Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA)

Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA)

December 21, 2007 12:45 ET

Protecting Environment Top Resolution for 2008, VoxPop Poll finds

Canadians are becoming less selfish according to New Year's vows

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, City Editor, Lifestyle Editor, News Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO, PRESS RELEASE--(Marketwire - Dec. 21, 2007) - You say you want a resolution? When it comes to personal New Year's vows for 2008, Canadians are throwing self-centeredness overboard and resolving to take action on what they care about most - protecting the environment, healthier lifestyles and strong relationships.

Among the 34 percent of Canadians who have made New Year's resolutions, more than seven in 10 (73%) have resolved to be more environmentally conscious in 2008. And a clear majority have vowed to pursue healthier lifestyles involving regular exercise, better diet and less reliance on their cars. Those findings come from to a national poll from VoxPop, a campaign by the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA) to give voice to Canadians and encourage participation in opinion research. The MRIA governs and represents Canada's survey research industry.

"The emergence of environmental protection as the dominant New Year's resolution for 2008 speaks to how deeply concerned Canadians have become about the environment," says VoxPop spokesperson, Brendan Wycks, Executive Director of MRIA. "In particular, people seem to have bought into the idea that direct, personal action can make a difference in protecting the planet for future generations."

Not far behind Canadians' resolve to be more environmentally responsible is a self-improvement focus on lifestyle and relationship issues. Nationally, seven of the top 10 resolutions, including the top three, involve protecting the environment, activities designed to improve physical fitness or taking steps to strengthen relationships. Other Top 10 priorities were building net worth, reducing debt and saving money.

Did your New Year's Resolutions make VoxPop's Top 10 list? Here is the ranking
1. I will be more environmentally conscious in my purchase and resource usage decisions
2. I will exercise regularly to improve my physical fitness
3. I will drive less and walk and cycle more
4. I will save significantly more money by reducing my spending on non-essentials
5. I will focus on paying down credit card debt
6. My resolution is to significantly improve my net worth
7. I will pay more attention to my friends, so they know they are valued
8. I will eat less red and processed meats and more fish and vegetables
9. I will be more sensitive and caring towards my partner
10. I will try to be significantly more focused on helping others

"What is equally interesting about how the Top 10 resolutions stack up is the absence of any focus on quitting smoking and losing weight," says Wycks. "These traditional New Year priorities seem less relevant today, and that's good news. Fewer people are smoking and Canadians are generally more sophisticated about their lifestyle goals. More people are coming to understand that regular exercise and eating right are the keys to a strong, healthy body, and that maintaining an ideal body weight is a just a by-product of a healthy lifestyle."

Another striking trend is the importance Canadians today place on making improvements in their efforts to maintain strong relationships with their friends. "This concern likely speaks to today's hectic pace of life and the fact that spare time tends to be spent with family," says Wycks. "The result is that friends are often neglected and - for a lot of people - that means they lose touch with individuals who matter to them.

"The fact that Canadians are resolving more to warm up friendships than they are to improving relationships with their life partners, which ranks two places lower on the VoxPop Top 10, speaks to the increasing desire for relationships and connectedness beyond the immediate family," adds Wycks.

The VoxPop Top Ten Resolutions survey is part of a series of polls designed to demonstrate the power of opinion research to give voice to Canadians on issues of broad interest.

"When people participate in survey research, they have influence on decisions that affect their lives," says Wycks. "Survey respondents contribute to a better Canada in so many ways - from influencing a wide variety of public policy initiatives that advance the health and welfare of Canadians to products and services that better serve the needs and wants of consumers. When Canadians say yes to survey research, we all gain."

The survey was conducted by Research House Inc., a division of Environics Research Group Limited. The poll was conducted via telephone between December 13 and December 17, 2007, with a national random sample of 1,223 adult Canadian respondents and is considered accurate within ± 5 percent, 19 times out of 20.
This survey is part of a series from VoxPop, a campaign to give voice to Canadians and encourage participation in opinion research. VoxPop: You speak. We listen. Things improve.

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