Are Australians throwing the New Year’s Resolutions list in the bucket instead?

The beginning of a new year is often a time to reflect and make resolutions for the coming months. Whether you want to get in shape, learn a new skill, or save more money, setting New Year’s resolutions can be a great way to stay motivated and focused on your goals.

Every year, people make New Year’s resolutions in an effort to improve themselves and their lives. But for many of us, these resolutions are quickly forgotten or abandoned within a few weeks which has sparked many to refer to the second Friday in January as ‘Quitters Day’.

Like any goal that we aim to accomplish, the advice by many has always been to start by setting realistic goals with an achievable objective that can be broken down into smaller steps. The SMART goals methodology is a great method used by many to do just that.

The SMART goals methodology was developed in November 1981 by a man named George T. Doran. Whilst the acronym may have varied in its use and meaning over the decades, the original criteria was to make goals Specific; Measurable; Assignable; Realistic; and Time-related.

In today’s era, the acronym has remained somewhat the same however, the A is commonly adjusted to ‘Achievable’ which certainly makes sense if you are using the methodology to achieve a personal goal.

In a study published by Finder in January 2022, New Year’s resolutions were found to be most popular with the younger generations rather than the older generation with the survey revealing that approximately only half of the baby boomer generation were setting themselves a goal/s for the new year.

New Year’s resolutions are often seen as a cliché by many and the mere suggestion of the phrase ‘new year, new me’ is enough to make some people see red.

The rise of the “bucket list” craze is also likely to blame. Instead of setting a yearly resolution, many people are now making a list of lifetime goals and ambitions. This is more motivating than a yearly resolution, as it gives people a more tangible sense of accomplishment when they achieve something.

A survey conducted on behalf of Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund, HCF revealed that out of more than 1,000 people surveyed, more than 80% of them were setting a resolution for the new year. Although at least 46% of those people confessed they get too busy to stick to them.

Cost of living has also been to blame by 62% of participants for the lack of commitment with a third admitting they had to cut back on fresh food.

So, what are the most popular resolutions for 2023?

The survey revealed most participants want to:

  • Do more physical activity or exercise (52%)
  • Lose weight (47%) / Eat more healthily and improve nutrition (47%)
  • Stress Less (42%)
  • Make more money/chase financial freedom (38%)
  • Get more sleep (37%)
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