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New Year, New Me: Australians reveal their top resolutions for 2021


2021 is shaping up to be the year of self-improvement, according to new research by Finder.

A new nationally representative Finder survey of 1,004 Australians has revealed that 83% of respondents – equivalent to 16.1 million people – have set a new year's resolution for 2021.

Over half the adult population (51%) are hoping to offset the extra pounds gained during lockdown, with improved fitness and weight loss topping the list of new year goals.

More than 1 in 3 people (38%) are vowing to eat better. This mirrors almost perfectly with a recent CSIRO study in which 39% of Australians admitted to gaining weight during the pandemic.

Australians are also keen to tackle their finances, with two in five (42%) resolving to save more money or reduce their spending in 2021.

Taylor Blackburn, money expert at Finder, says Aussies are eager to leave 2020 behind and make a fresh start.

"Between the COVID-19 pandemic and the recession, it's been a tough year for all of us.

"Whether it's losing weight or getting on top of their savings, Aussies are ready to bounce back in 2021.

"Most people ditch their resolutions early on because they haven't created a plan, so it's important to set clear goals and a timeline.

"Creating unrealistic expectations is setting yourself up for failure – make small changes to your daily habits instead," Blackburn said.

The research also found that 14% of Australians are aiming to tackle their debts next year. The generation most keen is millennials (21%).

Australians are also optimistic about travelling in 2021, with one in five (20%) hoping to get out and about more to compensate for months spent indoors.

Blackburn said that Aussies should take a long-term approach to their 2021 plans.

"The recent spike of Sydney virus cases has thrown many people's interstate travel plans into disarray, but many Aussies are still hopeful about borders reopening in 2021.

"For those hoping to sort out their money situation next year, there are a number of online tools that can help – you don't have to do it alone.

"The Finder app is a free tool that gives you a helicopter view of your financial position, tracks your credit score, and shows you where you could be getting a better deal.

"Connecting your accounts is a good first step towards better money management in 2021," Blackburn said.

Top new year's resolutions for 2021
Improve fitness/lose weight51%
Save more money/spend less42%
Eat better38%
Travel/travel more20%
Get out of debt14%
Sleep more13%
Work less/have a work/life balance11%
Find love8%
Quit/reduce smoking5%
Quit/reduce drinking4%
Take more risks3%

Source: Finder December survey, 2020

How to stick to new habits in 2021:

  • Stick to one habit at a time. It's all well and good to want to change multiple things at once, but you don't want to burn out or feel like it's all too hard. Instead, try and focus on one or two things you'd like to change.
  • Be realistic. If your goal is to buy a house, this probably isn't going to happen in a single year. Instead, create a detailed timeline and break your plan down into manageable goals you can hit monthly or weekly.
  • Stay consistent. If fitness is a priority for you in the new year, try working out at the same place or time for 30 days. This can make it easier to form a habit.
  • Don't be too hard on yourself. If you fall off the bandwagon, don't give up. It's normal to slip up occasionally, but you shouldn't let this discourage you from persevering. Instead, aim to get back on track as soon as possible, and don't dwell on your "lost" progress – keep looking forward!

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