In 2024, Australians are prioritising wellbeing over ambition, new research suggests.
American Express has released its Amex Trendex report, which revealed trends in mental, physical and financial wellness, personal sustainability goals and the future of work-life priorities.
This year, Australians are looking to focus on themselves, striving to be healthier and lead a better life.
To help with leading a better and healthier life, many people will be re-evaluating priorities and passions and incorporating more sustainable practices.
In addition to wellbeing and focusing on things we love, Australians are also planning on focusing on “mindful finance” and have their own goals involving money.
How Australians plan to focus on wellbeing
According to the report, 69 per cent of respondents are determined to be healthier by the end of the year, 64 per cent want a better quality of life, and 57 per cent are keen to improve their mental health.
Meanwhile, 34 per cent are hoping to be more productive and only 25 per cent are aiming to be successful in their career.
Additionally, Amex Trendex foresees Australians pursuing niche health trends and their wellness resolutions may include things like spa treatments or health regimen plans like infrared saunas or cryotherapy.
“It’s no secret that Australians love to jump on the latest health and wellness trends,” Corinne Ng, American Express Asia Pacific vice president said.
“We’re also seeing American Express card member spending increase across the wellness category with year-over-year spend growth at places like beauty salons, health spas, massage parlours and osteopaths.”
Australians will also seek to spend more time outdoors and 29 per cent are committed to drinking less alcohol.
In pursuit of better mental well-being, 55 per cent will prioritise getting better sleep, 41 per cent are hoping to better organise their homes, and 39 per cent are eager to learn a new skill or hobby.
The Amex Trendex report suggests Australians are homing in on their mental and physical health in 2024.
The need to reconnect is taking “centre stage” for Australians, the report found and people plan on spending their time travelling and on experiences.
Perhaps thanks to the Matildas’ spectacular World Cup run last year, nearly 60 per cent of Australians plan on going to live sporting events in 2024, which is significantly higher than last year and 23 per cent say soccer is their “top priority” sport.
Additionally, just over 70 per cent of Australians said they would be willing to travel to see local talent compete.
For many who want to travel, sustainability will be front of mind, with over half saying they have intentions of seeking out brands that carbon offset and 48 per cent wanting to book accommodation that prioritises sustainability.
Of course, for many people work is still a fact of life, but attitudes are changing.
“In the workplace, Australians are setting more boundaries to achieve a better work-life balance,” American Express said in a press release.
“In fact, for 63 per cent of employed Australians, work-life balance is the strongest driver of job satisfaction, with 61 per cent preferring a better work-life balance to a higher salary.”
“Mindful finance is moving a step beyond simply making better financial decisions,” Ng said.
“It’s also about taking control, becoming financially empowered and even considering how your spending may impact others, or the environment.
“As Aussies continue to learn and evolve from the current financial landscape, they’re also looking at how to make the most of day-to-day spending.”
This year, half of Australians want to be more financially independent and empowered and 37 per cent are hoping to spend better within their means.
To achieve those goals, just over 70 per cent of Australians have set personal financial goals for the year and just over half aim to budget better.
In terms of how Australians plan to spend their hard-earned cash, many are hoping to switch to more sustainable options.
More than half want to use less plastic or single-use products, and 48 per cent plan on improving their recycling habits at home.