Fewer Smokers & Year-Round Healthy-Eating Change UK's Resolutions

Modern day New Year’s resolutions include cutting back on social media, travelling more, leaving work on time - and taking fewer selfies, a study conducted by Thomas Cook has found.

While age-old resolutions such as dieting and giving up cigarettes are still on the list of pledges for January, a dwindling number of smokers and year-round healthy-eating have seen a host of other resolutions become popular.

Now people are choosing a digital detox, with vows such as having fewer Facebook friends, sharing less on social media and not looking at a phone or tablet screen before bed among the top modern resolutions.

Other popular contemporary resolutions include travelling more, watching less TV and calling people more often instead of sending sending text messages.

The poll, of 2,000 adults, found that going on a diet is still the most popular New Year’s resolution - however the second and third most popular were going on mini-breaks and holidays and travelling more. Reading more books came fourth. Drinking less alcohol came fifth, with giving up smoking, setting more time aside for a hobby or personal project, more time with family, cooking from scratch and spending less time on social media completing the top ten.

Printing out and framing more photographs is also on the list of popular resolutions, along with doing something to help a good cause, cutting down on screen-time generally and spending less time checking smartphones.

Keeping up-to-date with politics, sharing less on social media and writing or updating a blog also feature in contemporary resolutions.

Researchers found three quarters of Brits have made a New Year’s resolution.

The research also showed that 77 per cent of Brits start January with a positive mind-set, although most find that their good mood has faded by the middle of the month. Almost half put this down to getting fed-up of the bad weather, perhaps helping to explain why 31 per cent book a holiday for the year ahead - nine in ten say this helps them to get through the long first month of the year.

Chris Mottershead, Managing Director, Thomas Cook UK, who commissioned the research, added: “There was a time when almost everyone’s resolutions would have been to give up smoking, drink less alcohol or to lose weight. But now, with the introduction of technology related vices, there are a wide range of resolutions being made every January. Not only does technology play a huge part in our lives, but these resolutions could also be easier to stick to than the more traditional ones of giving up smoking or drinking. Travel is also a popular feature with many wanting to see more of the world, go on more holidays and just generally travel more than they currently do. While resolutions to be healthier and lose weight are top of mind, we have enlisted an expert panel to help people feel positive, inspired and motivated in the run up to summer. The Beach Holiday Ready campaign focuses on what travellers can do before they travel to ensure they can indulge while away.”

Three out of five people would also like to try to avoid the January blues by seeing in the New Year abroad if money was no issue, with New York, Australia, Barbados, Las Vegas and the Canary Islands the most popular destinations.

Thomas Cook asked Anna Williamson, one of Channel 5 Big Brother’s Bit on the Side's psychology experts, a qualified counsellor, life coach and NLP Practitioner to provide tips on how to stay positive in the new year and stay on track with your resolutions: 

1 – Set yourself a Goal

It’s important you keep the goal realistic and achievable, don’t make your goal too unobtainable as it’ll only serve to de-motivate you should you veer off it slightly.  Start small, then increase your goals each time you’ve completed one.  It’s best to start with a series of short term ‘mini-goals’, and then have a think about setting a more long term one when you’re getting the hang of it.  This is proven to help resolutions stick. 

2 – Take some ‘Me’ Time

We often spend so much time making sure everything and everyone is ok, that we can accidentally neglect our own needs and mental health.  Have a think about what you can do, just for you, and make a ‘deal’ with yourself to dedicate some time each week for yourself. So, maybe it’s reading a favourite book or trashy magazine, it could be having a leisurely browse online at your favourite destinations and planning your next holiday. Go on, you deserve it.

3 – Get up and get Active

At this time of the year, the last thing we often feel like doing is to jump around in the cold or sweat it out in a gym.  However, exercise is proven to boost your feel good hormones and brain chemicals, and really can make all the difference to our mood and motivation.  So, if sweating it out in a gym class isn’t for you, that’s ok, have a think about what you’d enjoy, maybe it’s swimming (with a nice hot sauna afterwards) or a calming yoga class…boosting our physical health really can help with our overall happy and positive vibes.

4 – Plan something Fun

When we’re juggling work, family and keeping New Year’s resolutions, we can sometimes hit a wall and feel a little overwhelmed.  Making plans for the near future is a great way to lift your mood and look forward to something fun.  A holiday is an obvious and a great tried and tested way to boost your outlook and keep you on track with the job in hand. You can use it as a reward for achieving a goal or motivation to keep fit and show off that bikini body.  So go on, have think about some Summer sun or a cosy winter chalet – a short break, or a long holiday.

5 – Have a chat and cuppa

We’re all so used to checking our smart phones and social media umpteen times a day that it can be really easy to forget the importance and benefits of having a proper face to face chat with someone.  Have a think about who you could have a cuppa and natter with, maybe it’s a family member, or that friend you keep putting off - the positive benefits of having a chat with someone and offloading any worries, and in turn listening to theirs, can have such a brilliant and positive effect on your wellbeing.  So go on, ditch the mobile and put the kettle on!

Top 50 modern resolutions

1.       Go on a diet/lose weight

2.       Go on a holiday or mini-breaks

3.       Travel and see more of the world

4.       Read more books

5.       Drink less alcohol

6.       Give up smoking

7.       Put time aside for a personal hobby or project

8.       Spend more time with family

9.       Cook from scratch more often

10.   Spend less time on social media

11.   Watch less TV

12.   Calls to relatives more often

13.   Back up your computer more often

14.   Spend less time online

15.   Work less overtime

16.   Stop looking at a screen before bed

17.   Plant a herb garden

18.   Print out and frame photos

19.   Leave the office on time in the evening

20.   Call more instead of text

21.   Cut down on screen usage

22.   So something pro-active for a cause, such as help the homeless, local farms, refugees etc

23.   Spend your time on holiday seeing the sites instead of just sitting around the pool

24.   Spend less time checking your phone

25.   Eat more avocadoes/quinoa/whatever healthy food is currently fashionable

26.   Take fewer selfies

27.   Keep up to date with politics

28.   Have at least one family activity a week not based on TV or screens

29.   Have fewer social media friends/have a Facebook cull

30.   Don’t get sucked into sales events such as Black Friday

31.   Shop online less

32.   Start reading from multiple sources

33.   Share less on social media

34.   Stop looking at your phone when eating

35.   Set reminders on your phone to stop forgetting things

36.   Write a blog

37.   Save more photos/docs in the ‘cloud’

38.   Spend less time playing ‘Angry Birds’ or ‘Candy Crush’ type games

39.   Update your blog more often

40.   Create a ‘smarter home’

41.   Actually do some of the things you have pinned on Pintrest

42.   Video call relatives

43.   Manage your social media profiles so they are ‘career friendly’

44.   Complete/update your LinkedIn profile

45.   Straighten or blow-dry your hair less

46.   Stop posting on social media after you have been drinking

47.   Keep up to date with your tech updates, such as iOS updates

48.   To know the latest diets

49.   To perfect a photo pose

50.   Stop using text speak or shortened words in conversation

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