Do Aussies know what they want, what they really, really want?



Survey finds 41 per cent of Australians rarely or never set themselves goals

  • New research commissioned by NAB finds almost three in four Australians don’t have a firm idea about what they want from life, with 41 per cent admitting to rarely or never setting goals for themselves
  • Two in five Australians admit they don’t spend enough time thinking about what they really want from life
  • Only 15 per cent of Australians talk to themselves frequently – yet, Australians who talk to themselves about their goals consider themselves to be significantly more successful

Almost three in four (71 per cent) Australians don’t have a firm idea about what they want in life, and 41 per cent don’t usually set goals for themselves[1], according to a new study by NAB.

The study, released today, surveyed over 1,000 Australians aged 18 to 70, and found that only 15 per cent say they talk to themselves on a regular basis about what they really want, indicating that – as a society – Australians need to talk to themselves more to understand what they really want and be more successful.

Australian Psychologist, Dr. Sabina Read, recognises the speed of life can impact the time Australians spend reflecting on what matters to them most.

“It is really important that we don’t get caught up in the everyday and forget to take time to stop and reflect, so we can understand what we really want from life. This is something I practice personally; it doesn’t matter how you do it – whether it be in the mirror to yourself, in a journal or internally in a quiet moment – it’s just about taking the time to reflect,” Dr. Read said.

Overall, Australians that talk to themselves about their financial goals are significantly more likely (29 per cent) to achieve them than those who don’t.

NAB General Manager of Customer Experience, Lara Bourguignon, says she understands the importance of Australians taking the time to really think about what they want from life.

“Some people might question the concept of talking to themselves. But, the research reveals those people who do talk to themselves about their financial goals believe it has helped them achieve what they want in life. The question for many of us to ask is: ‘Why aren’t we making the time?’

“At NAB, we believe it’s important for us to have more meaningful conversations with our customers so we can support them in achieving their goals. But it’s equally important for our customers to have these conversations with themselves.

“For example, a customer may come to us wanting to save, but if they have clarity about what they are saving for, we can help them even more.  Being really clear on the goal and the outcome enables us to help them stay on track”, Ms Bourguignon said.

This study marks the start of a new initiative across NAB to ask Australians to take the time to have meaningful conversations with themselves so they can start to understand what they really want in life so NAB can help them even more.

The program will continue to see NAB training for branch employees to initiate more meaningful conversations with customers so they can help them identify what they really want and how NAB can provide the support.

More information can be found on the website

[1] Research conducted by IPSOS, on behalf of NAB, nationally representative study of 18 to 70 years old.

Customers, banking & finance


Related Articles

  • Business

Ross McEwan appointed ABA Chair

Upon his appointment to Chair of the Australian Banking Association, NAB Group CEO Ross McEwan said he had three priorities for the industry.

  • 08.12.2023
  • Time to read 1 min read
  • Business

How Aussie businesses can grow and thrive in 2024

NAB Group Executive Business and Private Banking Andrew Irvine addressed the final Trans-Tasman Business Circle gathering of 2023 to outline why he believes the Australian economic glass remains “half full” and to discuss his hopes for 2024.

  • 07.12.2023
  • Time to read 8 min read
  • Climate

A co-ordinated approach to net zero

At the third Investor Roundtable, NAB CEO Ross McEwan spoke about the approach NAB is taking with its customers and the importance of a coordinated approach to reaching Australia’s 2050 net zero target.

  • 05.12.2023
  • Time to read 2 min read

Quick links

Business Research and Insights

For more business news and analysis, visit NAB’s Business Research and Insights .

NAB Security Podcast

For more insights about cyber security and fraud, and practical tips on how to stay safe, listen in to NAB’s Security Podcast series.

NAB tech blog

For more insights about technology and the digital developments enabling change for customers, visit the NAB tech blog on Medium.