. The younger gen can also increasingly rely on brands to help them become more confident: last summer Boohoo partnered with a neuropsychologist to create a seven-day “self-love” plan as part of Mental Health Awareness Week. Called the Body Image Cleanse, BooHoo’s campaign aimed to “increase customer confidence through the promotion of habit-forming steps.”

Travel is more on Europeans Millennials’ minds than it is for Gen Z

While travel is young Europeans’ second top resolution for 2023 overall, both generations don’t prioritize it in the same way. Travel is European Millennials’ top resolution for the new year, with more than two-in-five saying it best describes their resolution. On the other hand, only a third of European Gen Z chose traveling, which makes it only the ninth resolution on their list. YPulse has long reported how Millennials are a wanderlust generation, for whom traveling is an essential part of their lives. Now that the threat of the global pandemic is behind, and the majority of countries have reopened their borders, young consumers can hit the road again, and satisfy their needs for traveling. European Millennials are the most eager of the two gens, and travelling is on top of their resolution list for 2023, proving that the concept of “revenge vacation” is real.