New Year Resolutions for the Seattle Market

Seattle's New Year's resolutionsIt’s 2012 — have you broken your New Year’s resolutions yet? General consensus holds that resolutions are easier to keep when you enlist others to support your aspirations. So in the spirit of a cooperative, mutually successful new year, I’m piggy-backing on Scarborough’s “Don’t Drop the Ball on these New Year’s Resolutions” national infographic to find some we can work on together here in Seattle!

Six of Scarborough’s survey categories fit nicely into resolution making: Fitness, Financial, Technology, Education, Saving Our Planet (Eco-friendliness) and Voting.

Shape Up Seattle!

What resolution-maker worth his or her salt doesn’t make a fitness resolution each year… and then immediately break it? Only 20% of Americans belong to a health/exercise club. While club membership isn’t the whole fitness picture, in a city that regularly makes the Top-10 list for fitness, Seattle-market adults only do a little better than that at 24%. With all the water and great outdoors surrounding this market, in the past 12 months, 73% of you never went for a swim. Three-quarters of you never took a hike, went for a run or jog, or took your bicycle (you do own one, don’t you?!?) for a spin. And only 14% do yoga or Pilates. This is clearly a category ripe for improvement.

Invest In the Future!

Financial is one resolution-making area where we do shine; we are tied with Green Bay, WI for living in households with such sound activities as having a 401K plan (23%), an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) – 25%, or the basic checking (90%) or savings account (80%). Nationally, 14% of adults have none of these; in Seattle 7% don’t. Not surprisingly, adult Millennials (ages 18-30) are the least likely (12%) to have invested in these financial resolutions yet, but 8% of those ages 65 and older also are without these services. While 38% of you have children living in the household, only 5% of you are investing in a 529 or college savings plan. Who would have thought the Gen-Xers (ages 30-44), once tagged as “slackers,” would rank as the most highly invested? It’s a good thing, since this generation is weighed down by a high propensity to have home mortgages, auto and personal loans, yet solidly sandwiched in between looking out for both children and parents. A little financial acuity on all our parts would help relieve the pressure!

Tap Technology to Bridge Generation Gaps

Seattle annually ranks in the Top 3 for being a technologically savvy market, thanks in part to our high-tech employment population as well as our highly educated residents. After the previous cautionary financial resolution, I feel a bit guilty suggesting we all become a bit more technologically astute this year, but there is a greater-good angle to this resolution. While 13% of American adults plan to purchase an eReader, Smartphone, High-Definition TV (HDTV) or iPad in the coming year, 15% of Seattle DMA adults plan to do so. Again, the Gen-X generation is far more likely to make this purchase than any other generation, including Millennials, and there is a huge gap between them and the Silent or Matures Generation (ages 65+). Boomers are 12% less likely to plan these purchases and the Matures are 68% less likely.

What better way to bring the generations together than to make a commitment to owning and learning these new platforms. There are 348,000 Millennials and Gen-Xers who are more than willing to help close this technology gap with the 204,000 Boomers and Matures who aren’t yet digitally enriched. So make a resolution to teach or be taught how to connect digitally. Those of you who haven’t yet been wired-in are among the most authentically informed via traditional media, especially via the stewardship of local print media. Now is your opportunity to share that rich wisdom with those who haven’t learned the serendipity of discovering news and information they didn’t necessarily seek out. It’s a win-win resolution ─ learn, communicate and share the wealth of knowledge in 2012.

Seattle Smarts

When it comes to self-improvement, education always makes the list, yet only 6% of American adults and Seattle-Tacoma adults plan to return to school in the coming year. This market is one of the best educated in the nation; while 26% of adults nationally have a college degree, 31% of Seattle-Tacoma adults have graduated from college, many with post-graduate degrees. Given the horrible economy, Millennials are the generation most eager to return to school in the coming year (16%). Gen-Xers and Boomers are our most highly educated generations, at 33% and 34%, respectively. While 26% of Matures (ages 65+) are college graduates, they are 98% less likely to plan to return to school in the coming year. Given that the Seattle market area is home to one of the top universities in the world among other highly regarded public and private universities and community colleges, offering myriad free or low-cost programs to alumni and tax payers, what better time than now to embark on greater learning experiences? Whether you are seeking educational or career advancement or just want to enrich yourself with additional learning opportunities, there is no better market to be in than this one.

The Green Thing

I mentioned in a previous post that this market is home to Super Greenies. From our perch, it’s difficult to fathom that nearly 35% of American adults do not recycle glass, plastic or paper on a regular basis. We can take pride in the fact that only 14% of our Western Washington neighbors do not participate in that activity. Fully 46% of us also buy locally grown food, and 30% buy organic food when the opportunity arises, compared to 17% of American adults. If anything can illustrate the power of a collective consciousness choosing to pursue a better lifestyle and making it part of the fabric of the region, this is it. But our work is not done: While 96% of Seattle-Tacoma adults participate in eco-friendly activities, 97% of Green Bay, WI adults do so. The challenge is on!

Vote for a Change!

Looking forward, what better way to wrap up 2012 than with some voting resolutions? Since the official presidential-election year kicks off this week and 18% of the Seattle-Tacoma adults admit to never voting for a president, it’s a resolution worthy of a real change. One third of Millennials and 25% of Gen-Xers have never voted in a presidential election. While some of the Millennials may not have been of voting age four years ago, the Xers have no such excuse. Overall, 72% of American adults claim to always vote in a presidential election. We do slightly better here with 75% always showing up at the polls.

Where we really drop off is showing up for all elections. Just over half of us turn out to vote in every election, be it presidential, state or local; 16% never bother. Six in 10 always show up for statewide elections but only 53% show up for local elections where you can really make a quality-of-life impact. Making your voice heard is important. Make a resolution to be a part of the process in 2012.

Make Seattle’s Media Work for You

Seattle Media Maven’s 2012 resolution is to continue to help you learn about this market, the phenomenal folks who populate it and the best way to reach them. Let’s all resolve to not treat media like a commodity to be sold, but a resource to be tended to as we put our customers first.
Here’s wishing you many magical moments with your family and friends, good cheer and a very, very prosperous New Year!

Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below let us know what resolutions you would like the Seattle market to make in the New Year!

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