Brits have named Captain Tom Moore’s charity walking heroics as the highlight of 2020.
A poll of 2,000 UK adults saw his fundraising exploits top the list, ahead of a reduction in pollution and a new appreciation for key workers, as positives to be found from this year.
Another 31% picked England football ace Marcus Rashford’s pioneering work helping to feed hungry children.
While a fifth were just happy that others being forced to stay out of their personal space has now become the norm.
For some, having more opportunity to exercise has been rewarding, as adults take their health, fitness and well-being more seriously.
It comes after more than a third described this year as the ‘worst of their life’.
But 46% believe they will emerge from it a stronger person.
Another four in 10 believe the events of this year will also help the nation as a whole to become more united.
Ashley Mealor, chief marketing officer of Vision Direct, which commissioned the research, said: “While 2020 has been a year to forget for many, our results found there was actually lots to smile about.
“We’ve enjoyed encouraging people to wear ‘rose tinted specs’ in our poll to find the best bits of 2020.
“They ranged from personal achievements like getting more DIY jobs done at home, to nation-wide reasons to be cheerful like a new appreciation for the NHS.
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“We've also seen an outpouring of support for key workers, with many companies like ourselves trying our best to provide them with things that will make their lives easier, like free contact lenses.
"That has been such a rewarding thing to watch our country come together for."
Other things people have liked about the year to date include enjoying a slower pace of life in general and an increase in handwashing.
More than one in five have embraced the opportunity to read more, while 15% enjoyed not having to sit next to people on public transport.
To see how the events of 2020 have inspired Brits, visit https://www.visiondirect.co.uk/best-of-2020
The study, carried out via OnePoll, found most Brits believe life won’t return to ‘normal’ until 2022 or beyond.
But in terms of personal achievements, one third of adults feel proud to have adopted a healthier diet this year.
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And 24% say they have cut down on their alcohol intake.
Many want to come out of 2020 a stronger and healthier person, with a fifth claiming they’ll eat out less, while 19% are aiming to work from home more.
And 18% are trying to look back on the events of the year as a good thing.
Ashley added: “It’s funny now to think how much we all took for granted that we’d love to do now – even things as simple as shaking someone’s hand.
“Our survey found lots of things people are happy about this year are things that they can try and take with them into 2021.
“Things like using the slower pace of life as a way to reconnect with family, have additional time to exercise, and take personal health more seriously – these are all attainable even when life is back to ‘normal".
THE TOP 50 THINGS BRITS HAVE ENJOYED ABOUT 2020
1. Captain Tom Moore's charity walk
2. Less pollution
3. A new appreciation for key workers like medical staff
4. Marcus Rashford's work feeding children
5. Saving money
6. Enjoying their homes and gardens more
7. A new appreciation for supermarket or hospitality staff
8. Seeing the country come together to support the NHS with rainbows in their windows and clapping
9. Enjoying a slower pace of life
10. An increase in people washing their hands
11. More time spent with family
12. A surprisingly long, hot summer
13. Reading more
14. An improved sense of community
15. People now being forced to give you space – which you would want anyway
16. Spending more time outdoors than normal
17. People being nicer to each other and smiling more
18. Getting home improvements/DIY done
19. Experiencing the countryside which is right on the doorstep
20. No commute meaning longer lie-ins
21. Spending more time with pets
22. The Himalayas being visible for the first time in 30 years in North India due to reduced air pollution
23. Saving money on new clothes
24. More opportunity to exercise
25. The progression of the Black Lives Matter movement
26. Not having to sit next to people on public transport
27. Having more time to spend on existing hobbies
28. Not having to go to big social events and parties with people you hardly know
29. Getting more into cooking
30. Saving money that otherwise would have gone in the pub
31. Discovering great new TV series on Netflix
32. Getting to know your own neighbourhoods better on walks
33. Having more family meals
34. Spending more time with children in general
35. Not having to plan expensive holidays abroad
36. The new David Attenborough documentary
37. Picking up new hobbies
38. Getting evenings back
39. Catching up with people virtually
40. Liverpool ending their 30-year wait to win the Premier League
41. Joe Wicks' PE lessons
42. Zoom quizzes
43. The arrival of Pakistan, West Indies and Australian cricket teams for international cricket
44. The TV show 'Normal People'
45. Having time to get inventive with ways to spend evenings
46. Not having to go to client meetings
47. Musicians live streaming on Instagram
48. The new Borat movie
49. Leeds being promoted to the Premier League after 16 years away
50. Being able to take kids on the school run
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