Welcome to 2018! It’s a new year and that means plenty of resolutions – some realistic, many fanciful, a good chunk of them already broken. We’ve got the hot take on what you can do to boost your chances of success in Behaviour Change. We also look at those among us most and least likely to be approaching it with gusto in the Values Lab.
Meanwhile, we look at five tribes that made up Britain in 2017 in PPP, and it wouldn’t be the Weekly without a visit to the bacon sandwich post-party hang over cure that is Charlie’s Attic. This week we feature the street name so rude its residents want it changed, revisit the best local newspaper stories of 2017, and identify the common ingredient linking cheese to hard drugs.
Many of us will have, at some point over the new year period, performed the traditional annual ritual of setting ourselves worthy objectives for the coming year. Whatever your new year’s resolution is, there’s a good chance you’re wondering (even if you keep it to yourself) whether you can actually achieve it. Don’t beat yourself up about it – apparently, fewer than 10% of us will feel we’ve achieved our goals by the end of the year.
So what can we do to boost our chances of success? Well, one key facet of a successful resolution is being honest about what you can do. This article from Quartz’s Sarah Kessler might sound cynical with a headline urging us to ‘aim really, really low’, but her argument makes sense – we’re far more likely to accomplish things when we have small, attainable targets, like ‘take the stairs up to the office rather than the lift each morning’, than something loftier but vaguer like ‘get more exercise’.
This is also a useful reminder for behaviour change interventionists, that setting small, achievable and tangible targets can often yield more success in forming new habits, than something bigger picture with a less clear path to achievement.
As we look forward to a new year, Britain still seems, on the face of it, divided. Following a year in which Brexit tensions subsided little, and a general election highlighted once more the values battle between various groups of the population, who are we as a nation?
Ipsos MORI have released their 2017 Almanac, which is a fascinating read covering a wide range of topics, drawing from their research over the past year. Among the subjects tackled is an interesting take on what they term the five tribes of Britain. Using analysis of its Issues Index, it has segmented us into five groups based on what most concerns us. (see image below, from Ipsos MORI).
Most populous and concentrated in urban areas are the Young, Urban and Unengaged, who are typified by diffuse opinions on major issues and party identification; while a similar proportion of us belong to the older, more male Bothered by Brexit camp, whose single-minded obsession with the B-word is split between Brexiteers and Remainers. You can read more about the groups from Page 114 of the Almanac, or on its own page here.
As mentioned in this week’s Behaviour Change section above, this time of the year is, for many, all about getting started on achieving new year’s resolutions. We thought we’d take the opportunity to mull over who might be feeling confident, and who’s likely to flag, as the year goes on – so we gathered up a hamper of particularly healthy snacks to sustain us and headed down to the Values Lab.
The map above is good news for socially liberal Prospectors and confident Pioneers, in the bottom left of the map, who put a lot of stock in meeting every new undertaking with energy and enthusiasm, as shown by the warmer colours in this corner. This is typical of these groups who are big on optimism and self-efficacy. In contrast, a sea of blue in the Settler segment, in the top right, suggests that resolution realisation for this group depends on them overcoming a natural disinclination to fully injecting vim and vigour into new ventures, a trait perhaps borne out of a tendency for fatalism.