New Year, New You. Pffft, I’ve heard that one before? At the end of each year, we tend to reflect upon what has been and whether we achieved what we set out to – typically no! In contrary, at the beginning of the year we plan our resolutions, however is there a happy medium?
Traditionally, a New Year’s resolution is ones commitment to resolve or change an undesired habit, trait or behaviour. These have a tendency to carry very low success rates. Nowadays, those who engage in goal setting tend to have higher rates of achievement. A systematic approach comprising of smaller and measurable goals is far more effective in keeping us motivated. The reason being is… Dopamine. That’s right, an organic chemical acting as a neurotransmitter which helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure system. It also boost our drive, focus and concentration.
When we experience achievement, no matter how great or small, our brains release dopamine, which is connected to our feelings of pleasure and positivity. When this occurs, we are instantly eager to repeat these actions, keeping us motivated to reach our goals. Low dopamine levels can lead to a lack of motivation, fatigue, addictive behaviour and even mood swings. So how can we naturally delve into our dopamine to boost productivity and charge us with the thrill to chase the things we desire in all aspects of our life?
Food for thought
Now instead of setting yourself a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight by not eating particular foods. Let’s approach our thinking positively. Try adding a different variety of foods to your diet. Include foods, drinks and spices which are high in tyrosine. Dopamine is made from the amino acid tyrosine. Why not add an avocado to your toast each morning? Drink green tea during the day or spice up a chicken dinner with a sprinkle of tumeric.
‘Calm blue ocean, calm blue ocean, calm blue ocean…’
Our brain is susceptible to a variety of addictive habits and one we tend not to consider is the habit of over thinking. Disturbing our spiritual development, over thinking’s compulsion can cause negative effects on our overall mental being. Meditation can be a highly effective form of dopamine as it works to eliminate mental clutter stabilising our minds to a state of peace. Meditation can help in relieving stress and refueling our bodies, to create a body of zen for achieving success.
Ready, Aim, Fire!
Dopamine is released when we achieve a goal. This year, why not set yourself some short term goals. They can be as simple as trying a new healthy recipe or reading an blog of interest once a month. By breaking your long-term goal or New Years Resolution into smaller, achievable goals, you’ll more likely see greater results with bursts of dopamine motivating you along the way.
This year, why not grab yourself an apple, listen to the sounds of the ocean and set yourself a goal. You’ll soon find yourself more productive in life than you’ve ever been.