New Year’s resolutions 2022

Nearly 14 million Australians have set a New Year’s resolution for 2022 – that's 2.1 million fewer people than in 2021.

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They're easy to make and even easier to break. New Year's resolutions are in for 2022 and Aussies are keener than ever for a fresh start.

We conducted a nationally representative survey of 1,013 respondents to find out what goals Australians have set for the year ahead.

How many Australians set New Year's resolutions?

Our research revealed 72% of Australians – equivalent to almost 14 million people – have set at least one New Year's resolution for 2022.

Women (74%) are slightly more likely than men (70%) to set goals for the new year.

New Year's resolutions are also more popular with younger generations. Just over half (52%) of baby boomers have set themselves a resolution, with the remainder claiming it's not their thing. This is compared to 91% of generation Z and 87% of millennials.

What are the most common New Year's resolutions?

Diet and exercise-related resolutions are by far the most common, with Aussies looking forward to a healthy start to the year. The survey found almost 1 in 3 (30%) have pledged to improve their fitness in 2022, while the same number (30%) are committed to adopting healthier eating habits. More than a quarter (28%) are motivated to lose weight.

Rest and wellness are other common themes. Almost 1 in 10 (8%) will strive to have a better work-life balance this year. More than 1 in 8 (13%) plan to sleep more, while 5% will commit to meditating.

Women are more likely than men to want to eat healthier (34%) or lose weight (33%) this year, compared to 25% and 23% of men respectively. Men are slightly more likely to crave a better work/life balance in 2022 (10%) compared to women (7%). They are also more likely to want to quit drinking or gambling (both 3%) compared to women (both 1%).

Improving fitness is the top resolution for millennials and generation Z (both 38%), whereas baby boomers are most interested in losing weight (25%). Millennials are the generation most likely to want a better work/life balance this year (14%), take more risks (11%) and even change their job (11%).

Generation Z are the most interested in finding love this year (16%), but they're even more interested in sleeping more (19%).

What are Australians' financial goals for 2022?

Aside from resolutions, the research also shows Aussies are planning to get on top of their finances this year. More than three-quarters of people (78%) say they have set financial goals for 2022.

Saving more (51%), spending less (32%) and building up an emergency fund (20%) are the top financial priorities for some.

Others are aiming to build their wealth by investing more (24%), buying a home (12%) or buying cryptocurrency (8%).

Millennials and generation Z are the most likely to have financial goals for 2022 (both 94%), compared to 77% of generation X and 53% of baby boomers.

Millennials are the most likely to want to invest more (37%), get a salary raise (20%) and pay off their credit card (11%). Generation Z are the most interested in spending less (40%), giving up buy now pay later services (14%) and buying cryptocurrency (16%).

How many people stick to their resolutions?

Setting unrealistic goals is a recipe for failure, and unfortunately, most New Year's resolutions end up being abandoned.

Research from the University of Scranton found just 8% of people achieve their resolutions, and even less conservative estimates put this figure at a dire 20%. According to global research conducted by Strava, January 12 is the date you are most likely to break your resolution.

How to stick to your resolutions

Be specific. You can't achieve your goal if you don't know what it means! Instead of saying you're going to "eat better", figure out what this means to you. Maybe your goal is to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day or replace soft drinks with sparkling water. Being specific will help you stick to your goal and track your progress.

Be consistent. Nobody is perfect, and it's okay to fall off the bandwagon every once in a while. The important thing is that you get back on track and keep looking forward. Getting down on yourself or dwelling on your lost progress will only make achieving your goal more difficult in the long run.

Take it one step at a time. You can't go from zero to hero straight away. If you're struggling with the money basics, becoming a share trading whiz might not be the best resolution for you. Focus on learning how to budget, and set up a dedicated savings account if you haven't already. Money management apps like the Finder app can make it easy to see all your money in one place and figure out where you could be saving money.

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