I’m still feeling this season of NEW. New intentions, new goals… and starting new habits to try to make your desires a real part of your life. It starts off easy—that first taste of freedom always feels amazing—but eventually resistance creeps in. And guilt. It happens to many of us.
When you enact a significantly positive lifestyle change (like a new fitness practice, breaking off a toxic relationship, or starting to live a life guided by desire), your brain temporarily floods your body with feel-good neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine. It’s your brain’s way of giving you a high-five for your new habits.
The happy-drugs start flowing, fueling your good intentions with seemingly boundless energy. Your commitments seem effortless. This is going to be easier than I thought! I’ve so got this covered…
And then—in a cruel-but-necessary act of nature—the party train grinds to a halt. Your neurotransmitters collapse back to their normal output levels. And thank goodness, because otherwise you’d go crazy. In a literal, clinical sense.
So like a rushing river that dries up to a trickle, the rah-rah ferocity dissipates. At this point, your new, healthy habits are asking your cells to literally alter their shape. And to you, this feels like a major drag. But in actuality, your cells are loving it! They’re vibrating and shifting, doing their own form of yoga. They’re transforming to accommodate your recalibrated levels of positive mood endorphins. They just need a l-i-t-t-l-e more time to reshape themselves.
Instead of shutting down the new habits when they start to feel unpleasant, we need to shift our attitude toward loving the resistance that arises. Because if we can push through the awkward growth spurt—giving our cells adequate time to catch up with our good intentions—we gain prodigious momentum.
If you’re currently in that groan zone, I thought you could use some extra love to get you through the weeds. I made you something called Taking Root. It includes a collection of perspectives and prompts to help you dissolve resistance, and a Soulful Habit Tracker to help you keep rocking your new rhythm. It’s full of Love (as always), and… it’s free! Download TAKING ROOT here.