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What a fresh start in 2022 looks like, according to a new Finder study – News Of The Area

Setting open-ended goals is the way to go according to Professor Christian Swann of SCU Coffs Harbour. Photo: Researcher.

FINDER, the independent comparison site surveyed 1,013 Australians with questions about how they are preparing for 2022.

It turns out that 72% of Australians – nearly 14 million people – have set a New Year’s resolution.

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This is 2.1 million people less than last year.

The survey covers various categories such as health, weight loss, money management and career.

For 2022, the survey found almost one in three are committed to improving their fitness and adopting healthier eating habits (30%), while 28% are motivated to lose weight.

These figures are a reduction of weight loss and eating habits percentages from the 2021 survey, where more than half of the adult population (51%) hoped to improve their fitness and weight loss.

More than 3 in 4 Australians (78%) say they have set financial goals for 2022.

Saving more (51%) and spending less (32%) is a priority for some, with investing more (24%) and buying cryptocurrency (8%) featuring in the data.

This compares to 2021 resolutions which report the lower numbers of 42% resolved to save more money or reduce spending in 2021.

Research finds that 7% of Australians – or around 1.3 million people – plan to take more risks in 2022.

The same number (7%) hope to find love.

Almost 1 in 10 (8%) will strive for a better work-life balance, while around 1 in 8 (13%) plan to get more sleep.

Five percent of respondents want to start meditating.

Buying a home is on the list for 12% of Australians, while 10% will try to pay off credit debt and 5% will aim to scrap student loans.

It’s hard to know what these numbers really mean, as the opportunities and possibilities have changed dramatically over the past year, and again the year before.

Nevertheless, making a resolution or setting a goal is a valid response to personal change.

Coffs Harbour-based Professor Christian Swann, Discipline Chair (Humanities), Humanities, Southern Cross University School of Health, who studies and lectures on goal setting, said to News Of The Area: “An alternative to setting specific goals that research suggests works effectively is to set open-ended goals – they’re non-specific and exploratory, often framed as aiming to ‘see what I can do’. .

“When you set an open goal, you focus on your starting point.

“If your goal is to ‘see how many steps I can take today’, then as your step count increases, you’ll feel like you’re progressing.

“You might start thinking, ‘Oh, I’ve already done 2,000 steps… now it’s 3,000 steps… let’s see how much I can do.’
“Rather than comparing where you should be, you are constantly building on your starting point.

It makes the process much more positive – and the more positive we feel, the more we’ll want to do it again and again.

“To set your own open goals, first think about what you want to improve (eg, ‘be more active’).

“Then identify what you want to measure, like your average daily step count.

“State your goal in an open and exploratory way: ‘I want to see how far I can reach my average daily step count by the end of the year.’

“And then start.

“With an open goal, you’re more likely to see progress, enjoy the experience, and stick with it until you’re ready to set — and achieve — more specific goals.”


Professor Christian Swann, SCU, based in Coffs Harbour, who researches and lectures on goal setting.