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While January is traditionally filled with fresh gym memberships and gin-less tonics, February is another matter. Despite many of us struggling to maintain new year’s resolutions – a third of British people had broken them by the end of January, and a quarter of Americans broke them within a week – there’s been a shift away from a renewed sense of self-improvement on the first day of the year to a more ongoing dedication to self betterment.

Whether it’s the 13% increase in sales of self help books or the 17% of people booking fitness holidays (12% more than those booking boozy getaways) – it’s clear that we’re in a perpetual state of self-improvement. And although the desire to be better, harder, faster and stronger is part of our DNA (just as Kanye and Daft Punk claimed) it’s never been easier to fulfil than in contemporary society – we can buy wearable tech, take cognitive enhancement drugs and even download software to improve our hearing.

Here at Canvas8, we’ve been tracking this behaviour for quite some time, and have seen how it’s evolved over time. The novelty of the quantified self movement may be long gone, but self-improvement is here to stay; it's ingrained in the books people read and the food they eat. So as part of Second Home’s 2017 Be Better programme, which centres around this concept, we presented our behaviour Being+ to a group of both Second Home and Canvas8 members, sparking debate around whether technology is taking over the world, if self-improvement can actually be a bad thing, and where can we all buy modafinil?

If you’re looking to be better, or just want to know why everyone else does – you can check out the full presentation here.

Hannah Callaghan is an account executive at Canvas8. When she’s not helping clients navigate the deepest layers of the Canvas8 Library, she’s probably binge-watching RuPaul’s Drag Race or befriending other people’s dogs.


23 Feb 17
2 min read

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