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Five steps to help your clients actually keep their New Year's resolutions

By Greg Levine, Managing Director, Sales and Distribution, Vitality

Published: 05/01/2022

Keeping New Year’s resolutions is easier said than done, but most of us enter January with good intentions. As well as helping them plan ahead financially, why not give your clients the tools they need to keep helpful habits locked in place for the long-term – not just the best part of a month?, writes Greg Levine, Managing Director for Sales and Distribution, Vitality.


For advisers, January is the perfect time to start conversations with clients about their goals for the year ahead, especially when it comes to financial planning. This might involve putting in place the right protection and health insurance, or even ready-made investment solutions.

Alongside this, many of us pledge to look after ourselves better at the start of a new year – whether that’s eating healthier, drinking less or getting more active. However, studies show that around 80% of New Year’s resolutions are abandoned by February1.

That’s why we’ve devised a five-step model that allows you to help your client live a happier, healthier, more financially secure life – not just during January, but in a way that lasts all year round.

1. Get them to plan ahead

The new year is considered a time to get things in order, especially when it comes to money. Advisers are well placed to help their clients to know where they are placed financially, as well as where they might want to be in the future. This conversation might involve Income Protection to safeguard them from an unexpected period off work due to sickness or injury. For others, it could mean ensuring they have the correct sickness cover in place.

With tax-year end coming, January is as good a time as ever to kick off conversations about ISAs and retirement plans alongside more sustainable investment options, especially given the need to protect the planet as well as ourselves.

2. Help them know their numbers

With health and wellbeing in the spotlight, more clients than ever are looking to take ownership of their health. As medical science continues to evolve, clients will increasingly look to be empowered as they become more health aware.

As we saw when my colleague Athos Rushovich shared his powerful personal story about his triple-heart bypass last summer, truly understanding our health and wellbeing starts with a routine medical screening.

Allowing your client to know their numbers so that they can build a full picture of their overall health is the future of preventative healthcare. It could be the difference between them detecting a serious illness early (and surviving it) and finding out too late. If a healthcheck is not on the to-do list for your clients as we enter 2022 yet, it should be.

3. Give them tools to keep healthy habits locked in place

Many of us pledge to get be healthier and get more active in January, with people flocking to join gyms - or jogging off weeks of over-indulgence following the festive period. However, it’s a known fact that these good intentions often don’t last longer than the month of January.

Rather than just offering useful suggestions, we know first-hand that driving sustainable behaviour change is effectively done by creating a positive feedback loop; achieved by rewarding members for hitting targets. This motivates your client to keep healthy habits locked in place by giving them actual value in return.

We’ve also refreshed the Vitality Programme to offer a wider gym network across the UK and make it possible for your clients to reap the benefits of working out at home using Peloton equipment, as well as a host of additional healthy eating rewards and partners.

While many opt for Dry January and pledge to be more healthy at this time of year, the importance of self-care cannot be underestimated. Whether it’s trying meditation for the first time with the likes of Headspace or taking a well-earned spa break at Champneys, we aim to provide your clients with the tools they need to look after themselves all year round.

4. Help clients make positive lifestyle choices personalised to them

Based on your feedback we challenged ourselves to make the programme appropriate for clients with different fitness levels and requirements. As such we have developed a new, personalised approach that incentivises individuals to make the most important ‘Next Best Action’ actions customised for them. Once this action is taken, with coaching support, members are given status boosts – as far as Platinum for smoking cessation or significant weight loss – or extra activity points to reflect the individual value of their individual health improvement.

This includes helping them to kick a bad habit and rewarding them for it. Protection and health insurance advisers do not need me to tell them about the benefits of quitting smoking. The cost of premium loadings aside, the clinical reasons for giving it up are tenfold. That’s why we have introduced Quit Genius - a 12-week programme offering support and tailored communication to “kick the habit” for good.

5. Save them money and demonstrate tangible value

Clients will no doubt be receptive to the idea of saving money following an expensive festive period. Once the need for protection and health insurance has been established, or during conversations about retirement and savings, why not reference the many ways they can offset their protection costs with Vitality rewards and benefits?

Or go one better. Actually show them how much financial value they can get if they engage with the Vitality Programme with this interactive Savings Tool. In many cases they will substantially offset their annual protection costs. Even during the pandemic, Vitality members received £14m worth of additional value in 20202.

Not just during January

With these things top-of-mind for many of us at this time of year, weaving them into your conversations with clients might just help seal the deal. And make a positive impact on their life – not just during January, but every single day.
 
“What’s your New Year’s resolution? Mine is to change the conversation that advisers are having with their clients. It should be more than just about protection, health cover or investments – it should be, ‘How am I protecting, enhancing and improving my client’s overall quality of life?’.”

- Greg Levine, Managing Director for Sales and Distribution, Vitality
 
Find out more

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Where to next?

  • Why 'Next Best Action' is the future of prevention

    ‘Next Best Action’ uses behavioural science to encourage clients to quit smoking, become a healthier weight or get active in a way that will add healthier years to their lifespan.

  • The future of Personalised Health. Now

    We're bringing real personalisation and introducing new partners to the Vitality Programme in 2022.

  • Are you an Agent of Change?

    We’ve all got our reasons to make positive changes in life. That includes you and your clients.

1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/markmurphy/2020/02/11/this-is-the-month-when-new-years-resolutions-fail-heres-how-to-save-them/
2. Vitality Claims & Benefits report 2021