Aussies to ring in New Year with lifestyle changes

With summer well and truly here and Christmas just around the corner, you could be forgiven for thinking that Australians would be putting their feet up and relaxing by the pool.

But it seems that quite of a few of us are already looking ahead and writing items on their to-do list and getting ready to check them off next year.

And to give us a better idea about the way Australians see themselves and the world around them is the IBISWorld survey on New Year's resolutions.

According to the business information analysts we are a "predictable bunch" when it comes to bold statements and self-improvement promises.

Heading off the list of popular resolutions was the near universal desire to lose weight and get on the treadmill.

Karen Dobie, general manager Australia at IBISWorld, said that getting fit was a top priority for many people worried about expanding waistlines.

"Late January and February is the busiest time of the year for gyms, fitness centres and personal trainers as tens of thousands of Aussies commit to building a fitter, faster, stronger and trimmer self," she said.

Despite its burgeoning popularity plans to take up yoga and lose a few pounds may not be such a bad idea, especially when you take into consideration the fact that 24 per cent of the population is now classed as obese.

Tying in with the wellness theme are plans by New Year revellers – as well as the odd Christmas barbecue aficionado – to quit smoking and reduce the amount of alcohol they consume on a daily basis.

Yet good intentions or not Australians are likely to hold onto their title of big drinkers and IBISWorld expects the average individual to consume about 10.5 litres of alcohol in 2012.

Ms Dobie suggested that the push to make serious lifestyle changes also extended to healthy eating plans, with sales of organic products on the rise at both Coles and Woolworths outlets.

But people are also looking to expand their mind, see the world and maybe pick up the occasional power tool and kick off long-talked-about home renovations in the process.

In fact, more than 500,000 Aussies are reported to catch outbound flights every month and travel still appears to be extremely popular among people of all ages.

The take home message from this survey seems to be that Aussies like to keep busy, push the envelope and try something new to ring in the New Year.

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