Fade to Black

Hey! Congratulations! You made it through the first few weeks.

Have you hit your first plateau? Is the novelty wearing off?

We talked about newness and new year in the previous post.

And this is what some scientists say happens to your brain:

First reaction: ‘Ooo, look! A new toy!’

First few minutes: ‘This is new and different and gives me a new power that I’ve never had before.’

First day: ‘What a rush! I am going to use this all the time. I can’t believe I’ve never experienced this before, it is so grand.’

Second day: ‘This is effective. But definitely not as cool as yesterday. I am kind of mastering this.’

Second week: ‘Meh.’

Don’t be alarmed. Experts say novelty will only last a short time.

 

Novelty Fades

Yes, Marie Kondo coming into your home CAN help.

In those personal evening Netflix sessions, Kondo sits down with you to explain step-by-step how to do something new. Watching these episodes really can be the just novelty you need to do something new.

“(Evidence) suggests that the joys of loves and triumphs and the sorrows of losses and humiliations fade with time,” psychology researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky said.

So it’s the novelty that hooks you. Then, you adapt.

the joys of loves and triumphs… fade with time.

You and Me, Baby, Ain’t Nothin’ but Mammals

Just like the animals and the biosphere, humans are subject to the Adaptation Theory — and that includes psychologically and your New Year’s resolution.

Adam Smith, in Theory of Moral Sentiments, wrote “the never-failing certainty with which all men, sooner or later, accommodate themselves to whatever becomes their permanent situation”

In other words, you plateau.

We all do it. We all experience it. How do we fight it?

Routine, Routine, Routine

The single, most successful way to keep your resolution is to make it a habit.

We talked about habit and what it does to your brain in a previous post.

Science even backs it up.

“…habit is a ubiquitous, protean force that presents itself in many interlinking forms, steering the course of human lives in both health-promoting and destructive directions,” one study said.

In his book, The Power of Habit, author Charles Duhigg explains how habit creates long-term memory and how habits can and will stick with us because control is taken from our active brain, and given to the subconscious. It’s automatic, and will not falter, unless there are big, outside circumstances.

So KEEP DOING IT!

Keep doing it, even when you don’t feel like doing it.

Keep doing it, even when you don’t think you’re seeing results.

Keep doing it, for nothing more than carving a pathway into your brain.

Make it a habit.


Takeawayrhp stock (8)

  • Novelty works — but only short-term.
  • You WILL adapt.
  • Create a routine — and stick to it.
  • Use an occasional novelty to rekindle that spark, and keep you going.

 

 


Sources 

CC The text cited in this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Lyubomirsky, Sonja; Hedonic Adaptation to Positive and Negative Experiences. Oxford University Press, Nov. 2010, DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195375343.013.0011. Note: content for reference only. 

The Novelty Effect Explains why a New App Makes You More Productive. Original written by Thorin Klosowski, Lifehacker.com June 6, 2014. Note: content for reference only. Read original article. 

Berlyne, D.E. Novelty, Complexity, and Hedonic Value, Perception & Psychophysics (1970) Vol. 8, Issue 5, Pages 279-286. DOI 10.3758/BF03212593. Note: content for reference only. Read original article. 

Baugh, Alexander T., Witonsky, Kailyn R., Davidson, Sarah C., Hyder, Laura, Hau, Michaela, van Oers, Kees; Novelty induces behavioral and glucocorticoid responses in a songbird artificially selected for divergent personalities. Animal Behavior, Aug. 2017, Vol. 130, Pages 221-231. DOI  10.1016/j.anbehav.2017.06.028. Note:content for reference only. Read original article. 

Duhigg, Charles. The Power of Habit : Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. New York, N.Y. :Random House : Books on Tape, 2012. Audio Recording. 

 

References

Lyubomirsky, Sonja; Hedonic Adaptation to Positive and Negative Experiences. Oxford University Press, Nov. 2010, Page 1 DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195375343.013.0011

Smith, Adam, The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Cambridge University Press, 2002, Page 172

Duhigg, Charles. The Power of Habit : Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. New York, N.Y. :Random House : Books on Tape, 2012. Audio Recording. 

Clark, Florence; Sanders, Katherine; Carlson, Michael; Blanche, Erna; Jackson, Jeanne; Synthesis of Habit Theory. The Occupational Therapy Journal of Research, Oct. 1, 2007, Vol. 27, Issue 1, Pages 7S-23S. DOI: 10.1177/15394492070270S103.

Kesebir, P. (2018). Scientific answers to the timeless philosophical question of happiness. In E. Diener, S. Oishi, & L. Tay (Eds.), Handbook of well-being. Salt Lake City, UT: DEF Publishers. DOI:nobascholar.com

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