January 11, 2021

New Year, New Analytical You

It’s a new year and that often means one thing: resolutions. But, according to Business Insider, 80% of people fail their new year’s resolutions by February. As marketing analytics experts, we decided to put our heads together and find a solution to this perennial problem. Perhaps the reason so many of us fall short of our resolutions is that they seem too grand and abstract? What if we tracked our resolutions like metrics and benchmarked 2021 against measurable KPIs? Here are few examples of popular resolutions framed in this new way:

Refrigerator Bounce Rate: Number of times we open the fridge without taking food/total number of times we open the fridge

It’s a common occurrence: We are bored, sitting around the house, feeling a little stir-crazy. All of a sudden our brains give us an idea: “I’ll go fetch a snack. This will fulfill me!” So, we wander over to the fridge. Open it. Stare at the shelves. Think, “Eh, I do not want any of this.” Close the refrigerator. Rinse and repeat throughout the day. Seems unproductive, right? We experts call this the Refrigerator Bounce Rate (RBR), and we’ve made it our resolution to lower this percentage.

How can we reduce the number of times we mindlessly open our refrigerators with no intention of eating anything in there? One way we can work on driving this RBR down is by increasing our water or protein intake. Whenever we get the urge to meander to the fridge, maybe instead we drink a glass of water or keep a small bowl of nuts or seeds nearby while we work to snack on? Now, if your brain tells you, “Nuts or seeds are gross,” that is an extra variable we cannot examine at this time.

Average Workouts Per Week and Workout Completion Rate: Actual number of times we workout/number of planned workouts

A common new year’s resolution we hear often is “I am going to work out more!” But, when we crunch the numbers, we all do way less crunches and more sitting on the couch refreshing Instagram. It is hard to hit weekly goals of at least five workouts a week, especially when the allure of eating leftover holiday cookies is still so strong.

Instead of thinking of it as hitting a weekly goal, we have decided we can “metric-fy” this as a weekly rate we can measure against week to week, based on how many workouts planned for that week. Sometimes our perception on how we measure our own success can be what we need to motivate us further. Aside from changing how we think about our workout plans, why not make working out entertaining so that we want to do it? We can pick a TV show we enjoy indulging in and catch up only during our workouts. Or perhaps we will reward ourselves with a post-workout leftover holiday cookie. Crunch crunch.

Hobby Abandonment Rate: Number of hobby equipment forgotten in the closet/number of new hobby equipment purchased

With all the extra time we’ve been spending at home due to restrictions of COVID-19, a lot of us have decided to put the time saved on our daily commutes to good use by learning a new hobby. For example, say you decided to purchase a shiny new baritone ukulele with the goal of teaching yourself how to play. Most of us have probably struggled in the past with pursuing new hobbies for the long-term. Perhaps there is still a partially-knitted scarf in your old bedroom from when you decided to take up knitting in high school? Therefore, we should not be surprised if our new ukuleles are currently sitting in the closets, collecting dust.

So, our resolution to keep up this new pastime, and drive down our Hobby Abandonment Rate. Even if we do not become the next famous ukulele sensation, we can make it a habit to play a new song every week and to keep the instrument free of dust. Simple, trackable goals can be music to our ears (if you can call that music).

New Year Resolutions can be daunting, but sometimes all we need is a new perspective on the best ways for you to motivate yourself. Reconceptualizing lofty goals and resolutions as quantifiable metrics will hopefully let us view success in a whole new, manageable way. A word of warning, though: once you let your analytical side out, it is hard to put it back in. But that is a lesson for another day.

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