New Year’s Resolution Blues

Posted in: January 21, 2019 By: Bernadette Marie Wilson

With a new year comes new opportunities and excitement. You’re likely surrounded by others, like yourself, who have made their new year’s resolutions. Maybe you’ve read posts about goal setting on social media. (Most of us are surrounded by these conversations at this time of year.) Along with these resolutions, though, comes an immense amount of pressure to follow through with your verbal commitment.

However, what happens when you’re feeling unmotivated and uninspired, and no longer can see the big win of completion? What you do when you just don’t” feel like” doing the steps needed to reach your goals?

Sure, the adrenaline of your resolutions gets you off to a good start, but hitting the wall of temporary frustration, boredom, or apathy can take the wind out of your sails. First, realize it’s okay to feel low energy and uninspired and accept your current state of mind.  Then, rest into the thoughts that “there is a way out.”

We all know what it feels like to lose our motivation.

You might find that it happens when the results of your actions do not meet your expectations, or the results of your efforts are not occurring fast enough. Your actions can begin to feel too hard to achieve or pointless. Whatever it is, you may feel a bit off. You might find yourself feeling a little down or melancholy. Other symptoms that tell you you’ve hit a wall or are beginning to veer off track are difficulty focusing, getting distracted easily, or not being as excited about the things you feel like you should be excited about.

Get Unstuck

Believe it or not, the act of motivation is complex, and when you find your selves stuck, our low energy and lack of drive can occur for a variety of reasons.  What inspires you to act and motivates us to accomplish a set goal is derived from many internal and external integrated sources. Each thought and action has a predominate root driver.

Your basic drive can be stimulated by what naturally brings you internal rewards (Intrinsic motivation) and pleasure. Your human instinct of a need for belonging could also be at play. The degree that you believe you will have succeeded in achieving what you set out to accomplish is a self-efficacy function that has roots in our self-confidence and self-esteem. Achievement of goals and self-enhancement motives push you to reach beyond your expectations. Self-consistency motivation is what gives you confidence due to the consistent patterns and reliable nature of your habits.

As the new year progresses, I’ve noticed many of us begin to feel a little out of sorts. There are expectations we may have had for ourselves or those around us that went unmet, which leave us disenchanted. So take a brief look at why this may be happening and talk about ways to start moving past the funk and get back to performing our best!

Tip One: Begin journaling.

Sometimes it’s hard to really be in touch with our deeper feelings. So often we feel like it’s best to hide them and pretend that we’re alright, but it’s important to be able to process. Neuroscience studies confirm that writing things down or journaling is an easy way to feel privacy as you express your thoughts and the feelings you’re going through. This can be a first step in addressing these feelings and moving forward to get out of the funk.

Tip Two: Find a connection with others.

Even though it might feel easier when we find ourselves in a funk, isolation can only prolong these feelings. If left unchecked, this can foster deeper symptoms of depression. Make it a point to seek connection and time with others. Call a friend and make plans for a walk, spend time with your spouse outside of the home, or join an exercise class just to be around others. The feeling of connection can do a lot for our mindset and for our souls.

Tip Three: Get moving.

It’s always easier to not do anything on those days (or weeks) where we feel off. However, it’s important to get your body moving! As I’ve talked about in previous blog posts, exercise is so important for our overall well being. Something as simple as a brisk walk can improve your mood and get your heart pumping.

Tip Four: See something new and inspiring.

This will look different for everyone, but a new perspective can help shift your mind away from the funk. Go visit a local museum, see an uplifting movie you’ve been eyeing, or travel if possible. Seeing things in a new way can help motivate you to get back to living “loudly!”

Tip Five: Set new goals.

If you had a goal that you maybe didn’t meet or that something got in the way of, set a new goal! The thing about goals and resolutions is that they can constantly be changed depending on whatever factors are coming into play. It’s normal, and okay, to re-evaluate and set new goals for yourself to get back to feeling your best.

With the new year, don’t settle for not feeling your best because of a missed opportunity or unmet expectation. Find a new goal to chase after and let yourself feel set on fire with excitement again!