Have your New Year Resolutions fallen flat already…?

If your NY resolutions have already fallen by the wayside, then you’re not alone – apparently 80% of us are in the same boat by the time February rolls round. The top  failed resolutions (says Google) are:

  • Lose weight, eat healthier, get fit
  • Quit smoking / drinking
  • Learn something new
  • Spend more time with family
  • Be less stressed
  • Volunteer

We may just shrug our shoulders and move on, knowing that this is a familiar annual ritual that most of us humans go through. Or we may add it to the things we like to beat ourselves up about – and tell ourselves that we are a failure, we are bad, we have no will power, we were silly for even thinking we could try. Our minds are expert at beating ourselves up when we are down. To try and drown out this voice and make ourselves feel  better we may even ratchet up the bad habit we were trying to give up to bring us short-lived comfort: the biscuit tin, the Netflix boxset binge, an extra cigarette or two, a nice bottle of cold white win, a new gadget, maybe avoiding the people who are still (allegedly) sticking to their NY resolutions etc etc

How can counselling help you get back on track with making change that s important to you? Won’t a counsellor just make it worse by giving you space to languish in your ‘failure’ or agreeing with you how terrible and hopeless your life is and if only your childhood had been better you wouldn’t be finding it so hard to stick to your resolutions?

The truth is that no matter what happens, no matter how disappointing our behaviour has been in the past, our desire to change and improve our lives is part of us – and part of what makes us human. We can embrace our desire for change at any point in our lives – not just New Year when the pressure is huge and our energy is at it’s lowest after the stress and demands of Christmas. You may have failed at your resolutions so far – but you can reignite and restart whenever you like. Counselling can help you set realistic goals for change and increase your chance of success, while developing personal insight, greater self-understanding and increased self-confidence at the same time.

I would love to hear from you and help you with the change you want to create in your life. And if you choose to go it alone, then the very best of luck and here are some selected tips to help you along the way:

  1. Choose one thing to change. Singular.
    Change as a project. It’s a project that takes a while. The truth of the matter is if this is a behaviour that’s really important to you, changing it will have a huge impact on your life. It’s worth spending a month to change one behaviour permanently. You will reap the benefits of that for the next decade – and possibly the rest of your life.
  2. Don’t change you. Change your context.
    Perhaps you don’t need to change yourself just yet – and instead change the things around you. For example, if you think you’re watching too much TV, try taking the batteries out of the remote control creating a 20 second delay – it dramatically decreases the amount of TV people watch.
  3. Don’t eliminate your bad habit – replace it.
    Neuroscience tells us that a habit cannot be eradicated— it must, instead, be replaced. Fancy a doughnut? When you feel the urge, eat some gum. The “trigger” stays the same and you still get a nice reward but you’re replacing the bad behaviour with a good one.

Reignite and restart whenever you like. And if you’d like an extra helping hand, then I’m here.

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