As well as improving their health and losing weight, a sense of adventure is inspiring Britons to take holidays with a third saying travel is a big goal for the year ahead. Another 45 percent want to cut down on their phone use to help them feel more connected to their friends and family. Other goals people hope to achieve in the coming year include sorting out finances, joining a gym and taking steps to improve their sleep quality.
Paying off debt, moving, changing their job, home improvements, and looking after mental health feature the top 10.
Dr Meg Arroll, a chartered psychologist working with Healthspan, which commissioned the research, said: “The year to come is set to see a move away from debates about mindfulness and mindlessness.
“2020 is the year of self-awareness – we’ve survived a year of turmoil and now is a time for action, no more sleep-walking through life.
“People want to make this year the time to figure out what’s holding them back and then take definitive action to make their goals a reality.
“By increasing self-awareness and knowing our barriers – practical, emotional and social – we can overcome obstacles and truly reach our goals.
“Sometimes we are simply too hard on ourselves and set unattainable goals, particularly when it comes to health and well-being.
“When we don’t reach these unrealistic goals, we berate ourselves and fall back into our old, self-destructive habits.
“So even by taking a more self-compassionate approach, we’re much more likely to develop a positive mindset, which results in positive outcomes.”
The study also found three-quarters of Britons have set themselves a goal to achieve in 2020, with five each on average – though millions have 10 or more.
This is up on 2019, when Brits set themselves just three goals to achieve – although most admit they did not get to all of them.
And now the decade is coming to a close, fewer than a tenth have achieved all their goals for the last 10 years.
As a result, more than a third do not ever set themselves targets for a year ahead – because that way, there is no fear of failing them.
Dr Arroll added: “Many people stick with the status quo rather than setting goals for fear of failure.
“When armed with good quality advice and info, it’s much easier to feel optimistic about your goals – and 2020 is the perfect time to do it.”
In fact, the research found one in three are optimistic that 2020 will be the year they finally achieve all of their current goals in life.
While one in five adults set themselves goals to improve their physical health, 15 percent set them to make themselves mentally stronger.
Interestingly, 28 percent set their goals just so they have something to work towards and give themselves some purpose.
More than eight in 10 also reckon a positive outlook is crucial to achieving your goals, whatever they are.
It also emerged it usually takes around three attempts at a goal or resolution to get it to stick, according to the healthspan.co.uk research, carried out via OnePoll.
Dr Arroll added: “Now we have some political stability, it’s time to take stock and decisive steps to reach our goals, no more excuses.”
Top 10 goals for 2020
1. Lose weight
2. Travel the world/go on holiday
3. Pay off debt/get back on track financially
4. Home improvements
5. Improve your sleep
6. Make some dietary changes
7. Look after your mental health more
8. Move/buy a house
9. Buy a car
10. Change your job