It’s very common to not keep a New Year’s resolution. How come? Why do we bother? Why don’t we achieve them? Usually they are very achievable: I want to lose weight, get fit, work less hard, spend more time with friends, learn something new – and yet very commonly we don’t do what we set out to do.
Anything that is a pattern in our life we can confidently say we are contributing to creating ourselves. If you always feel let down, or never get what you want or often fall out with people, it will be something that you are doing, unconsciously, that is contributing to that pattern. It might be the people you choose to share time with, the situations you get yourself in and/or the perspective from which you view them. It’s worth examining the patterns in your life and considering what is your (unconscious) investment in these things.
If you have set a New Year’s resolution and not kept to it then I guess this is not the first time in your life you have been here. I imagine this is not the first time that you have made a promise or commitment to yourself and not kept to it. What is it that you get from this pattern? What might your unconscious investment be in sabotaging yourself?
In Transactional Analysis we talk about the concept called Life Script. Your Life Script are the conclusions that you made early in your life about yourselves, others and the world around you which you then live out. The advantage and disadvantage of human beings is that we are born with very underdeveloped brains. This means that we are very good at adapting to situations, cultures and to people around us but it also means that we create some rules and regulations for ourselves early in our life that often don’t serve us long term. As a child you have limited knowledge, experience and capacity and it is often in these early years that we make decisions that affect us for the rest of our lives.
Human beings in general like familiarity, we unconsciously set up situations to keep our world familiar, even if that world is painful or uncomfortable. If when you were young you felt powerless, the world was unfair and people let you down, then that is what you are likely to set up unconsciously for yourself as an adult. If as a child, you had a sense that people were good, life was easy and good things happen, then that is what you are likely to set up for yourself as an adult. There are, of course, many other options here.
Consider the feeling that you feel when you let yourself down, when you set yourself a resolution and you don’t stick to it. Is that feeling familiar to you, have you experienced that feeling before in your life? I would suggest that us not fulfilling our New Year’s resolutions has little to do with the actual goal and a lot to do with our underlying unconscious process. Our unconscious process is very powerful and determines many things in our lives, but with awareness we can gain insight into what we do and change these things to serve us better.
If you want to find out more about Life Script, or other useful concepts from Transactional Analysis, I offer a two day course The Official Introduction to Transactional Analysis to gain insight and empower people to understand themselves and others better. Through insight we have choice.