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Biggest obstacles to overcome for New Year’s Resolutions? (Survey results)

Written by Kathryn Aragon

Last updated: March 19, 2019 has conducted a survey to find out what are the biggest obstacles to complete your New Year’s resolutions.

We surveyed 500 Americans, 167 men and 333 women, and asked them three questions about their New Year’s resolutions and the biggest obstacles they have to overcome to make those resolutions new, healthy habits in 2019.

Here are their answers…

Drinking More Water is the New Healthy Trend of 2019

The first question we asked was, “What kind of healthy food trends will you be focused on in 2019?”

The winner is, surprisingly to us, water. 154 of our 500 respondents said that they wanted to make an effort to drink more water. Drinking enough water is extremely important, and something that is often overlooked, which is why we were surprised to see it so highly represented here.

The second highest diet resolution for 2019 was meal prepping. Meal prepping has gained a lot of traction over these past couple of years—going from something that only the most niche bodybuilders and athletes participated in to something that has become a popular choice for everyday people trying to stay in shape and save money.

Meal prepping’s popularity likely has a lot to do with the ever increasing pace of our life. It’s difficult to find time to cook a healthy meal or stick to a diet when there’s fast food on every corner and you can get just about anything delivered to your door.

Temptation is out there, and meal prepping is a great solution.

The next three trends were all very close. Removing sugar from our diet, meal planning, and avoiding processed foods are big difficulties for our western diet, where almost everything is heavily processed, sugar is added to nearly everything, and you can get almost any food you want in minutes.

Sleep and Self-care Are Seriously Important

The second question we asked was, “What type of fitness resolutions are you going to be focused on in 2019?”

I don’t think it comes as a surprise to anyone that moving and working out is the most popular fitness resolution. Every year people make resolutions to hit the gym and get back in shape.

There’s a reason gyms are crowded in January.

What came as more of a surprise is how many people were focused on getting more sleep and self-care, which could be considered different sides of the same coin. In fact, more people were focused on sleep and self care than on working out. We expected working out to dominate over every other category, but it was a closer race than we expected.

Getting enough sleep is one of the best and, sadly, most overlooked thing you can do for your body. Almost everyone knows they need more sleep, but in today’s go-go-go world, it’s tough to find the time. So we were excited to see so many people focused on giving their bodies the time it need to rest and rebuild.

Meditation and mindfulness wasn’t as popular, as we expected, but what may be interesting to note is that people in their mid to late 20s and mid to late 50s were the people who were most focused on meditation.

Work Gets in the Way

The last question we asked was, “What have been the biggest obstacles in making your fitness or wellness resolutions regular habits?”

There were two main answers we got: work and anxiety. But there was one big difference between who answered what, and that’s age.

Anxiety mainly affected younger people, 16- to 20-year olds, and work obligations affected more people in their 20s and up—with one interesting exception: people aged 25-35. More of them struggled with anxiety and depression than work obligations by a significant margin, with almost 35% of them reporting anxiety as their biggest obstacle.

After work and anxiety came family obligations, which was pretty consistent for all ages except for people aged 35-45, who saw family obligations as a bigger obstacle than any other age group.

Injuries and social obligations played only a small part for anyone.

Obstacles and roadblocks come in many shapes and sizes, from lack of time from work to anxiety in the gym depression keeping you on the couch. The hardest step is always the first.

The Difference Between Men and Women

Perhaps surprisingly—or perhaps unsurprisingly depending on your viewpoint—there was hardly any difference between men’s and women’s answers.

The only place where their answers significantly deviated were when discussing their biggest obstacles.

Nearly 40% of men said work obligations were the biggest obstacle, whereas only 30% of women cited that as their major obstacle.

And men were more likely to see family obligations as an obstacle than women, at 22% to women’s 16%.

For women, on the other hand, anxiety and depression were more likely to be obstacles, at nearly 33% to men’s 23%.

Final Thoughts

We honestly expected more people to be focused on drastic diet changes and big fitness goals, but what we found is people focusing on smaller, more achievable goals for 2019.

Many people struggle with New Year’s resolutions because they may be too ambitious, and what we’re seeing is people being a little more measured and realistic in their 2019 goals.

Based on these results, it’s clear people are more focused on actually achieving their goals and sticking to them. They’re also more focused on long term health than a flashy new diet.

We couldn’t agree more. All it takes to achieve your goals is one small step, followed by another, and then another. Don’t let anxiety or time constraints stop you. Just take a small step you can commit to, and then tomorrow, make another.

BodyNutrition is looking forward to a healthier 2019, and we’re excited to have you along for the ride.


Kathryn Aragon