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Sorting out our finances, getting fitter and healthier are the most popular New Year resolutions for 2024, according to research carried out as part of PTSB’s “Reflecting Ireland” series on consumer attitudes and behaviour.

The research found that 83% of people already have New Year resolutions in mind. Perhaps related to the cost of living, sorting out our finances leads the way in the top five resolutions going into 2024 as people aim to improve their physical, mental and financial health

Resolutions relating to losing weight, getting fit or improving diet feature prominently (26%) along with:

  • Sorting out finances and cut back on spending
  • Spending more time with family and friends
  • Taking better care of mental health

In terms of behavioural changes in the New Year, there is widespread support for kicking bad habits and self-improvement:

  • 64% plan to exercise (up 3% on last year)
  • 62% plan a bigger focus on eating well (up 8%)
  • 60% plan to get the right amount of sleep (up 6%)
  • 53% plan to spend time outdoors (up 6%)
  • 35% plan to socialise (up 4%)
  • 67% plan to cut back on certain habits including sweets and soft drinks (up 3%), cigarettes (up 8%) and alcohol (up 5%).

Motivations entering 2024

The research also shows that celebrating with family and friends is what will motivate most people in 2024, especially for the over-35s.

This is followed by seeking opportunities to travel (22%) and career progression (16%).  

Sporting predictions for 2024

The research also sounded out the views of sports fans on many of the key sporting events of 2024 and found that opinions are divided on how these events will pan out:

  • 43% said Team Ireland will win more medals at the Paris 2024 Olympics than in the last games in Tokyo
  • 46% said Ireland’s Paralympic athletes will win more medals in Paris than in Tokyo
  • 43% said the Irish men’s rugby team will make up for its World Cup quarter-final exit by completing the Grand Slam in the 2024 Six Nations
  • 25% said the women’s rugby team will complete their Grand Slam
  • 28% said Dublin will win both Ladies’ and Men’s All Ireland Football Championships, while 36% said Limerick will win its 5th All Ireland Hurling Championship in a row

Leontia Fannin, Head of Corporate Affairs and Communications at PTSB, said:

“Our research shows how many people are entering 2024 in a spirit of self-improvement. There is widespread support for taking on tough challenges – particularly on the financial and health and wellbeing front.

It’s encouraging to see the numbers of people planning healthy initiatives has increased on last year. That can only be a good thing and we want to wish everyone success with their New Year’s resolutions.”

Claire Cogan, behavioural scientist at BehaviourWise, said:

“Traditionally at this time of year we like to reflect, take stock and plan for the year ahead.  It’s interesting that sorting out our finances is the most popular New Year resolution this year, ahead of getting fit and losing weight which were no. 1 last year. The challenge of coping with the rising cost of living hasn’t gone away, but it’s clear that people are determined to rise to the challenge.”

Reflecting Ireland is a quarterly research series from PTSB which examines topical issues.  The research was undertaken in November 2023 amongst ~1,000 adults.

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