COVID influences New Year’s resolutions

Ava Musgraves
Feature Editor

This chart reflects a survey done by Statista, which interviewed 531 American adults about their top New Year’s resolutions for 2021. Forty-four percent responded with “exercise more,” 42% with “eat healthier,” 34% with “spend more time with family/friends” and 24% with “spend less time on social media.” Reference link to data:

New Year’s resolutions are said to have dated back to the ancient Babylonians around 4,000 years ago.

According to, they were also the first group to hold celebrations of the new year to honor it and hope for a good season for farming. Similarly, people today hope for a better year in 2021 than the challenges that were faced by all in 2020.

There are classic resolutions that many adopt year after year, but how has COVID-19 affected these timeless adaptations the public strive for in the new year?

Junior Nina Schroeder said her “goal in 2020 was to exercise,” and COVID-19 has hindered this because “I don’t like going out running because masks, and I’m not going to go to the gym.” For 2021, she is keeping it open because resolutions “put too much pressure on the new year.”

Gym memberships usually sky rocket on Jan. 2, as in past years exercise is a common resolution. On average 12% of gym goers purchase a membership in January, according to U.S. News.

With safety concerns this trend did not continue, as in 2020 64% of the world’s fitness sites were closed due to the pandemic, according to Leisure Database Company.

In April of 2020 only 12% of American gym goers said they would be comfortable going to the gym; in October 41% responded as being unsure, according to Statista.

Junior Lexi Sylvan said this year she is going to be swapping the traditions of resolutions for goal setting this year. Some of her goals this year are to “read more books, stay healthy and get good grades. The pandemic has limited some things like valuing and using time for myself.”

Self care is something that many became very familiar with in 2020 as self isolation became necessary. Alike to Sylvan’s goals for the year, staying healthy holds significant importance in 2021, which involves taking care of mental and physical health.

There are still ways to implement these resolutions in 2021 while abiding with safety regulations put in place.

About how to stay active following COVID guidelines, PE/health teacher and assistant swim coach Evyn Spencer said, “For high school students the exercise and active world has blended almost seamlessly with the tech world! YouTube, Tik Tok and even Instagram are full of workouts and activities that you can easily do at home.”

Spencer’s home workout recommendations include, “The Fitness Marshall on YouTube,” and she also recommends “yoga and Pilates” for a lower intensity workout.

“Oftentimes, people set goals that are too high or take too much effort because they sound good to other people, which can actually affect mental health negatively,” Spencer said. “ People who set smaller, more attainable goals are much more likely to boost their self confidence.”


Ava Musgraves – Feature Editor

This will be Ava Musgraves’ first year on ECHO staff, but she made several contributions while taking journalism class her sophomore year.

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