New Year, New You?

Statistics show that a quarter of us make New Year’s resolutions. 80% of those individuals will have given up by February. Maybe as we begin not only the start of a new year, but the start of a new decade, we will feel newly inspired to attain success? Here are some hints and suggestions to hopefully help you reach your goals.

1) Focus on step-by-step goals rather than one big one. Resolutions tend to be vague (I’m going to lose weight, I’m going to quit smoking/vaping, I’m going to write the next Pulitzer Prize novel). Rather, be specific (I’m going to jog/bike/Zumba on Monday and Wednesdays, I’m going to use smaller plates at each meal to reduce my portion, I’m going to reserve 7pm to 8pm every day to sit and write). As a matter of fact, work out a plan in as much detail as possible describing exactly what steps you will be taking to attain your goal. Be as specific as possible. You will be able to stay on track better with individual steps as they are incremental and measurable.

2) Think small, achieve big. Change is difficult, but if it is kept small, it becomes easier. There is a theory called the 1% idea. If you aim toward an ultimate and grand goal, say losing 30 pounds, it is easy to get discouraged and off track along the way. However, if the goal becomes, say, 1 pound a week, the possibility of success has just tipped in your favour. Smaller goals are more manageable.

3) Try, try again. Don’t be so hard on yourself if your resolution falls by the wayside. For some, willpower is enough to make the necessary changes, but for many (okay, most), our habits and behaviours have become an engrained pattern that is set in our brain. When this happens, our habits seem to be out of our control as internal and external factors affect our behaviours. Changing any unhelpful or unwanted habits, or creating new ones, takes time. Change does not happen overnight, so if you break your new year’s resolution, don’t despair and don’t give up. Try again and start fresh tomorrow.

4) Making a conscious effort. Because habits tend to be established, it will take a conscious effort to change, at least initially. You might find it helpful to write down all the reasons you would like to change, along with all the benefits you will enjoy should change occur – short term and long-term. Make another list of all the things you do not like about the current habit/situation and all the possibilities that might happen if you don’t make any changes. Read these two lists every day. Several times a day, in fact. Habits are changed through repetition, so enforcing your resolve with a written tally of all the benefits, and detriments, will help enormously.

5) A happier, more relaxed you will help you achieve your New Year’s goals. No doubt it won’t take much convincing that stress, lack of sleep and unhappiness can make things more difficult in life. Trying to make changes, such as a New Year’s resolution, takes effort and you will need to give yourself as much of an advantage as possible. Positive interaction with others (i.e. volunteering), positive activity (i.e. exercise) and positive thoughts (i.e. meditation) will increase your natural levels of dopamine, thus increasing your ability to cope. Although it seems a roundabout way to achieving any new goal/resolution, a happier and more mentally resilient you can make the road to change easier.

By Elaina Curran, HPD, DSFH, AdvDPLRT, Clinical Hypnotherapist and Past Life Regression Therapist

As published in BS35Local, Thornbury Magazine, February 2020 issue


Free Audio download

Please click on the link below and complete the simple contact form to receive a free hypnotherapy relaxation audio download.

Free Audio Download