Why that ‘New Year, New You’ Shit Doesn’t Work

It’s that time of year, where my blog post reader becomes inundated with that ‘new year, new me‘ shit, and every year I think “Really?”.

Because let’s be honest, NO ONE can change their behaviour overnight. This is what my study in psychology has taught me (and if I’m incorrect, please let me know!): A change of behaviour must be preceded by a process. Whether this is a process of identification, of learning, or even changing thought patterns to support the desired behaviour; whatever it is, it’s hard to just do overnight.
All forms of learning involve a process, which usually doesn’t happen overnight unless the learning is caused by a traumatising event (one trial aversion/learning), and let’s be honest, 2016 hasn’t been THAT bad… right?

Oh, wait…

But seriously, if you are trying the ‘new year, new you’ approach, don’t expect all your bad habits to disappear and be replaced by good habits by the end of the day, January 1st. In fact, you’d be lucky if you had successfully attained your new behaviours by the end of this season!

Change takes time, and you will probably fail several times, the main thing is to not give up. Even if you reach the end of 2017 and haven’t distinguished the behaviour or picked up good habits, the fact that you kept on trying and didn’t give up should be applauded.
It’s one thing if someone gives up smoking on the first try, it’s another if someone has relapsed for the fourteenth time this year and they are trying their hardest with the best support mechanisms to quit for their family and themselves.

By thinking that you can kick habits in the butt first try, is only going to make you disappointed and discouraged, later on, when you don’t.

I think that’s what people don’t get about new year resolutions. Many people set a goal, and they start it on the very first day. Usually, they do pretty well for the first month, making a special effort to keep up with their goal. Then, when they accidentally take a step backwards in their progress to their goal, they think, “Oh well… I’ve stuffed it now… I’ll just have to wait until next New Year’s to try again..”
NO!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING??

This is the whole idea of a resolution: you create a goal to WORK TOWARDS during the year… not *poof* and the goal is achieved in January.

I’ll give you an example:
If your New  Year’s resolution is to go on a holiday somewhere, say Japan, you don’t just go there and suddenly you’ve reached your goal. You have to plan it, make sure you have enough money, have the right clothing and things to bring, etc. There is this lead-up and this need to work on the goal no matter what it is.

So please, if at all in 2017 you’re going to give up on your resolution, remember this post and reconsider.

It’s a journey, not just a destination.

Wishing you all love and light in the new year,
Hannah xx

 

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