As Canada administers its first COVID-19 vaccine shots, a new national survey reveals that vacations, family reunions and high-risk loved ones are weighing heavily on the collective consciousness of Canadians. The Good Riddance 2020 Survey by Licenced Insolvency Trustees, Bromwich+Smith, focused on 2020’s ruined resolutions and renewed hope as a new year is upon us.
When asked “what are the top three things you’ll do after a vaccine becomes available and life starts to normalize,” booking a vacation led the way, with more than half (53%) choosing it as their top priority. “Hosting or attending a family reunion” was next (46%), followed by “visiting my grandparents or a high risk loved one” (38%). At the bottom of the list were things such as “swapping sweats and getting dressed up” (16%), “restarting my dating career” (9%) and “going clubbing” (7%).
“2021 is a year of hope and changed perspectives,” said Shawn Stack, Vice-President of Insolvency Practice, Bromwich+Smith. “A new year brings with it the opportunity of a reset. People are focused on what matters in life and what brings more meaning. They are happy in their sweats, less interested in clubbing and dating, and focused more on reconnecting and making memories.”
Curses – foiled again: 2020’s top cancelled resolutions
Amazingly, almost half of Canadians (47%) didn’t enter 2020 with a resolution. However, of those who had one, here were the 2020 New Year’s resolutions that were abandoned thanks to COVID-19.
- Travelling more was the top derailed resolution in 2020. Half of Canadians abandoned their plans as borders and regions were locked down around the world.
- Exercising more was the next victim of the 2020 cancel culture (41%), and gyms felt the brunt of that, along with cooped up Canadians.
- Improve my finances (spend less, earn more, get out of debt) became difficult to follow through on (33%) as the economy was essentially shut down for people and millions of jobs were lost.
- Eating healthier took a toll (27% cancellation rate) as we embraced our national sourdough making craze.
A new hope: lessons learned and plans for 2021
Finally, the number of people making a resolution for 2021 is up from last year. Four-in-five Canadians (78%) plan to have a resolution, much higher than the 53 per cent who did so last year. When asked what the biggest lessons learned from 2020 were that you will apply to the new year, here were the top responses:
- Supporting small and local businesses led the way, with six-in-10 saying that was their number one choice.
- This was essentially tied with “appreciate the little things in life (such as nature, art and beauty)” which clocked in at 59 per cent.
- Living more frugally and spending less on non-essentials, came in next at 47 per cent.
- This was followed closely by “be kinder to myself and others” (41%).
- “Explore my own ‘backyard’” (travel provincially or within my own community) was next with 35 per cent.
“There is a sense of resilience and hope in how Canadians, amidst considerable setbacks, have embraced certain values such as the importance of small business, being kind and appreciating what they have,” said Stack. “It is critical that Canadians realize, especially during these extraordinary times, that a lot of people are struggling mentally, physically and financially and they shouldn’t let stigma prevent them from getting help. 2021 is the year of the reset, it’s okay to reach out to professionals for financial and debt advice to help you restructure in the new year.”