What usually happens is most of us spend a few days seriously sticking to a New Year’s promise of change but once the decorations come down and we’ve settled back into the routine of work, determination fades, exceptions are made and resolutions fade away… Where do the keen January joggers in new kit go come February?
Change can however be made anytime. What happens is we simply choose to delay or procrastinate and self justify this by prioritising evidence that supports our decision while we dismiss or ignore evidence that contradicts it. In this way change just keeps being delayed, which in itself reinforces the above assumption ‘why bother? things never change anyway.’ This sort of self defeating talk is even more harmful because most people don’t realise they’re actually doing it as the justification takes place on a subconscious level.
Becoming more mindful, recognising one’s own motivation and where it comes from in a grounded and objective manner can help. For some people just the realisation this process is taking place can be immediately life changing, ‘I didn’t realise I actually have a choice!’ for others more work needs to be done to understand and become aware of our own thought processes. Becoming mindful, or conscious of these processes puts us in a better position to let our thoughts drive our motivation and decision making rather than being driven by our emotions.
I came across the following article on a BBC website which goes into New Year resolutions much deeper and interested readers may want to find out more