How are your New Year’s resolutions coming along? This year, many people’s New Year’s resolutions were related to leading healthier lives. Most people make resolutions for themselves, but a new survey found that many UK adults are worried more about their partner’s health than their own and making resolutions for their significant other. It’s totally normal to want the best for the ones we care about, but assigning a New Year’s resolution to another person is taking it to another level.
The survey, which was conducted by Bupa Health Clinics, asked 2,000 adults about their resolution-making habits, and found that tons of people make them for their significant others. According to Bupa, 44 percent of men admit to coming up with resolutions for their partner, while around 30 percent of women do this.
Survey participants reported frequently worrying about their partner’s health throughout the year. Sixty-six percent said they worried at least twice a week (though only 30 percent actually talk about their concerns on a weekly basis), and that may explain the most popular resolutions among survey participants. Most of the suggested New Year’s resolutions were related to eating healthier (44 percent) or exercising more (36 percent), but mental health concerns were mentioned too. For example, 25 percent of those surveyed wanted their partner to be less stressed in the new year, and 15 percent wanted their partner to focus on achieving a work-life balance.
Other top concerns survey participants highlighted were drinking too much alcohol (15 percent), rarely walking anywhere (14 percent), and having high blood pressure (14 percent).
Researchers believe people should examine their own health needs before trying to help others. "The research shows that people put more focus on their loved ones' health at the cost of their own," Dr. Petra Simic, the clinical director at Bupa Health Clinics, told Business Insider. "It's wonderful to see what a caring nation we are, but it's important to understand that looking after ourselves actually gives us the ability to look after others, and is just as important. Regardless of the time of year, couples can work together on setting goals and helping each other to achieve them."
Communication is key in relationships, so setting goals that both people agree to — whether the goals are New Year’s resolution related or not — is a good idea. Rebecca Scritchfield, a Washington, D.C.-based dietitian and certified exercise physiologist, shared tips with sticking to your New Year’s resolution with ABC News. "What’s going to help keep you motivated is continuing to think about the benefits you’re receiving, in both the short term and the long term," she said. "The more you focus on the benefits every time you do it, you’ll see the good earlier. What you want to say is, 'There’s too much good in this for me to stop.'"
Maya Feller, a New York-based dietician, echoed Scritchfield’s sentiments on ABC. "You have to put the foundation down and solidify the behavior," she said. "It is behavior change. That’s the thing." This is good advice for anyone committing to a new goal, whether it's a resolution or a mid-year life change.
If you’re one of those people who make goals for others, it’s important for you to know that people have free will, and it’s ultimately up to them what they do with their lives and New Year's resolutions. What you want for them may be completely different than what they want for themselves. It’s nice to encourage your friends, family, and partner towards goals they agree to, but forcing an unwanted resolution on to someone probably won’t yield the best results.