Revolutions, not Resolutions: Brits’ New Year Goals for 2016

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day and I’m feeling… well, a bit fat and sluggish actually. Thanks for asking. We’re now nearly a week into 2016 and undoubtedly I am not alone. The office fridge is rammed full of salad and good intentions and the bars around Goodge Street are suspiciously empty come 6pm.

It is, of course, the season for enforced self-improvement. In a bid to remain Culturally Connected at this most deprived time of year, we spoke to our YourVoice community members to find out what their New Year’s resolutions are and just how they’re doing. In my next blog I’m going to dive into these in more depth, but for now, here’s a quick overview.

There are overarching themes which come up year after year – with health and wellbeing top of the pile.

I won’t patronise, it’s clear why. After a month of festive excesses, health once again returns to the agenda. But as Romane previously discussed, holistic health and fitness are the new “low cal”.

“There are several strands to my plan to improve my quality of life. I want to see more of my family, be more active and eat more healthily.” – Geraldine, 55+, YourVoice

A new contender (with potential impacts for marketers) is a desire to spend less time behind screens – particularly on mobile gaming.

“I spent probably over 1000 hours in 2015 playing the game, I feel like I was very unsocial, and wasted a lot of time doing nothing” – Dan, 18-34, YourVoice

Brits of all ages are obsessed with Candy Crush Saga, Clash of Clans and their counterparts and this addiction is taking its toll. However, this isn’t the only offender. It soon became clear to me that we want to balance our time more effectively in general.

“Stop procrastinating for good and see how much time we waste and can actually save. Make sure you’re doing something productive at all times for work/education wherever that may be; on transport, in bed, on the toilet even!” – Olamide, 18-34, YourVoice

As a nation, we look to be clawing our lives back in these post-recessionary years.

Many of the resolutions quoted by our community covered spending more time with relatives, particularly the youngest and oldest in the spectrum. Others pledged to prioritise their own wants and needs a bit more over their families. This was most true of the mums in our group. Goals with real emotional payback dominated. Familiar concepts perhaps, but very compelling and relevant platforms for brands who want to capitalise on this New Year mood-swing. Certainly, more relatable than just shouting “LOW CALORIE! CHEAP! HEALTHY!” at us in surround sound.

Finally in our lowdown, happiness.

There was a clear attitude that happiness is a choice – and negativity is wasteful. This has parallels in the mindfulness trend we have seen in recent years, with meditation, yoga and gratitude gaining traction amongst a wider audience. One YourVoice member suggested a Happiness Jar – a project made famous by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the bestseller: Eat. Pray. Love.


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So much for good intentions though. A US news article cited that around 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February. If this is the case, then maybe it’s time for us to reframe our goals to take us beyond the gloomy days of January.

Perhaps we should not set ourselves multiple resolutions, but instead, singular personal revolutions.

Big ambition, big investment and commitment should provide the keys to personal success. But beyond this, these single-minded 360 shifts provide brands with much more tempting and lucrative opportunities to support us on these longer term journeys. Strategically aligning with our goals, rather than acting as facilitators of a quick fix, which may well leave us feeling more depressed come Valentine’s Day.


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