As people move towards small frequent goals throughout the year instead of diving into unrealistic ones, attitudes around New Year’s resolutions are shifting. With micro-goals and small wins keeping people motivated, changing the goal-setting narrative away from a once-a-year custom is key.
A survey conducted by Medifast reveals that people are changing the way they approach New Year’s resolutions in 2022, with many choosing to give themselves more achievable bite-sized goals on a regular basis. Indeed, 58% of people in the US plan to incorporate small changes into their daily life throughout the year, and almost half plan to set goals that help build healthy habits, with 42% planning on celebrating small victories as they achieve them. Considering 48% of people lose motivation over the course of a year and 15% set overly ambitious goals, these are some of the main reasons New Year’s resolutions have failed in the past. As a result, many people are learning the 'new year, new me' mantra is not a realistic one to live by.
Psychologists say the tendency to set goals after a break is known as the 'fresh start effect', however, New Year’s resolutions traditionally come with high expectations, added pressure, and a fear of failure – leading some to avoid the custom altogether. But this doesn’t mean self-improvement isn't desirable, it means that people's attitudes towards goal-making are shifting. Indeed, in 2021, 67% of people made multiple, more achievable 'micro-goals', with people planning on average 12 of these. Brands can tap into people who are shifting away from the once-a-year resolution by empowering those who have turned to micro-goal-making, helping them to focus on the short-term and keep up with their targets in more manageable ways. For example, Atkins, a weight-loss brand, has launched a campaign celebrating small health and wellness wins with a five-week, simple-steps plan.