2023 Goal Resolutions

How social media trends are changing how we create our 2023 resolutions

By Blog

I should really go to the gym this year…”

“I need to catch up with a friend once a week…”

“I need to be more organised at work….”

At the start of the year, over 80% of Australians create New Year’s resolutions & personal goals for the year ahead. Yet, ABC reports ‘more than half’ of New Year’s resolutions ultimately fail. Why does this happen? And more interestingly, why do we return to them every year? What can we do differently to maximise this sense of renewed focus and energy to ‘achieve’?

January is often a time people try and reinvent themselves, an opportunity to reflect on the year that has been. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with a new year’s resolution, however the ‘absolutism’ of goal setting, which is often too unrealistic & strict, fuels pressure to succeed.

Many Australians struggle to persevere with their goals and achieve meaningful change. Performance Psychologist Dr Jo Lukins spoke to the ABC about how people often don’t create a plan or realistic steps to achieve these goals, noting people often feel a sense of a ‘social obligation’ to create New Year’s resolutions, and that there is little meaningful intention behind executing these goals, for example, ‘I really ought to do this…’

#2023trends are currently changing the discourse around these existing new year pressures. The ‘Ins & Outs’ social media trend aims to reframe goal setting. These are lists compiled by creators highlighting interests, activities & materials people want more of in 2023 and what people are ready to ‘throw out’ for the year ahead. At its simplest level, it’s a list of what you want ‘In’ for the year as well as what you want ‘Out.’

Ph. D Psychologist & author of The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health, Rheeda Walker spoke to ESSENCE, around the importance of ‘removing activities and aspects of thinking that no longer serve (you)’ and highlights the importance of engaging more in what fulfils you. This trend helps us absorb aspirations in a different way, as Walker highlights ‘we absorb information differently’ when it is written down.

Intention setting is another social trend on the rise. Psychologist for online wellbeing service PlushCare, Jenny Koning, suggests shifting your mindset from resolution to setting intentions, provides a more positive approach which is more likely create a ‘lasting change’ despite the time of the year. Resolutions are seen to be more specific & measurable and are often behaviours that can be judged as ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ Whereas intentions are more broad, more qualitative, and often embody a quality rather than a measurable outcome. For example, ‘to listen and honour the needs of your body.’  

So, in this new year, be kinder to yourself – and here are some tips on ways to make more achievable, realistic personal goals:

Tips for 2023 personal goals:

  • Break goals down into smaller actions which can be implemented daily or weekly BEFORE you go for the goal
  • Set up boundaries / support to help you foster your goal – e.g., talking to loved ones about it to increase accountability
  • Be kind to yourself if you slip back!
The breastfeeding battle ground

The breastfeeding battle ground

By Blog

To breastfeed or not to breastfeed… it’s an age old question that is often plagued by thoughts like ‘I hope I can’, ‘I really want it to work’, and for many, ‘what if it’s not for me’?

The anticipation and expectation of a successful breastfeeding partnership can be all-consuming. On the one hand, Instagram pics display beautiful bonds between mothers and babies, and on the other, friends and family try to warn you of the difficulty that lies ahead.

The reality is blurred somewhere in between, where a new mother’s will and desire to breastfeed is tangled up in love, pain and the repetitive voice in your head that ‘breast is best’ (so you must stick with it).

Latest research shows that 9 out of 10 women start out by breastfeeding their babies, but less than half of babies are fully breastfed at 4 months. From latching issues to milk supply and mastitis, this so-called beautiful bond between mother and baby can be fraught with difficulty.

And for many new Mums, the decision to continue with breastfeeding can become one of the biggest they’ll make in their short-lived life of being a parent.

This year, World Breastfeeding Awareness Week (Aug 1-7) aims to shine a light on the shared responsibilities associated with breastfeeding – especially that of fathers, partners and other carers – to ensure new Mums and bubs are supported in their journey.

But these types of weeks also have a way of infiltrating the social media feeds of new Mums, inadvertently piling on pressure to remain committed to the ‘breast is best’ cause.

So instead, we wanted to put something different in the social feeds of Australian Mums and remind them that breastfeeding is not a battle to be won or lost, nor must you feel forced to concede defeat if things aren’t going to plan.

Just like Mums, and just like babies, infant nutrition comes in many shapes and sizes. Finding the perfect combination for you and your baby is, believe it or not, entirely up to you. Not the mummy-blogger, great aunty or local shop assistant that claim to know your situation and have all the answers.

If you’re looking for credible support in finding what the perfect combo looks like for YOU, there is dedicated help available via the Australian Breastfeeding Association, who offer a 24/7 helpline for pregnancy, birth and beyond.

Contrary to their name, this wonderful team of dedicated (and experienced) volunteers support parents in their decision-making journey around breastfeeding, even if you’ve decided it’s not for you.

As this year’s global breastfeeding awareness theme suggests, the shared responsibility of breastfeeding is extremely important. But equally important is shared decision making. This means sharing the mental load, the digestion of information and resources and setting the best path ahead for every family.

To all the new Mums, Dads, Partners and Carers out there, this breastfeeding awareness week, choose to be victorious, not defeated when it comes to making the best infant nutrition decisions for you and your family.

Adapting to the ‘new normal’ in digital marketing

Adapting to the ‘new normal’ in digital marketing

By Blog

If you’re itching for life to return to something resembling ‘normal’, we’re right there with you. The chaos for 2020, and now in 2021, speaks for itself, right?

Trying to predict the future right now may just seem like a guessing game – the pandemic has dramatically changed consumers’ attitudes and behaviours, upending brands’ plans and marketing strategies and laying the foundations for prolonged periods of uncertainty.

Marketers need to think differently about what the consumer in the ‘new normal’ will think, feel, say and do – and brands have to practically pivot in real-time to adjust to what the new future may be.

To help you understand what the ‘new normal’ might look like, we’ve broken down five key trends we’ve come across to keep your eye on. Some of them are meaningful accelerations of existing ones, some are only just emerging now.

1. Content becomes ‘real’

A surprising by-product of the pandemic has been a recent boom in influencer marketing. People today are craving personal connections and a feeling of authenticity from the brands they support.

Followers are increasingly seeking raw, unfiltered content, which they currently relate better to than the glitzy holiday backdrops influencers used to use. Particularly the younger generations are shifting their focus towards influencers they admire. And especially for those in lockdowns (like us here in Sydney), any form of human connection is welcomed – even if it is in the form of an ad.

2. Combating the “Doomscrolling” Phenomenon

Yep, we’ve all done it – mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, with little focus and little gained… procrastination perhaps? Well, brands are looking to shake up this ‘doomscrolling’ with fresh, genuinely engaging content that stops serial scrollers in their tracks.

This explains why video ads grew by over 18% in 2020. Creative advertisers are turning to animation, colour and *eye-popping* imagery to draw consumers’ attention amidst the vast array of content on their screens. Video ads, for example, have become increasingly popular in social campaigns year-after-year, and the pandemic isn’t slowing that momentum down.

3. Community: Higher Social Justice Stakes

The closure of travel and isolation restrictions have made our local neighbourhoods much more important. Community social-media pages and support forums have emerged, and people are showcasing their efforts.

Like never before, consumers are calling on brands to lead the fight against COVID-19, support the vulnerable, and take a stance on important social issues in the community. Empathy and support are now an essential part of many campaigns and brands seeking to expand their connections with consumers can reap benefits by educating on what they’re doing to help the community navigate through the crisis.

4. BOOM in user-generated content

In digital marketing, user generated content or ‘UGC’ for short refers to content users themselves generate. Although it’s not a new concept, UGC has grown in 2021.4 The experiences of ordinary users can act as social proof for other consumers because they are authentic, relatable and reliable.

Companies are using UGC in marketing strategies to build trust – people tend to trust people they perceive as more like them than brand advertising alone. Brands can repost stories of users mentioning their product, launch challenges, publish user reviews or create exclusive groups of debates and contributions to the brand.

5. Content becomes all about you!

 After a year of social distancing, interaction has taken to our screens. Brands have started to invest in more interactivity to create human involvement. Quizzes, calculators, ebooks, infographics, and interactive videos are just some examples of cool content that can create interest in the user’s attention for a while (or until the ‘doomscrolling’ recommences).

Right now, it’s crystal clear that digital marketing is a proven, cost-effective avenue for reaching consumers. The quicker you’re able to recognise and adapt to the online landscape, the better.

Either way, feel free to contact us at Cube if you’re interested in learning more about how to ensure you can maintain longevity in the ever-evolving digital world – we get it, things are different right now.

Social Media Use and Disordered Eating

Need for greater social media literacy

By Blog

A tool which can help prevent poor relationships with body and food

“I liked my body before I downloaded TikTok….”

Social Media Use and Disordered Eating:

While the statistics may be alarming and truly hard to comprehend, one third (31.6%) of Australian adolescents engage in disordered eating behaviours within any given year. Yet despite this, it is estimated that 75% do not seek professional help.

In 2020, The Butterfly Foundation reported an increase of 34% in uptake of their support services, with the majority (85%) of callers using the resource for the first time.4 This has been attributed to stress, and most significantly, increased exposure to ‘weight-based’ stigma on social media.

Currently, platforms with video content such as YouTube and Tik Tok are where young people are most active, not just to access information but feel connected with others. Despite the benefits of social media for digital communication, research suggests sustained social media use can have a negative impact on body image, particularly among young people. Adolescents report they experience pressure to “look perfect” on social media and carefully select and edit photos to do so.5 According to Mia Findlay, a spokesperson for The Butterfly Foundation, social media platforms such as Instagram and Tik Tok can “be a minefield for people dealing with body image dissatisfaction”.6

Can you avoid triggering content?

The difficulty in avoiding triggering content on Tik Tok can be attributed to the algorithmic nature of social media, making it nearly impossible for vulnerable young people to not be exposed to it. 7 The nature of TikTok’s continuous loop of content, paired with the “For You” tailored pages, often creates echo chambers.

This means that once an individual accesses unhealthy content, it becomes more difficult to stop consuming this content as it will continue to appear in their tailored feed. This can often force engagement with negative body image biases and unhealthy diet culture.7 The platform suppresses content diversity because it misaligns with ‘high engagement posts’ which reinforce negative ideals around body image and dieting.

Media literacy campaigns are currently considered the most effective in preventing eating disorders as well as increasing awareness of these social biases.9 However, despite their success, particularly in schools, this rise in social media engagement calls for a heavier focus on social media literacy. In addition, these interventions have not yet considered the role social media influencers play in delivering health messaging.

The power of the eWOM?

The electronic word of mouth (eWOM) is another factor which contributes to young people’s health behaviours, significantly impacting how women perceive themselves and the world.10 Westerberg (2016) found that 75% of young people claim to aspire to be like Youtubers and relate more to these influencers than traditional celebrities. Moreover, young people who watch influencers more regularly believe these influencers significantly impacts their day-to-day behaviours.

Is media literacy enough?

While users may recognise these biases impacting their behaviours, the concept of practicing media literacy can be lost when constantly exposed to the abundance of content pushing the “thin, white, low-carb” image. Furthermore, the romanticisation of eating disorders on Tik Tok can cloud perspectives, with an increasing amount of juxtaposing content – weight loss tips titled ‘body positivity’ versus edited before and after photos.

Elevating discussions on media and social media literacy, targeted towards young Australians, may help to reduce the incidences of eating disorders and negative feelings towards the body.

Fortunately, there is more work currently being done to improve body image discussions and media literacy, even from a young age. For instance, The Butterfly Foundation’s primary school’s program,  Body Bright is an initiative aimed at targeting the key risk factors which contribute to body dissatisfaction in children.

This Body Image and Eating Disorders Awareness Week, Cube is proud to increase discussions around body image and the need for greater media and social literacy campaigns, as well as shed light on great initiatives such as Body Bright.

If you or loved ones need psychological support for eating disorders or body image dissatisfaction, there are a range of support services available. Please contact:

  • The Butterfly Foundation: 1800 33 4673
  • Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636
  • Lifeline: 13 11 14
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