New Year’s Resolutions for Students | Fresh

  |     |   Health & Wellbeing, Lifestyle

More of us are making New Year’s resolutions this year. 16% of Brits (around 11 million people) made a New Year’s resolution in 2022 compared to 11% (around 7 million) in 2021.

When it comes to ushering in the new year with positivity and motivation, students are among the first to start goal setting. A third of those aged 18 to 24 set a new year resolution, compared to just 10% of those over 55. Perhaps something about the looming January exams has students striving to do their best and bring in 2022 with a bang!

The most common New Year’s resolutions in 2022

Social distancing restrictions are much looser than last year. The world is opening its doors again. Festivals look to be going ahead this summer. And job opportunities are on the rise as the economy recovers.
  There’s plenty to get excited about this year – and plenty to aim for! From grinding at the gym to look our best for traveling and events to knuckling down and focussing on studies to get our dream graduate job, we’re really honing in on what matters to us this year. Here are the most common New Year’s resolutions of 2022:  


New Year's Resolution % of People who set this Resolution*
Do more exercise/improve fitness 49%
Improve diet 41%
Lose weight 40%
Save money 38%
Pursue a career ambition 19%
Spend less time on social media 16%
New hobby 15%
Drink less alcohol 15%
Renovate home 14%
Spend more time with loved ones 12%
Volunteering and charity work 8%
Give up smoking 7%
Charity fundraising 5%

* Percentage is calculated out of those who set a New Year’s resolution in 2022 based on YouGov data.    

Best New Year’s resolutions for students in 2022

Naturally, students are setting goals to assist with their university courses or set themselves up for post-university life. If you’re still thinking of your New Year’s resolutions, look no further: this list of the most popular New Year’s resolutions for students should help give you some ideas:  


Student New Year's Resolution Popularity*
Study abroad 124,400
More sleep 52,700
Pass exams 37,500
Organisation skills 11,000
Get an internship 7,500
Good grades 7,400
Stop procrastination 7,400
Get a master's degree 7,100
Learn faster 2,800
Better focus 1,300
Improve essay writing 750
Get a student part-time job 750
Avoid distractions 470
Study routine 440
Join a university society 130

*Monthly online search data from SEMRush.


Some of the best new year resolutions for students are getting better sleep, avoiding procrastination, learning faster and focussing better. These are all popular ways in which students are trying to optimise their studying, improve themselves and work on their mental health.    


But while passing exams is high on the agenda, studying abroad takes the cake when it comes to our goals. 124,400 of us search for different study abroad options every month, making it the biggest student goal.  

80% of us stick to at least one New Year’s resolution

When it comes to sticking to New Year’s resolutions, the data is reassuring: 44% of people say they keep at least one of their New Year goals, and another 31% say they stick to all their New Year’s resolutions.  


Overall, only around one in five fail to stick to any resolutions whatsoever.  

Which resolution is most likely to stick? 

Some goals are easier than others. Meanwhile, other habits are harder to kick. If you’re aiming to be an astronaut by the end of the year, you might be disappointed. However, Dry January is totally achievable!  


Here are the top resolutions of 2022 in order of how long most people focus on them for:  


New Year's Resolution How long does it stick?
New hobby 16 months
Pursue a career ambition 11 months
Lose weight 10 months
Improve diet 6 months
Do more exercise/improve fitness 6 months
Charity fundraising 4 months
Renovate home 3 months
Spend more time with loved ones 3 months
Save money 2 months
Drink less alcohol 2 months
Volunteering and charity work 2 months
Give up smoking 1.5 months
Spend less time on social media 1 month



Top tips for sticking to your New Year’s resolutions at university

As a student, your New Year’s resolution might be to get amazing course results, secure a sought-after internship, get a place on a graduate programme, study abroad for a year, or simply to work on your productivity and wellbeing. Any single one of these is a feat in itself, and something to be proud of working towards!  


To help you along the way, here are our top tips for smashing your student New Year’s resolutions.  


Set clear, achievable goals

Trying to push yourself too hard or do too much at once can be overwhelming and increase your likeliness of giving up. Instead, set manageable and clear goals, such as running once a week or setting aside a certain amount of study time after lectures.   

The more specific, the better

If a resolution is vague, it’s easier to lose track and forget what you’re aiming for and how to get there. So for every goal, try to list smaller steps toward it. 


For example, if your goal is to learn to bake, step one might be to look up a simple recipe online to get started.  

Keep track

Journal your progress, have a checklist, or simply mark days off on a calendar. Whichever method works for you is fine, so long as you keep track of your progress to ensure you’re staying on route towards success.  

Celebrate every win

No matter how big or small, every win is a cause for celebration. Rewarding yourself in this way releases happy chemicals in your brain to spur on your progress!  


So treat yourself, whether that’s a movie night in with friends, tucking into your favourite food or indulging in a sweet treat. You’ve earned it!  

Make it easy and enjoyable

Building a new habit isn’t easy. It takes around 30 days for a habit to cement, and even then, you’ve still got to work at it. So, make starting your new year resolution activity as easy as possible!  


For example, if your new year resolution is healthy eating, make it easy for yourself by buying lots of fresh fruit and vegetables to nibble when you’re craving a snack – and avoid buying sugary snacks at all costs!  

Get a friend to hold you accountable

Whether a study buddy or a gym partner, having a friend with similar goals accompany you on your journey is a great and sociable way to stick with it. You can encourage one another, give each other tips and hold one another to account to ensure you stay on track.   

Avoid distractions

Student nights and society events might be calling your name, but if you want to stick to your new year resolution, you’ve got to be honest with yourself about your priorities.  


It’s not that you can’t go out and have fun – it’s all about finding the right balance. If you’ve set aside time in your calendar to study, exercise or work towards any other goal, then SU drinks will have to wait for when you’re not busy.  

Make 2022 your year with accommodation from Fresh

Whether 2022 is the year you start your course in an exciting new city or complete your exams and finish your degree, make this year the best one yet with Fresh. With modern student accommodation options across the UK and Ireland, you’ll achieve your uni goals in style. Browse our student letting options today.  


Duration of resolutions calculated by how long interest or reported participation takes to return to pre-January rates, i.e. how long the initial surge in interest lasts.

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