After the last few years that we’ve had, it’s no wonder that Aussies are looking to will put family and friends first in 2022. After being separated during the pandemic, having less screen time and more face-to-face time are amongst our top priorities.
That’s according to a new World Vision Australia survey, which has found we are making different New Year’s resolutions compared with the pre-COVID era, craving the experiences and connections denied to us for nearly two years.
Parents are most likely to choose more time with family and friends as their top resolution (54 per cent), while a better work-life balance is number one for those under 35.
World Vision Australia spokesperson Noddy Sharma said it was clear that the pandemic was continuing to reshape people’s priorities as we focus more on what matters in life.
“The pandemic has been extremely tough for everyone, but this research reiterates that it has encouraged Australians to pause and think about what we most want out of life,” he said.
“A coffee with a friend, time with family, a steak with your best mate – we often took these moments for granted in the past. But the pandemic has revealed just how precious they are. The research also supports what we are hearing anecdotally about people reassessing their careers, job satisfaction and work/life balance that is fuelling the so-called ‘Great Resignation’.”
Noddy said his hope for 2022 was for an outpouring of compassion and unity to address urgent needs in countries hit hard by COVID-19.
“I would love to see us press in like never before and unite to make the world a truly fair and just place,” he said.
“Our staff are responding to some of the biggest need due to a deadly mix of COVID-19, climate change and conflict – such as devastating hunger in Afghanistan and parts of Africa. We must respond as a community with extreme urgency.”
When asked to share their personal resolutions, comments by respondents included: “Stay healthy and clear of COVID”, “Enjoy life more while you can”, “More focus on health/wellbeing – getting out of lockdown habits like drinking” and “Get the most out of life and opportunities”.
The survey of more than 1000 people nationwide also found that the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in some surprising positives for kids.
Post-pandemic kids take less for granted, are more grateful and are more globally aware, with their parents driven to help others in the lead-up to Christmas.
The survey revealed that more than 60 per cent of parents believe their children are more thankful for what they have, and nearly half (45 per cent) feel their children have a heightened awareness of global issues.
Encouragingly, it appears that in spite of experiencing the nation’s longest lockdowns, children in Victoria and NSW have emerged as some of the most grateful in the country (60 and 62 per cent).
World Vision Australia CEO Daniel Wordsworth said it was heartening to see some positive outcomes from the pandemic for children – a group which, arguably, was hit disproportionately hard by lockdowns.
“We know children have done it particularly tough during the pandemic – cut off from friends, family and school communities, many for months on end – so it’s wonderful to see that they have taken away a few positives from the experience,” Daniel said.
“For the first time in living memory, people have been globally united in the suffering caused by COVID-19 – and this research confirms children in Australia becoming more conscious of those less fortunate, whether that’s in their own community or overseas.
“They are also more grateful for the blessings in their own lives. This is a beautiful thing, as we know a caring, thankful child becomes a caring, generous adult.”
The survey also found that a majority of Australians want to help others this year at Christmas, with 55 per cent planning to do something for others. Planned activities range from donating clothes and food, to buying charity Christmas cards and gifts
Despite many parents having had to play the dual role of parent and teacher this year, more than half (54 per cent) hope to spend more time with their children in 2022.