Making New Year’s resolutions during Covid paid off: loyalty
Uwe Krejci | Stone | Getty Images
New Years Resolutions can be easy to make and even easier to break, but having a goal can help keep you optimistic and on track financially, according to a Fidelity Investments survey released Thursday.
The 2022 New Year’s Financial Resolutions study found that people who made resolutions in early 2021 are more optimistic about the future than those who didn’t. Eighty-one percent of respondents who took resolutions say they will be better off financially in 2022, compared to 58% of those who didn’t.
Some of that optimism may be a direct result of experiencing the pandemic.
“They had to spend less, they had to really think about their finances and plan through all of this uncertainty,” said Stacey Watson, senior vice president of life event planning, Fidelity Investments.
The Fidelity survey reveals that 84% of Americans say that after the experience of Covid “they learned to let go by caring about what cannot be controlled,” according to Watson. And with a greater emphasis on achievable personal goals, the survey finds Americans achieve their goals more often. The percentage of survey respondents who met New Year’s resolutions (71%) in 2021 was significantly higher than the level of follow-up in the previous year: 58% in 2020.
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A rising stock market and financial relief from the government may have helped some people achieve their goals, but the sense of control also helped motivate people to achieve their physical and mental health goals. Respondents to the Loyalty Survey gave the pandemic credit for helping them think more about saving and spending, connecting with family, and being stronger as individuals.
Personal Financial Outlook 2022
The main resolutions for 2022 are to save more money, pay off debt and spend less.
Finding a job is the top priority for almost half of current Millennials and Gen Zs. And it’s not just about money, with these respondents citing looking for reduced stress levels, flexibility and “finding a job that better matches my personal values.”
While the majority felt optimistic about the future, 43% of respondents cite inflation as the # 1 risk to financial health in 2022. Unplanned expenses and the impact of Covid-19 on the economy are also major concerns.
The best way to make resolutions, according to Watson, is to focus on things that you are passionate about and where the passion “is going to fuel your sense of purpose.”
She also recommends having a cheerleader to keep you on track, whether it’s a financial planner, partner, friend, or family member.
“It can kind of help you stay on track, empower yourself and celebrate with yourself like you’re doing right,” she said.
The Fidelity survey was conducted from October 18 to 24, 2021, among 3,031 adults aged 18 and over, by ENGINE Insights.