For a Majority of Americans, ‘Carpe Diem’ is the New Motto in 2021

Nearly six in 10 Americans are planning to make ‘carpe diem’—Latin for seize the day—their new mantra after the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new poll.

The survey asked 2,000 Americans about the impact COVID-19 had on their lives and what lessons they’ve learned. It found 68% are planning to emerge from quarantine as new people. In fact, seven in 10 polled are planning to live each and every day to the fullest post-pandemic.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Life Happens, a nonprofit educating consumers about the importance of life insurance, the survey found that 71% of respondents value the little things in life more than ever because of the past year.

Some of the ‘small wins’ Americans are pursuing at this time included speaking to their families more (45%), speaking their minds more truthfully (43%), and taking more vacation time when it’s safe to do so (42%).

Four in 10 respondents also shared they plan to be more confident and express themselves creatively as a part of this small-win revolution.

This isn’t to say respondents aren’t focusing on big life decisions during this time, however, as three quarters of those polled said it’s important for them to get their finances in order in 2021.

In fact, achieving financial security is the most important milestone for Americans to achieve for the second year in a row (38% in 2021 compared to 36% in 2020).

Faisa Stafford, President and CEO of Life Happens said: “Traditional milestones and outlooks on life have been upended, leading many to reevaluate what’s important in life and their relationships. For many, the past year has emphasized that there is no better financial security for your loved ones than life insurance, with our survey showing that more than a quarter (29%) consider getting life insurance a ‘small act of love.’”

Another important milestone for Americans includes becoming debt free—up 8% compared to last year’s survey (26% in 2021 compared to 18% in 2020).

RELATED: 8 in 10 Americans Say Positive Memories Have Been a ‘Lifeline’ During the Pandemic

The year-to-year results also showed that two milestones in particular are less of a focus in 2021—the first being marriage (down 11%) and achieving a successful career (down 5%).

CHECK OUT: These Bad Habits Americans Picked Up in 2020 They Want to Get Rid of in 2021

This is most likely due to the pandemic, as 58% of respondents said this has drastically changed which milestones they’d like to accomplish in life.

MORE: Nearly 70% of Americans are More Appreciative of Loved Ones Than Ever Before 

When it comes to reasons for avoiding talking about finances during the pandemic, men (31%) and women (37%) both agreed that arguing with their significant other/spouse over money was the leading cause for choosing to eschew the topic.


See/speak to their families more – 45%
Speak their minds more truthfully – 43%
Take more vacation time when it’s safe – 42%
Be more confident – 41%
Express themselves creatively – 41%
Take better care of their mental health – 31%
Don’t cancel plans in the future – 26%

SHARE the WINS—Send The Results of This Positive Poll with Friends…

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