The Babbel Blog

language learning in the digital age

New Year’s resolutions for 2015 – Clichés, surprises and fighting the inner temptation

Posted on January 16, 2015 by

New Year’s resolutions for 2015
The Christmas holidays have officially come and gone and many of us are now left with a combination of good memories (hopefully), nice presents (ideally) and clothes that are suddenly a little tighter than before (arrrgh). Nodding your head in silence too? Did you already make losing weight your New Year’s resolution? Could eating more healthily be your goal to follow after consuming endless amounts of roast turkey, ham and chocolate? Or are other priorities like relaxing more and feeling less stressed in 2015 more important? Let us know your personal New Year’s resolution in the comments section.

After summing up “Why learning a language should be your New Year’s resolution” in December, this month we wanted to find out what people all over the world think about resolutions for the New Year and decided to ask Babbel learners in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the UK, France, Austria and the USA: What are your plans for 2015? Is one of your resolutions perhaps learning a language? (Quelle surprise!). Do resolutions differ from country to country?

International comparison – who’s sportier, who’s healthier and who just wants to relax a bit more?

First and foremost, learning a language emerged as the frontrunner for 2015 in all polled countries which is music to our ears. (But honestly that’s not much of a surprise because those questioned are already crazy about language learning.) But let’s now turn our focus to the other top New Year’s resolutions brought up by some 10,000 people that took part in the survey.
Our American learners think it’s fairly important to lose weight and eat healthier – so goodbye burgers and pizza and hello green smoothies and salads (but easy on the dressing and bacon). That said, they seem less enthusiastic about a key factor in reducing weight: physical activity. Compared to countries like Germany, Italy or Austria, stretching those legs and doing more sports barely makes the list for our friends across the pond in 2015.
But wait! Maybe getting slimmer, healthier and fitter without doing (much) sports is a secret tip from English-speaking countries? Our survey participants from the UK also don’t look like they’re planning on becoming Mr. or Ms. Fitness 2015. So let’s see next year how successful they were and, if so, ask for the secret recipe!
One resolution that seems to be a topic in the UK however is drinking less alcohol – almost twice as many of our British learners mentioned this as other nationalities: in Italy, this resolution came last. So, either Italians are a good example of self-control when it comes to drinking alcohol or they just don’t really see the point in having dinner without a nice glass of red (we get that).
But oh là là, what happened to the good old French laissez-faire? According to our survey they seem to be the most stressed; at least they were the only ones to place reducing stress above other body and health topics like losing weight or doing more sports.
The traditional New Year’s resolution to quit smoking played a minor role, at least among language learners. To be fair though, this could be because of three reasons: they are already non-smokers (bravo), they gave up trying to quit… again (shame on you) or smoking outside in the cold while their friends are sat in a warm and cosy restaurant clinking glasses is way too enjoyable (fair enough).

Too much health and body talk? In other news:

There’s some promising news for all you intellectuals out there (besides learning a new language of course) – in spite of (or because of) an increasing amount of reality TV, talent competitions or freak shows, a lot of people planned to read more in 2015 and switch off their television.

That’s all well and good, but… Who really manages to stick to resolutions?

Finally, being more optimistic seems to be something that Babbel learners all over the world are already very successful in, especially those from Austria: 71% of them said that they were successful in sticking to the New Year’s resolutions from last year. Even 42% of the Italians, who came in last hejre, are convinced that they were able to overcome their weaker self.
Good job! So, stay optimistic and good luck everyone keeping your personal New Year’s resolutions! And don’t worry if you didn’t make any this time round – next New Year’s Eve is coming, for sure.