by Sitra Panirsheeluam
As a new year dawns, we start to make our New Years Resolutions. These goals and expectations show us that humans mark beginnings with belief and hope – an optimism that the next year will be better. Settings goals help us to clarify and focus what we find important in life: what brings us joy and meaning, and how do we spend more time doing this?
Why We Lose Our Motivation
Though we start our year with high aspirations, 45% of people will abandon their New Years Resolutions by February. This is because our willingness to change is at its highest at the beginning of the year, when we are still motivated and curious about what the new year will bring. As the months progress – and the distractions pile in – we become preoccupied by other life events and our ‘new’ resolutions lost their novelty.
Keeping Your New Years Resolution
In order to stay on track, we need to break up our goals into small, achievable steps. For example, if your goal is to save money to move out from home, this can seem like a monumental step. Start by telling yourself that you are going to save RM 10 a day – or an amount that seems feasible for you.
When you accomplish your daily spending goal, reward yourself – whether this is dancing around your room to your favourite song or celebrating with an accountability partner.
When we accomplish a task, this excited our nervous system and it fires off dopamine and noradrenaline. This makes us feel good and keeps us motivated to achieve the next goal. Therefore, it is important to reward ourselves each time we accomplish one step of our New Years resolutions.
I recommend writing down your Resolution and your strategy as it creates a guide for you and helps you to stay consistent.
Being Kind To Yourself
Setback are inevitable. No one is perfect and life gets in the way. Our failures are the best feedback that can help us to learn and improve ourselves. E.g., if you overspend on a certain day, just note down what you spent it on: did you buy something on impulse? Did you spend it having a good time with friends?
If you spent it on impulse, note your triggers and take it as a learning experience. If you spent it creating memories with your loved ones, forgive yourself and practice gratitude for the time you had together.
Being kind to yourself helps you to keep motivated.
The Mind Faculty is a private mental health clinic offering psychiatric, psychological and counselling services. If you are looking to change your behaviours or implement new ones, our behavioural therapist Sitra can teach you strategies to help you fulfill your full potential.