New Year Resolutions

Why is the success rate of New Year Resolutions so low.?

The formula is clear. SMART Goals – Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-based Goals. The New Year provides redemption and an opportunity to start again with a fresh scoreboard. So what is the issue?

Consider congruence. If one part of you decides to lose weight and get fit and another part belives that you are fine as you are, which part will be triumphant? It is well known that foods high in sugar and fat cause issues such as heart disease, diabletes and weigh gain leading to poor health outcomes. But they also light up the neural pathways to pleasure. So their is a fight going on between your thinking, rational self and the physiology (including dopamine and seratonin), feelings and emotions that have been laid down in the past and been strengthened by years of habits.

In a sporting sense, champions and coaches talk about muscle memory. Repetition of action leads to an automatic response. Just like driving a car. You did not initially have the skills to drive a car, but someone showed you the skills and through practice you gained confidence until your mind said “I’ve got this” and commited the process to your unconscious. From that point on much of the effort of driving becomes and automatic process. And thats a good thing. Imagine if you had to keep learning skills over and over again. It would be very tiring and inefficient. So learning new skills and experiences and passing them into memory is a good process.

But some things that have been passed to the autopilot are not ideal. Smoking, over consuption of alcohol, some foods and other hardful substances are some of the obvious ones.

And other things can start small and may not become all-consuming – anxiety and stress, feelings of lack of self-confidence – but can affect your enjoyment of life.

So whatever your issue and motivation for changing your habits, consider the full you in your goals – the parts that everyone sees and you are aware of, as well as the hidden parts of you.

Alignment of all those parts can be where professional therapy can assist.

Enjoy your 2021.

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