New year Resolve Dissolved?
Updated: Jan 18, 2019
Why do we start the new year with the best intentions and ultimately end up feeling apathetic about our resolutions and goals? Recent findings suggest that less than 10% of people stick to their resoultions so if you've already given up you are not alone.
Goal directed and motivated behaviours require a wilingness to expel energy, to keep using energy and learning about what is worth using our energy for. New years goals are often rigid and do not tend to be open to modification in response to ongoing learning, evaluation or trial and error processing. It is hard to sustain a stable, high level of motivation over time to meet challenges and goals.
We end up feeling apathetic, ambivalent and often a sense of failure. Ambivalence can be an uncomfortable state and when teamed with self flagellation and negative self evaultion we can end up feeling flat. Key ideas to hold in mind are that self compassion is important when we are striving to change our patterns of behaviour or responding. Acknowledge every step forward and don't see a blip as a failure or as a step backwards but simply remaining in the same position, which is still likely to represent a move forward from your starting position.
Resistance to change is very common. Reflecting on your resistance to change and the possible functions of the behaviours you are trying to remove or develop can provide insight and change your relationship with them emotionally, which is just as important as changing our actions.
Apathy is a very real and difficult sensation, it has a neurologcial basis in the brain, in the medial frontal lobe. It can be difficult to overcome, so maintaining a positive outlook and employing some self compassion is a significant and a very positive outcome.